The two thoughts to consider for a happy marriage
Families are struggling as they continue to grapple with how the increasing demands of contemporary life impacts on the sanctity of the family unit. The engine that creates these struggles will not reduce. We will not outgrow crisis, we learn to fight; and in life, what is coming will come, it is who we are and how prepared we are that makes the difference. Ability to respond is the foundational factor in any warfare or crisis management; and to respond effectively, there are things to know. For the family, there are things that steal our capacity to bond, play and love within the family unit and beyond it, and which hinders our ability to respond effectively to challenges as they appear. They are everyday things that pop up between our fun times and serious exchanges but have an extremely negative impact on our joy, peace and harmony.
I have two thoughts to share. The first thought today will be my utmost desire for couples to know that all of what we call marriage or parenting is a very short period in eternity. Honest, before we know it, it will all be over in that death will separate us. Young couples in particular always miss the truth that life is very short, just as children also miss the same truth. The time we spent together is precious and we should be busy enjoying each other’s company for the very short time we have together. Once we miss this golden thought, we become fair-weather in our commitments to one another. This is key and if thoroughly considered, can melt our pettiness, sentiments and prejudices away.
Life is too short to spend all of it minding our rights and justices, and totally forget the need of our hearts to forgive and be forgiven, to love, to share, give and serve. No matter how serious life becomes for you, it will not immune your spirit from its dire need to connect, to bond and to play. We are each blessed to maintain the seriousness that comes with age, but to also be cautious not to allow that to eliminate the child we are each created to be and will forever be in the eyes of our parents and our maker. I hope you can all deal with that. The battles we win in the home fighting our spouses and children are not victories when they are won at the expense of the collective peace of the home. You are not designed to win at home; you are designed to serve there. And those who mind their victory over their spouses and children in the home are small and petty. It is a gift to our souls and to the peace of those dearest to you to promote the truth that seeming defeat at home is actually victory; and one of my greatest prayers is for God to continuously give us the grace as humans to know that while battles are out there for each one to take on, only service exist in the home. I’m not fully there myself, if i am at all—I guess that’s left for my family to judge. But it is a noble goal—one worth pursuing daily.
My next thought is this: Set your spouse free! Resist the temptation to be the one that unconsciously work to hold your spouse and children back from their full potential. You may wonder how anyone may do this, but trust me, they do. It happens sincerely but damaging all the same. In the same way people are sincerely in jail, sincerely dead, sincerely foolish and silly, and sincerely poor, people sincerely hold the best people in their lives down by becoming overtly protective and critical. Sincerity is not an independent variable. It is a dependent one. It is never enough in the definition of intent and motives, responsibility is always the variable to add. We have to outgrow the noble idea of making efforts in the hope that we are correct. We need to know that we are correct, and that takes knowledge. The best efforts that doesn’t unlock gratitude from those experiencing the effort is probably a script or at best, ignorance. Meaning begets meaning; and meaningful actions should create gratitude not frustrations and war. I know the most foolish actions come from those we love the most sometimes. And it can be pretty difficult to allow them destroy themselves, but there is no help anyone will receive from you either, when it is not clear what your intention is, particularly when the results are so toxic and negative.
Beware of the temptation to belittle the ambitions of your spouse in the name of honest criticism and speaking your heart. Small hearts and minds always do that. The greatest hearts and minds make those around them feel the awesomeness of the greatness and relevance ahead of them. The rule is to refuse to offer a criticism or variation without first of all making your affirmations and belief obvious and unmistakable. No one gravitates towards discouragement. And for most people, their marriage is splitting apart on a daily basis simply because a spouse is busy protecting his or her dreams from the sincere but devastating attacks of a well intended but blindly wrong spouse. But moving away from a discouraging spouse will not help; and a discouraging spouse does not help either. There must simply be an understanding that empowers both husband and wife to find the rhythm that helps to create the environment for mutual growth and progress.
Also, people JUDGE their SPOUSES by the standard of a negative past they experienced with him or her. I’ve found that most couples refuse to accept that their spouses are no longer who they used to be—they just find it difficult to accept that their spouse made mistakes in the past, and that he or she has learnt from the mistakes, and moved beyond them. They are not just able to stand the fact that their spouse is growing and moving on with life. There must simply be another level of maturity one partner or both partners can display that unlocks the collaborative ability of the other spouse and inspire him or her back to soundness. Harmony is a prerequisite in marriage. A true friend never holds the unchangeable past against the other; instead, they help to repair and re-fire. Find a book, book an appointment with a counselor, get a life coach, do something that helps you to defeat the pressure to relentlessly judge your spouse by his or her past. Remember, the home is the most critical succour-point and comfort zone when the chips are totally down. That’s where family is. Family is king. Take note of the people who sacrifice the resources they have in their lives to help you improve yours when you need it most. That’s where family is.