31 Days of Writing - Day 3
30 Years of Marriage – A Work in Progress
My husband Chris and I will celebrate our 30th anniversary this year. And we were together five years before we married. So we’ve shared a lot of life together. And oh so much of it has been wonderful! We’ve raised four kids together, traveled all across the country, been blessed with shared faith, supported one another through thick and thin. And of course we’ve also had our share of trials. And, yes, mostly our struggles have refined our relationship and ultimately strengthened our bond.
But there are things besides love that can grow over time in a long marriage.
The truth is, after we’ve been married a while, we can develop negative expectations of the other, unforgiveness, judgments. They stack up after a time and start bearing bitter fruit – snarkey comments, resentment, even disdain at times. In a “good” marriage, one that’s stable for the most part, strong in commitment, and bound by love, these fruits can be ignored and dismissed. Because the good fruit is more plentiful than the bad.
But it’s still not okay. Because I really believe God has better than that in mind for our marriages.
Doesn’t God always have the best in mind?
No matter how long we’re married, a good marriage doesn’t just happen. A long-term marriage takes work and intention. We have to take inventory of areas of unforgiveness on a regular basis. What secret grudge am I holding? What insidious negative thoughts am I nurturing? There is always room for reflection and forgiveness.
Today I was reminded of something I heard through The Marriage Course. Sometimes we live in the expectation that our spouses are against us. And we get in the habit of acting like this is truth. In fact, aren't we really for each other in marriage? I mean if we love each other, we are FOR each other. We want the best for the other.
So after 30+ years, we're good...but I know we could be better. So I'll never give up working toward a more loving, kind, nurturing relationship.
Here's a little marriage food for thought...