Relationships are hard.
Marriage is difficult.
What most of us want at the core of our souls is to do life forever with our spouse. We want to love each other until all of our parts stop working and our dentures get in the way of our kisses. We want to be there for each other in our golden years and in the final years. We want to love deeply and be loved deeply.
And too often we are so disappointed in what we do. What we do and how we interact with each other too frequently gets in the way of what we really want. Instead of doing things to build the relationship that we want, we actually do things that keep us from it.
We say that we love our spouse and that they are the most important thing in the world to us. We tell say that would fight for and stick up for our spouse and will always be here for our spouse. When we tell our spouse these thing, we really deeply feel them as we say them. We are not lying, we really feel that way.
And yet we are amazed at the many ways our actions tell a different story. If you were followed around all day with a video camera, there would probably be evidence that would question if your really believe what you are saying.
- We are selfish, focused solely on self, more often than we want to admit. We do what we want in the moment. Whether our spouse ever finds out about it or not, our selfishness becomes a barrier to our ability to whole-heartedly love them.
- Too frequently we react to what our spouse says or does in ways that push them away from us. We sometimes disengage and get away from them and other times we become loud and big. Sometimes we send our spouse a message without saying anything at all.
- We often honor our work commitments before we keep our word to our spouse. We “volunteer” for projects that keep us from the things we could do to build the marriage we want.
- We fill our calendar with ministry and church activities. We sometimes find that we are doing good for others that we are not doing for our family.
- We make sure that our spouse always knows when we disagree with how they are parenting, doing household chores, dressing, socializing or spending money. We rarely tell our spouse when they do something well.
Even good things can become a barrier to what we want in our marriage. It is good to be in church and volunteer for ministry work. It is important to work to contribute to the needs of our family. It is important for couples to communicate when they disagree. And doesn’t everyone deserve some “me” time?
I’m glad that we are not the only ones who have struggled with this. Even the Apostle Paul shared, (Rom 7:15b NIV) “What we want to do, we do not do.”
We must realize that we are the builders of our relationships. We cannot control what our spouse does, but we have total control over what we choose to do. We can build the marriage that we want. We can do the things that will keep our love together to the very end.
How can we make our actions reflect what we believe when we tell our spouse how much we love them? What can we do to create and build the lifelong relationship we want at the core of our soul?
We can do our part to create the relationship we really want by choosing to:
- make our calendar reflect our relationship goals.
- protect time with our spouse and family from volunteer work projects and the many good Christian things WE am asked to do.
- Set our self up well in our vehicle, workspace, phone/devices, computer, and other areas with reminders of our long-term relationship goals.
- remain in charge of our emotions and communicate them in a way that moves us toward each other instead of reacting to what our spouse says or does.
- make our word and commitments to our spouse more important than with any other.
- share with our spouse every day at least one thing about them for which we are grateful and thankful.
What do you find helpful to grow the relationship you want? How are you living out your promises to your spouse?
This article was written by Roy and Devra Wooten, authors of “The Secret to a Lifetime Love”. Learn more at www.LifeTogetherForever.com © Roy and Devra Wooten 2015. All Rights Reserved. You may replicate this article as long as it is provided free to recipients and includes appropriate attribution. Written permission for other use may be obtained at Secret@LifeTogetherForever.com.