Do you ever want to just slap the crap out of your spouse? I bet that got your attention. Seriously, I would be lying if I said I never felt the urge to resort to physical violence. Marriage is hard on a good day. The question is: how do you not quit?
While I couldn’t possibly call myself a counselor of any kind, and I would not attempt to simplify the intricacies of marriage in a blog post, I do have some experience in the art of staying when you’d rather run.
Staying is a choice, as is all of life. Life is a series of choices and consequences; some good and some bad. We pay the price for our choices, and we can also reap some pretty amazing benefits. When I choose to eat three coneys with everything, I pay the price for it. When I choose to eat a salad, I reap the benefit of that.
I mentioned a scripture in my last post that has helped me tremendously over the years, not just in marriage, but in life. It is Philippians 4:8: Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy… meditate on these things.
Focus on the good, be thankful for the good, remember the good, meditate on the good, be grateful for the good. There is always something good we can be thankful for.
And I’ll tell you one thing I’ve learned from painful experience: you absolutely cannot compare your spouse to someone else’s. That, my friends, is a slippery slope. God gave my husband to me, just as He gave your spouse to you. Lynn Mize is God’s perfect man for me. He knows my heart, he knows my flaws, he knows what areas I’m weak in, and thank God, he excels in those areas. We complement each other, but we are far from perfect.
We fight like cats and dogs sometimes, but we keep working on it. We simmer down and talk to each other. We forgive each other… a lot. But most importantly, we choose to stay. And every time we make that choice, the grace of God is there to back us up.