Marriage requires a certain level of maturity as well as self control. It has not always been present in my marriage but it is what has kept us together for all these years. Once we both learned to choose our battles and not wear our feelings on our shirt sleeve, things got much easier . Now don’t get me wrong, it is a real process which takes some of us longer than others and to be honest, we may never really master it but if we get the basic premise of love and unselfish behavior mastered, life tends to change dramatically.
Recently one of my favorite local gospel personalities said, “Pride makes excuses but maturity makes adjustments”. Oh my goodness! How many times have you made an excuse for behaving badly towards one another? Well, maturity keeps you working at doing what is right, and less likely from responding in anger, and definitely not intentionally being hurtful. Here’s the thing, we can not sustain change without Gods strength to help us, no matter how bad we really want to it’s hard and we must always check our motives for the change. Ask yourself, “Did I ask God to help me to change for me? “Do I really even want to change” and once you identify your reason for change then go to your Heavenly Father and ask Him to help you with this process, ask Him to help you to love one another just as He loves you, unconditionally. Now all you have to do is start behaving in love as you continue to pray for Gods strength to sustain that change in you.
You may fail a few times before you get it, but “Practice makes perfect“. You will know when you have matured beyond your own ability because you will start to give more of yourself than you may be receiving. Without much effort, you walk away from confrontations instead of speaking in anger, and most things that angered you in the past may even become comical. because Gods help, you now see how childish some reactions really are.
“Love (charity) starts at home and then spreads abroad” Sir Thomas Browne.
When God allows a “Storm” in your life, it has a purpose and He is going to be with you through it!
One of my favorite Gospel radio personalities KD Bowe Praise 102.5 Atlanta said recently, “It matters not so much what we go through but it is more about how we go through hard times that can either draw us closer to God or cause us to fall away from Him“. Hardships are a part of life but just as a young man I heard interviewed after the Houston flood understood that if God brought him and his family to this point in his life (The loss of everything he possessed) he believed that God would bless him to get through it. He didn’t sound bitter at all, as a matter of fact, when asked by the reporter what he was going to do, his response was “I don’t know but I’m thankful, then he said “God is good”. He was thankful and he recognized that he and his family were safe and were going to be fine, and I believe they will because he stood for the kingdom of God proudly and boldly in the face of what may have been his darkest moment as a young man, a husband and a father. His heart was pure in his in the midst of total devastation, and his trust was in God.
Gods word says “Man born of a woman is of a few days and full of trouble” Job 14:1, and as hard as it seems during those trying times, they are meant to strengthen our faith in God because we are trusting Him to help us through it, James 1:3.
So, yes it matters more how we go through tough times than it does what we go through.
So, I’ve been very impatient with my husband lately, you know how we get. Yes, I’ve been nagging and complaining about littlethings like him sucking his teeth instead of getting a tooth pick and getting totally irritated by how he eats chips very loudly or, this is big! how he always finds a way not to be wrong.
Well! Yesterday morning as soon as we got in the car for church the radio dj said, “if you are happy with 90% of your spouses behavior then why not see the other 10% as being under construction”. In other words deal with it with grace.
Then when we get to church the Pastor in his sermon said “If your passion is not your spouse, being with them and meeting all their needs, then you are missing the mark”. I felt as if God spoke to both of us in the span of 1 hour, and we both heard Him and we quietly committed to change.
1 Peter 4:8 Above all love each other deeply because love covers over a multitude of (flaws) sin
Don’t be so quick to say someone doesn’t understand what you’re going through. You never know what a person has gone through just by looking at them. People suffer in silence or they find ways to cope with their adversities. Never assume you know the whole story about anyone just because of what you see in this moment.
While standing in my kitchen washing dishes, and listening to gospel music, a song came on (Zacardi Cortez “God held me together) which reminded me of how the Lord has kept me. I began to recall things I haven’t thought about in years, all while knowing how intentional I believe God has been in keeping me for this moment in life, to be an encouragement, spiritual support, voice of reason or simply a listening ear for everyone He would send my way.
Just so you understand some of what i’ve overcome, my first real memory of how God has kept me from hurt, pain and even death was God delivering me from sexual abuse when I was just eight or nine years old, then a memory of God keeping me from being abducted on my way home from school one day, my dad showed up just as the guys had blocked me in and were getting out of their car. I remember him running with all his might (he was a big man). I also remembered almost being shot by a stray bullet while my siblings and I played on the street (an NYPD car chase). One of the most painful memories was when my dad who I know loved me from the depths of his heart had a nervous breakdown and my baby brother and I had to literally run for our lives, because it seemed that my fathers intention was to kill his family and then himself! My next memory was in my youthful stupidity, I tried recreational drugs (weed) and apparently my boyfriend at the time laced it with something extra. To this day I have no memory of that night (crazy right). I also experienced issues with depression early in my marriage while my husband was deployed oversees in the Navy. It was to the point that I contemplated taking my life and my baby girls who was in the car with me at the time. I was so lonely and angry that I was in the situation I was in but it was only in that moment I gave into the voices that told me to pull in front of a dump truck to end my pain and disappointment. It was that moment I looked over into my daughters sweet little eyes that I knew I had to live. God had a call on her and the baby boy I would have a few years later. God held me together for my family and so many others. Be encouraged, whatever you are going through is only for a season, It won’t last always.
Psalm 30:5 Weeping may endure for a night but joy will come in the morning
Let’s keep it 100 (real). Marriage is not always easy but the way in which we go through life struggles with spouses has everything to do with how we come out of any situation. It is vitally important that we operate in kindness and understanding. Put yourself in your spouses position in that moment of confusion (love), show love and compassion (kind), and in most cases (not always), you will get love and compassion in return (humble).
1 Corinthians 13:4 NIV
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
While on a road trip recently , my husband was listening to one of his favorite old school CDs when a song (Put it on paper) came on. It reminded me of something our minister said in his sermon that Sunday . He talked about how he counseled a couple who were having problems first of all because the man in the relationship didn’t want to get married. His statement to the minister was, “Why do I need a piece of paper to say I’m committed to a person”. The minister responded so wisely in my opinion with this statement; He said, Do you drive, you must have a drivers license. Do you have a weapon, then you must have a permit to carry it. Do you fish, then you have to have a fishing license, So if you are willing to obtain a license for all those things, why not love her enough to do the legal and spiritually correct thing and marry her if you are truly committed to her and the relationship???
And just this morning I heard on the morning show why Opra Winfrey said she couldn’t marry long time partner excuses, excuses, excuses! Bottom line is, don’t allow anyone to devalue you with their selfish excuses or childhood issues and personal hang ups. If they aren’t willing to do the right thing by you, they might not be the right person for you.
Hebrews 13:4. Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.