Jeremiah and I really don’t have a sappy love story. The truth is, he proposed while I was at work by pretending he got into a wreck with my car (he lost some SERIOUS points for that one)!
THEN...the babies, jobs, & household chores come...I found myself once eating a bowl of cereal in the fetal position hiding in my closet just for some quiet time (not that it mattered, because they found me).
I traded my cute lingerie in for some cotton lounge pants with puppies on them, and fuzzy slippers .
The priority of putting some makeup on, going on an ice cream date holding hands and talking about all the silly things diminished. Over time it's easy for the conversation to be turned to, "How are we going to get through...", "What are we going to do with..."
It's easy to become comfortable with our long term relationship, so our energies are put elsewhere (work, sports, chores, kids). THEN the hero in our spouse fades for endless reasons and the small irritations set in. The list of things that bother us about our spouse can grow out of control. Our patience & communication diminishes, and the flaws we easily overlooked when we were "googly-eyed" in love seem to grow.
A few years back, I sat at my anniversary dinner and cried at the restaurant (poor waitress didn't know what to do). I told my husband, "Now that another year has passed, I don't feel victorious, I feel beat up." I decided at that time a great marriage was not going to happen on it's own. I mean, it wasn't a bad marriage, but we weren't as close as we used to be. I needed to be a far more pro-active participant in giving to my husband.
Giving or Receiving?
I hear more & more about marriages falling apart, and most often, the common denominator is the fact that one (or both) don't feel they are RECEIVING what they want (or think they need) rather than holding onto their vow to serve and love their spouse through thick or thin. Their "tank" is empty - but we forget that the way to fill it up, is to pour out.
A marriage always goes through thin - But God... "So let's not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good. At the right time we will harvest a good crop if we don't give up, or quit. Right now, therefore, every time we get the chance, let us work for the benefit of all, starting with the people closest to us in the community of faith. (Galatians 6:9)
Draw nearer to your spouse through the troubled waters...that's when they need a friend most.
When we put effort - over and above the "normal" towards our spouses - ESPECIALLY when we don't FEEL like it, the power of love overtakes the power of offense. Suddenly, the things that irritated you about them diminishes.
- Pay them a compliment they haven't heard in a while
- Buy them their favorite treat
- Offer "intimate" affection
- Hold their hand while shopping
Whether you've been married 1 year, 5 years 10 years, or 20 years...the challenges are the same.
The spirit of servant-hood heals wounds and suddenly the things that bother you fades.