Over the years of marriage, we recognize who our partner is and what they are not. We also develop a better understanding of our self and why we respond to people and events the way we do.
We come to identify what triggers negative reactions in one another, so we can avoid these issues whenever possible. We make concentrated efforts on working together to find mutually acceptable plans when our original personal preferences conflict.
We also fearlessly attack our personal issues and give the Holy Spirit full reign in our life, so that He can transform us with the mind of Christ. One way to recognize our faults is to pay attention to what our spouse complains about - do we procrastinate, withhold affection, watch too much TV, neglect to help one another with projects or daily chores?
Small adjustments in our schedule or habits will make a big difference in marital bliss and harmony. We can learn one another's love language and show each other love in ways that will fulfill our mate's needs and allow them to feel nurtured and cherished.
This will erase the small irritations which eventually erupt into major disharmony - the little foxes that spoil the vine (Song of Solomon 2:15). Do we expect too much from one another, forgetting that we are only human?
Do we greet one another as we would our best friend, or do we take one another for granted? We all appreciate being greeted with enthusiasm as someone who is highly cherished.
Do we agree to disagree or do we always feel like we are right and our partner is wrong? Do we need to have the last word, or do we stop talking when we have made our point?
No one likes to live with condemnation, condescension, griping or constant belittlement. It is so good and pleasant when we dwell together in harmony (Psalm 133:1). This unity draws us closer to one another and makes us want to spend more time together.
Father God, teach us to recap once we calm down after a disagreement. Help us to honestly relate how we felt during the "fight" and what thoughts were going through our mind that we did not take the time to articulate. These thoughts fueled our emotional response during our discussion, and our spouse deserves to understand why we reacted as we did to their comment, behavior or reply.
Remind us to seek You in all of our decisions and discussions; not to rely on our own understanding, but to allow You to direction our thoughts, words and actions. Help us to be led by Your Spirit rather than to react in our flesh; but if we do act carnally, encourage us to ask for forgiveness from one another and to calmly discuss the situation until we find an equitable solution.
Thought for the Day:
Looking into each other's eyes during a discussion enables us to see within the windows of each other's soul; speaking honestly about how our partner's words and actions make us feel will help us to understand one another better too and to make our interactions more intimate and productive. - Matthew 6:22-23