Married? Single? Have a tense family? I may have some relationship advice that you have never heard before.
This advice came to me about my marriage but I believe it can extend to any type of relationship.
I was having a hard time deciding what to do in my marriage. After a decade, a marriage has its fair share of ups and downs. Overall though, I would rate my relationship as an A+. Very little have we argued, wanted to call it quits or even have many fights. I would say we hurt each others feelings more than anything but at this particular point in time, all of that did not matter.
Leaving any relationship is a tough decision. Even tougher is to try and figure out what to do in a marriage. There’s vows to think of, a missed future together, children in the middle, just to name a few. Sadly, sometimes we do decide to leave. Sometimes it’s for the best.
I was in that limbo. To stay or to leave? It was foreign to me to even have these thoughts but the catalyst was something that I truly believed had hurt me to the core and wasn’t sure if I could move past. Starting over after so long together wasn’t on the top of my wish list. But if that’s what I felt God was telling me, I knew it would just have to happen.
Happily I can tell you, I’m still married, have healed those wounds and honestly forgiven what I thought was so deep that it could never go away. In hindsight, I overreacted. On the bad scale meter, what actually happened was in no way divorce material but that’s where our “society” brain comes in and tries to justify that you think you “deserve” better.
What got me through it? God’s best advice for a relationship that I’ve ever heard and something that made me realize we all do something that we shouldn’t.
Stop expecting unrealistic things of your spouse.
God spoke to me about my marriage but like I said, this can really extend to all relationships and I hope it will help you move forward and heal from bad arguments or times of struggle.
No one will ever love you as much as I do.
As I sat quietly outside, I heard those words. At first I was saddened because immediately I thought that He was telling me it was time to move on, since my husband didn’t love me that much, as much as I expected him to.
Then I sat some more and He showed me the true meaning – no person can love you as much as God does. Including your spouse. The same one you promised to love through the good and the bad, ’til death do you part.
All too often the ones we love hurt or disappoint us. Parents, siblings, boyfriends/girlfriends, even our children. Unfortunately the one that cuts the deepest is when it’s our spouse. But those are the times we need to stop and remember that maybe we are expecting too much from them. No one is perfect and we all make mistakes.
What qualities make the perfect husband? A successful job, being devastatingly handsome and fit, playing with the kids at every chance, always being kind and romantic to his wife. As women, we somehow think we “deserve” these things in a man. And if they don’t live up to that expectation and they leave toothpaste in the sink – again – we start to slowly think maybe there is somebody out there who “loves” you enough to not do those things.
Ladies…please! We aren’t perfect either – we nag, we belittle without intention, we ask them to take care of the kids because we’re “tired”. Like he doesn’t work all day, he’s not tired.
(I try not to do these things but let’s be honest, women have a bad reputation for being this way!)
God’s love for us is almost unimaginable.
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Romans 5:8 NKJV
It’s hard to imagine that God loves you even more than you love your spouse or your children. His love surpasses man’s capability to love, so the next time you think about calling it quits, remind yourself that a man is only capable of so much. We put our focus on the expectations that everything should be perfect or that we deserve better. We miss out on growing a relationship to its full potential because society has put such a small importance on staying married.
Just because your hubby leaves his clothes laying around and doesn’t lift a finger to help with housework doesn’t mean he doesn’t love you! It means you’ve got some work to do, either by letting things go or figuring out how to move forward together.
Before you decide to leave, take a second look and stop and ask God to show you what’s really happening.
No, I’m not saying everyone should stay married. My own husband was married before we were. What I’m saying is, I think a lot of relationships end because we think things like, “He’s so lazy, all he does is watch TV.”
Or, “We just don’t have anything in common anymore.”
If there is no physical or emotional abuse or cheating involved, I would urge you to reconsider divorce. Even if you’re only dating someone, give them another chance and really try to work through problems instead of just cutting the guy loose only to move on to someone else with different problems.
I hope somehow we can overcome society’s quickie marriage norm and give love a good name again. Let God’s love inspire you to have better, stronger relationships with your spouse and even your children and family.
Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up;
does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil;
does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth;
bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 NKJV
This is the definition of love. I have this scripture in a printable version on my desk and look at it often. Depending on how I’m feeling, a different section will jump out at me. If we’re not following all these things, that’s not love. If you say you love your spouse, I encourage you to look at this scripture and ask yourself, “Have I done all these things?”
Not has your spouse, but you. We’re not in control of what others do. Only ourselves. If you start to see how you contribute to your relationship’s problems, it becomes much easier to work through the tough stuff. It’s also a great thing to show your own accountability to the other person and prove your desire to strive for that perfect love.
Have you ever held your spouse to high expectations only to find them lacking?
How can we work together to change these crazy things we expect of one another?