My husband and I typically are POLAR opposites! He washes and puts clothes away the same day, I may live out the basket for a couple days. When you are dating, you OVERLOOK or EXCUSE so many things about them. You visit his/her house and think, when we move in together they will have to use the dirty clothes hamper. You think that he only leaves the toilet seat up now because he lives alone BUT once we get married I can train him to put the seat down. She doesn’t cook that much now but when we get married she is going to have to cook more. Let me be REAL HONEST with you. That person you are dating is WHO they are. They probably won’t change any of that! Getting married doesn’t change who they are. That person that you dated is actually the REPRESENTATIVE version of them.
Once you are with them for a while you get to see all the layers that hadn’t been peeled back while dating. You begin to experience different versions of them based on different LIFE experiences. You had no idea what type of parent they would be. Maybe along the way you have experienced some losses together and you get to see the REAL person they are deep down. I didn’t know he or she doesn’t know how to manage money. Now you are thinking WHAT THE HELL have I gotten myself into? Well my friend, things won’t change until you change your perspective. Did you know that marriage is about developing and growing yourself and not changing the other person? Did you know that relationships are designed to help you show God’s love to your mate? Wouldn’t it just be easier if they would just change to what you want them to be? If only…
Is it worth it?
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.
-Ecclesiastes 3:1 ESV
A time for everything which means there is a time to be quiet. I came to a POWERFUL conclusion, if I want our marriage to thrive I had only one option. That option was to change the way I responded to external things. If he leaves his socks in the family room every night, I could YELL and get upset, leave them there, take them to him, or put them in the dirty clothes. YES, we have choices!! However, we get satisfaction by going off and nagging about his socks because we think he will change. Will those socks in the family room matter in your relationship in 5 years? NOPE! But if you start nagging and going off and then he says something to you that makes you upset. Here we are in a FULL blown argument over some socks! REALLY?? A huge one I hear all the time, I am a neat freak and they are not. SO? You are the neat freak not them, so keep things neat as you wish but don’t expect them to. It’s not fair to nag them because they aren’t wired like you! Ask yourself, is it worth it? It will take you 10 seconds to do the task than start an argument over nothing!
Worry About Yourself
Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Matthew 7:3 ESV
When we were going through some intense times in our marriage, I had to check myself! Honestly, that takes courage because it’s easier to blame the other person for your sins and short comings. When you take that cold hard look in the mirror, you WILL discover some things about yourself. Things such as impatience, lack of grace, fear, selfishness, and ungratefulness. I’m not saying your mate won’t get on your nerves still but taking that look at yourself will cause you to see the ROOT of your response. For example, say your spouse has a bad habit that you nag them constantly about. Your nagging comes from the root of impatience or fear. You get impatient because they won’t stop doing this on your timing. You have fear of what the bad habit could do to their health. Think your nagging will change them? NOT!! Use prayer as your weapon for the both of you!
Change Your View
And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9 ESV
My husband and I are a great team! Have we always been a good team? HECK NO! We used to fight against each other like you wouldn’t believe. To be transparent, this almost lead us to divorce because our views of each other were out of FOCUS. Your mate is a wonderful person. If this isn’t true why did you enter a marriage or relationship with them? What you focus on becomes MAGNIFIED. When you were dating you focused on their strengths and the good you saw in them. After being together for a while, the weaknesses begin to shine a little brighter. Things will get better if you choose to focus on the strength and not always the struggle. That doesn’t mean you don’t deal with the struggles but you don’t focus on them. Look for the good in your mate. When you change your view, your view will change. Be the spouse you prayed for!
Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. Proverbs 16:18 ESV
The is THEE one thing that can move your marriage to the next level. You have to be willing to accept responsibility for your actions! Just like your job, you get performance reviews. The better the performance the more likely you are to get promoted. Same in your marriage, you can’t get to the next level unless you embrace the feedback. Don’t think of the feedback as an attack. Accountability brings unity and makes your happily ever after reality. Why are we afraid of accountability? Let me take a stab at it.. PRIDE! We think we KNOW everything! I’m grown, I don’t need anybody telling me what to do! You are not my dad/mom! Pride leads to self destruction. Don’t self-destruct!
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Keep Pushing the Limits on Love and Marriage!!
Elvery Nate' Tinsley
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