Your Marriage: Oh the Potential!
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Recently, I found a new blog called The Good Women Project. I read an awesome article there about marriage called, What No One Told Me about Marriage.
In this post, a young woman talks about what she would tell herself about marriage if she could only go back in time. One quote from this post stood out to me and I wanted to share my thoughts on it.
“Your marriage has the potential to be a very safe, wonderful, loving place. It can be a place of companionship and burden sharing, the place where your best friend lives. But this incredible place does not appear instantly.
In fact, the road to get there requires a lot of work, a lot of grace, a lot of compassion, and a lot of second, third, fourth, fifth, etc. chances. It also requires self-sacrifice for both parties and an equal desire for unity.”
I love how she says potential. This potential is potential because of me. I affect the kind of marriage I want, and my attitude affects the kind of marriage I get.
My marriage has the potential to be a safe, wonderful, and loving place and so does your marriage. Do we let it get there? Or are we hindering it with our attitudes, stubbornness, and unforgiveness?
“It can be a place of companionship and burden sharing, the place where your best friend lives.”
I have always dreamed of a perfect friendship. One where I share every secret, every burden, and never get judged.
A marriage is supposed to have that kind of friendship, but I don’t think it always works out that way for most couples. No marriage is perfect, and no person is perfect. Your spouse should be your best friend, but even though they try, they will not meet your every need. Only God can do that (which is something I have learned the hard way)!
The friendship in a marriage is give and take just like any other friendship. You share and then you listen.
Sometimes you receive encouragement and sometimes you are the one encouraging. I think it is important to ask the question, Am I being the type of friend I would want to have? Am I being the type of spouse, I would want to have? Am I doing unto my husband as he would do unto me?
“But this incredible place does not appear instantly.“
I love this one little phrase.
The instant I read it, it made everything seem better. Many of us believe we will live “Happily Ever After.” When our “Happily Ever After” is not what we hoped for, we are disappointed.
Marriage takes work and with that work comes a better marriage, but a better marriage does not happen overnight or “appear instantly.”
Sometimes I find myself comparing my marriage to other people’s marriages. I had to realize that while some of these people may seem to have the perfect marriage, their marriage is a work in progress, just like mine.
Having a marriage that is a work in progress, is not a bad thing. All those things that happen to make your marriage a work in progress (the bumps in the road, the hard times, etc.) are just the things that help us get to where we want to be.
You have to go through bad times and trials together, because then you learn how to handle them together. Sometimes you have to disagree with each other, because that is how you learn to communicate better with one another.
With better communication comes better understanding – of yourself and each other. All of these things are what will bring you to that “incredible place.”
“…the road to get there requires a lot of work, a lot of grace, a lot of compassion, and a lot of second, third, fourth, fifth, etc. chances.“
I had to smile, when I saw how many chances she wrote. Not just one or two, but three, four, five and MORE!
I am one of those people who needs to remember this because I like to give one chance and then I feel like that’s it. It’s the same with myself, I feel if I blow it just once it’s over, but that’s not the case, my husband loves me and we both know there is always a new tomorrow.
As far as the work, compassion, and grace she mentioned, that’s the hard part. I think like everything else it is something that comes. You don’t just grow up having the perfect amount of grace and compassion in every experience and situation, you learn and grow every day and the more you practice the better you get!“It also requires self-sacrifice for both parties and an equal desire for unity.” Self-sacrifice. That’s a tough one! I am a selfish person, and I have come to realize that more and more. I see it in my marriage at times and I see it other places too. But if you love someone you need to be willing to put their needs ahead of your own. What about unity? Of course if you are married you are united in love, but unity in marriage is more than just that. You need unity in the decisions you make, how you raise your children, and even just the day to day discussions you might have. I think that desire for unity comes when you see no other options. It’s stand together, or not at all.What do you think? What other potentials are there for a marriage?
Wow, this is so true. I think as women, we all dream of that fairy tale, and when marriage is hard, we think we have failed. The truth is, it takes work, hard work. You have to be willing to look at yourself in the mirror and set aside what you want sometimes in order to put your spouse first. My pastor once said, If both man and wife always lived a life where they always put the other one above themselves can you imagine the marriage they could have….. its Amy von Oven(My account won't sign in for some reason…???)
Very good post. So much truth, biblical wisdom and common sense integrated so well. Good job.
Oh yes. And the part that stuck out to me was the amount of grace needed. Lord knows I need it. Thanks for linking up!
This is an area that I’ve really been wrestling with lately, Kathryn, and this article and the one you referenced really bring clarity to the subject. I especially liked the question you ask in regards to your husband, “Am I being the type of friend I would want to have? Am I being the type of spouse, I would want to have? Am I doing unto my husband as he would do unto me?” These are questions I’m going to put on a note card to remind myself to be that sacred place where my spouse experiences grace instead of my human tendency to blame or complain. Thanks for linking this awesome post up with Wedded Wed, my friend!