We often hear or read about the idea that friends make the best mate for our life. In the 44 years of marriage that I experienced so far in my lifetime, I have to agree with this wisdom.
There is one downfall to this concept, however. We often end up taking our friends for granted, neglecting our relationship when our life gets busy, and letting down our guard with one another until we treat each other with less respect and cherishing love than is healthy for our marriage.
The only way to keep the spark of love and interest alive in our marriage is to appreciate each other and to spend time together. Attending church services together, working together in a ministry, riding together to appointments and chatting along the way.
We can participate in hobbies that we are both interested in doing with our time; make an effort to share laughter every day; trust one another with our secret fears, hopes and joys; and cherish our relationship above all others.
We forgive each other for shortcomings, inconsideration, grouchy exchanges, perceived slights and failures to keep promises. Hoarding hurt feelings blocks the flow of love between two people, but forgiveness is God's divine ingredient for living happily ever after.
Expectations are a part of marriage. We are all human with individual desires, and we only have one mate to help us to fulfill those needs. Be willing to help your mate meet his/her needs.
Healthy couples never insist on their own way, but we express our requests clearly, expect to be taken seriously and trust that our mate will cheerfully help us to complete whatever task in which we are involved.
Sharing moments of intimacy, meaningful looks, a wink or a smile across the room, frequently expressing the words "I love you"; connecting physically during the day with a phone call, email, text or love note hidden in an obvious place, and a frequent kiss or hug are all ideas that will keep the spark alive between us.
Father God, remind us that serving one another in love enables us to remember that we are both equally important in our marriage. When there is discord, help us to look for solutions within our self and our attitude and behavior, rather than to try to impose our opinions on one another.
Keep us aware that our body language is very expressive, sometimes more so than the words we use. Inspire us to make the effort to brainstorm together to find a solution with which we can both agree on, in order to keep the peace in our home through every season of life. This will make both of us feel "heard", considered and cherished.
Thought for the Day:
Whenever two people live together, there is always conflict; but it is how we handle that conflict that allows us to pull together rather than to pull apart.