I have written a very nice blog on marriage to follow up on our great marriage panel from our last MOPS meeting, but you are not going to see my nice blog.
My husband and I have not been spending much time together due to the fact that he has been working on getting a deck finished before the snow flies. And, due to the fact that work plus travel equals 52 hours a week for him. And, due to the fact that my 91 year old mom is living with us for a month as she makes the transition from her own home to a home for seniors. (Having a mom almost 30 years old than I makes me feel downright young!)
In the past week, I have found myself critiquing my husband. Why does he do that? Why does he have to do it that way? Why doesn’t he do this more? Why can’t he choose to spend more time with me? On and on. Little things start to tick me off.
Love is patient. Love is kind.
Driving to church this morning we argued. Perfect. The list of offenses against him grows.
Love is not irritable. It keeps no record of wrongs.
I look around in church. Why can’t he be more like him? Why doesn’t he initiate more? Focus on the song, Jan, on the sermon.
Love is not envious, boastful, rude or proud. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful and endures through every circumstance.
Love is too hard. How can I ever be all of that, especially when I am feeling so crabby?
For me, as a believer in Jesus, this is actually a good news Scripture. It feels like a condemnation at first. I am so very aware of what I am not in regards to my husband or anyone else for that matter. It seems impossible to be and do what love is…as described in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7.
This is good news because this is what God’s love is. It certainly doesn’t describe my love in the last week. It describes a powerful, constant, confident, overcoming love. The good news for me is that I get to tap into this powerful love; this love surrounds me, is in me and is mine for the asking. Lord, I am drowning in my own self-centeredness. I am focused on what’s wrong, the offenses…turn my eyes to You and let me soak in Your love. Let Your love move through me.
I cannot change my husband or anyone else. I know from experience that cajoling, nagging, and little jibes don’t work. What does work is a change in my own focus and working to change myself. What works is love.
I also know from experience that when I get negative like this, it usually is because we have not had time together, we have not made time to connect. Talking together and planning for time with each other goes a long way toward fixing the problem.
Again, from experience, my negativity tends to melt when I begin to list-on paper or in my head-all my husband’s good and positive traits (and there are many!). I go through in my mind and see all the things that he has been doing to make a great home. I remind myself how much he accepts and loves me for who I am with all my foibles and I want to do the same for him.
Marriage can be messy, because we are messy. But I have found that God is full of love and God is full of power. He delights to make Himself know in our messy lives and our messy world…if we but ask…
For a story of healing in a marriage, go to “Focus on the Family” website, broadcast date 10/8/2015. The recording artist, Plumb, shares her story of restoration in her shattered marriage.
If you are struggling in your marriage, the leadership at MOPS can help you find resources and we have a treasure of experience in our Mentors. Please let us know how we can help.