Is it just me, or are many of us complacent? We may be bored with our life and fill it with something that gives us more feeling, whether it be drinking, dancing, or flirting with drugs and other people. We’ve lost ourselves because we’ve decided to have children and throw our attention to raising them. Our marriage isn’t as fiery as it was when we first started dating, or on our honeymoon.
These are perfectly normal feelings and hurdles in our lives, if you’re experiencing them, but are you letting yourself dwell on these feelings? They do suck, so I can understand if you do.
You’re running this race, and focusing on the concession stand rather than getting through to the finish line. Your legs and lungs are burning, but you’re only halfway through. This is your first race, and maybe you can just give it another try on the next one instead. Train more or take the time to rest for the next big race.
What if I told you that this is our training period? Every snarky remark that we have to bite our tongue to keep from responding to. Having to remember that these children will one day be full grown adults that will also have to learn how to be responsible and keep moving forward, despite difficult circumstances. Children that may one day get married, and have to learn what it is like to stick it out in a marriage.
On top of these things we deal with every day, we have to look at ourselves in the mirror and see ourselves changing into a person we may not know as well. And of course there’s God, who won’t come down and heal or restore any of these things for us in the way we expect.
There may be a lot in the paragraphs above, but I think its something a lot of wives and mothers feel, and its something that isn’t addressed. Divorce is as common as marriage, and we could create a very long list of reasons as to why that is. Children are left to make their own decisions in school and in life as soon as they can make their own macaroni and cheese. God is left on the back burner, if He is in the house at all, because He isn’t as magical as we expect, or doesn’t bend to our will.
I’m not here to give direct advice, because I’m not living your life, but I do know that we have a tendency to give up and go our own way. Something doesn’t work the way we expect and we throw our hands up and say, “Fine, have it your way. I’ll do mine.” That doesn’t work so things begin to fall apart around us. Often, it is never overnight and we wake up wondering where we went wrong.
Happily ever after is a daily, intentional commitment that we have to fight for. Unconditional love is something we have to fight for because, we do not, naturally, have a tendency to love unconditionally. We’re quick to judge whether or not someone is worthy of our love, and throw ourselves a pity party for not receiving the unconditional love we won’t even offer out. Am I the only one that understands my personal level of crazy?! Regardless, it’s a vicious and debilitating cycle.
A few steps to follow can help open the door to knowing how to move forward in your own marriage, and in your own life. Stay with me.
-The first, being to put God first in your life. If you’re learning to do that, make sure you read a devotional, Bible passage, or something that gradually opens your heart… Every. Single. Day. If your heart is hard, like mine was, then simply doing this step and praying that God would open your heart to Him can help tremendously if you stick with it. Also, pick a verse that resonates with you and remember it when your spirit feels dead. This will help keep your faith alive. He is always, always, always with you even when it does not feel like it. My verse was: “being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to the day of completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” It let me know God would not give up on me, no matter how stubborn or rebellious I became. However, like a marriage, we must always do our part to the best of our ability.
-The second thing, is to be intentional. Be intentional about taking a few minutes for yourself every night, to breathe, shower, pamper.. just take care of yourself. Be intentional about your marriage. Communicate with your husband when guards are down and you both can be calm about it. Show love whether or not you think he deserves it. For my husband, it was helping around the house, showing him appreciation, and being more affectionate instead of indifferent (and unintentionally cold). Be intentional about connecting with your kids whether it be playing pretend, sitting with them as they play a game, watch a movie together. Better yet let them dictate the game you play together, no matter how silly, goofy, or torturous it is for at least 30 minutes.
It can all be overwhelming. Doing things selflessly instead of selfishly can be hard to admit the need for; let alone to put into action. As we put God first, everything else will follow. Our hearts and eyes will open to what needs to be nurtured in our home or completely reconstructed.
“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.” 1 Corinthians 9:24-25
“Trust in the Lord and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him and He will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6