Forget your marriage.
Why would someone who is committed to encouraging marriages tell you to forget your marriage? What I mean is this: focus on your spouse, not on your marriage.
Trying to achieve a certain kind of marriage can make us crazy! This is misplaced energy; we are actually off-target when we are focused on the marriage itself. We do not take our marriages with us to heaven; we take people with us to heaven. We have been called to love someone, not to create a particular kind of marriage.
Focus on loving your spouse, serving his or her needs as God directs. This will have the effect of blessing your marriage, of course; but you will have a much healthier focus. You can thrive when you let go of trying to manipulate your marriage and instead focus on valuing your spouse. Your spouse is the real treasure, not the marriage itself.
When I say, “forget your marriage,” what I mean is this: focus on what your loving looks like, not on what your marriage looks like. As we stand before God, we are not responsible for the condition of our marriages; we are responsible for the way we serve in our marriages.
We can torment ourselves by continually measuring our marriages against our version of the ideal marriage. We can live free from that! Instead of evaluating our marriages, we want to evaluate ourselves as husbands and wives. As we ask God for insight into the needs of our spouses, we also ask God to enable us to minister to those needs according to His wisdom and purposes.
(adapted from Radiance: Secrets to Thriving in Marriage)
Appreciate your thought-provoking words! You have a gift of expressing yourself in a creative way.
And you have a gift of encouragement—thank you.
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Tami, I am still struggling with this concept of trying to value & meet the needs of an absent spouse. I just want to do God’s will & love as he does! Thanks for sharing the truth, as always!! 🙂
I admire you, friend, for your persevering faithfulness. Your efforts to honor Christ are not unnoticed; they are precious to Him. I think these are incredibly valuable acts of love for your absent spouse: your continual and sincere prayers for him; your commitment to think what is true and noble of your spouse; your faithful raising of your husband’s children to know the Lord; and your ongoing efforts to help your children honor their father. Cheering for you, Tami