Saturday, September 22, 2012

Marriage Shouldn't Be About Taking Each Other For Granted, But Making Each Other's Presence Sweeter

It caught me by surprise. 

“Look what dad has in his wallet, mommy.”
 
My junior year class photo. {Don’t judge! Styles have changed!}

On the back I’d written, “I’m glad I got to know you.  You’re a great friend.”
Quite honestly, I couldn’t believe he still had it.  That was literally half our life ago. 

When those pictures were taken, we'd recently met inside the big red doors of Mr. Swanson's ad room.
 
 
Towards the end of the year that handsome brown eyed boy would ask me to be his girlfriend.  Obviously, I said “yes."

During those days, we sought to impress one another.  Individually, we prayed and focused on developing personal character.  Together, we practiced good manners, honored healthy boundaries, encouraged each other in achieving life goals, and grew closer to the Lord in communal worship.
The summer before our senior year of college that amazing young man would ask me to be his bride and one year later I said “I do” to the man of my dreams.

Now that we’ve celebrated 11 years of marriage
 
(we took an over night getaway to the Twins game)
I look back at this school picture that my hubby still carries and God has reminded me never to take each other for granted.
You see, after saying those two tiny words you’ve committed.  You know that the other has covenanted to be present with you through thick and thin.  You know that the other will wake up next to you in the morning and snuggle next to you at night.  You will be there together.  Always.

And sometimes the person that you worked to be your best for in your dating years becomes the easiest person to take for granted.  They are the “safest” person to release your verbal frustration to and unload your lesser attractive side with.
While it is right to be able to be real and honest with your spouse, it is wrong to sacrifice being your best person for them.

A chord of three strands requires loving, honoring, and showing one another praise. 
Particularly in a tough world where bills can be stressors, kids can push you to your wits end, and the demands of life can spread us thin.

So when my husband said, “Thank you for checking with my mom to watch the girls that day.  It really helped with my work schedule” yesterday and “I’m going in late today since you were up with the baby all night.  I wanted to make things easier on you” this morning, I was almost teary.
It is simple praise that breathes life into us, is it not?  Knowing that we are seen, our feelings are known, and that we are valued by the other.

And I strive to do the same for him.
As the head of the household, he strives to meet personal goals in the workplace.  I know you can do it,” I tell him as we prepare supper.  I love you in a whole new way when I watch you with the kids,” I say as he dances with our girls who excitedly proclaim, “Be my prince.”  You’re an amazing husband,” I whisper in heartfelt thanks for adjusting his life so that I can get a little sleep today, with an added, “I appreciate your hard work for our family” on his way out the door.

Simple words that make a world of difference. 
Praise words like we intentionally gifted each other with when we handed each other those school pictures are the very same words we should still fill each other with now in God’s beautiful gift of marriage.

 

Encouraging one another just like the Lord does for us.
We aren't perfect and we will miss opportunities and have less-than-flattering moments, but we can be purposeful in showing our appreciation for each another.
Because marriage shouldn't be about taking each other's presence for granted, but making each other’s presence sweeter. 

Don't forget to praise your best friend today.

Shared at Revive Your Marriage, Wise Woman

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