My husband and I are in our 22nd year of marriage. With those years there have been challenges, but love can overcome all challenges. We are so busy, but it is important to take time to nurture your marriage. This may mean adjusting some of your goals for the sake of your common goals and making time and special moments to spend together. It is not always easy to do it because we are selfish and prideful. But God tells us to first love Him and second to love our neighbors as ourselves. (This is not new. The Lord is the same always. Old Testament Leviticus 19:18, New Testament Matthew 22:37-40, Romans 13:8-10.) My husband is my closest ‘neighbor’ and the special companion given to me by God so he should be the one who receives the best from me (I am his life ‘helper’–Genesis 2:18). Most people love themselves greatly. They want the best for themselves and nothing less will do. When we now take this attitude and apply it beyond ourselves to those around us, we will make a difference in our lives, our marriages and our communities. Be ‘selfish’ for the good of others. Put it in action. Think-“This person is a child of God, the King and Creator of everything. This person deserves the best from me.” (Especially apply it when driving in traffic. That’s a challenge!) Don’t think of the bad things this person has done. That can lead you to have a bad reactions to them instead of the loving action or reaction that God wants you to have. The Lord tells you to love them, so you must love them and let the Lord take care of the bad (-Vengeance is the Lord’s. -Romans 12:19). When you look at people through the eyes of Jesus, you will find it easier to love.
I have found that the best way to start developing this new attitude of love is to read the Word of God (Holy Bible) everyday, especially in the morning at the start of your day. Get up an hour earlier than you usually do and get engaged into your Bible. Pray that the Lord will give you understanding of the special message that he has for you and that He will be with you and help you to apply that lesson in your life. Then read trusting that the Lord is faithful to answer your prayers and let the Lord bless you with His Word. Meditate on the lesson throughout your day.
Apply this loving attitude to your marriage. You will find it easier to forgive. Your attitude will change you and your marriage to be more loving and positive. You will find that your spouse’s attitude will change for the better and you will grow a deeper, more intimate love for one another when you keep these precepts of God foremost in your mind. Love for others is not naturally easy. Our own will generally gets in the way. It takes a conscious effort to forget our selfish desires and pride and to love like Jesus does. Ask the Lord to help you love like He loves. Ask the Lord to help your spouse love like He loves. When conflicts arise and you think that your husband should apologize, let go of your pride and go to him in love, not anger, and let him know that he hurt you. Then accept his apology with a forgiving heart. When you have done something, and he thinks you should apologize, again, let go of your pride, do not have the attitude of ‘he deserved it’. Remember vengeance is the Lord’s, not yours. Apologize with genuine love for each other. Both of you put real love into practice by thinking of your spouse before thinking of yourself, and watch your relationship blossom and shine.
(Thank you, Jesus! You are my strength. -Psalm 59:16)