When I have learnt to love God better than my earthly dearest, I shall love my earthly dearest better than I do now.  

C.S. Lewis

  

I asked a close friend recently, who like me, is divorced—what she thought would be a key ingredient to making a marriage last.  Now that she’s had one fail I figured she might have an idea or two.  Her response was short and sweet—and one thing she said in particular stood out like a sore thumb—Kiss each-other every night before you go to bed.
 
Kiss each-other every night before you go to bed.  That might not be possible if you travel for a living, but the idea is simple—love on your spouse even when things aren’t all warm and fuzzy.  Cherish the one you love when you might not feel it.  Do it because you love them.  Married friends up in age have told me that being able to resolve arguments, clear up misunderstandings, and extinguish any heated disagreements has made a major difference for them–even the difference according to some.  I’d call it not allowing the weeds to grow up in your relationship–some call it agreeing to disagree while others call it still being able to hold hands while being upset with one another.  Basically it boils down to not allowing resentments to grab hold and fester.  Many of us entered marriage blindly not having a very good idea about the fellow sinner we were marrying—and if we are going to stay married, we’d better learn to forgive quickly .
 
The greatest disappointments in our lives don’t occur down at the corner market between ourselves and the guy at the meat counter who doesn’t cut our deli ham quite thin enough.  And it should be no surprise.  The relationships that provide the most joy in turn are the very ones to be the vehicle for our deepest hurts.  You might call it a double-edged sword—one blade providing the finest array of exhilarating-breathtaking moments of our life all the while the other blade able to give us the most gruesome hurts and wounds life has to offer.  Marriage covers the entire gamut, and if you are not prepared or willing to sip from the bitter cup—you’ll never taste the nectar. 
    
If you want to find a million reasons to scrap your marriage you may just be able to find them, but if you want God to save it—all you need is one reason, and God just might give you that reason if you sit and listen long enough to hear.   
                 
A good woman is hard to find,
   and worth far more than diamonds.
Her husband trusts her without reserve,
   and never has reason to regret it.
Never spiteful, she treats him generously
   all her life long.
(Proverbs 31:10-12, The Message Bible)
            
Don’t make the mistake of checking out of your marriage just to find out that the greener grass your looking for is over a septic tank—instead, try watering the grass in your own back yard with a hearty dose of unconditional love and see what God might do.
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