Marriage is hard on a good day

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.

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Options

OptionsIt’s so hot here today, nothing should be subjected to this heat with the exception of snakes and scorpions, and maybe tarantulas. It is violently hot. It is hellishly hot. Me no likey. I doubt the snakes even like it. Thankfully, I have an air-conditioned car to take me to my air-conditioned office and back to my air-conditioned house. I have options.

We always have options.

We get to make choices along the way that shape our lives. Whether they be good or bad, it’s the choices we make that define who we are and the kind of life we lead. I’ve made some good ones, and I’ve made some real stinkers. And I’ve been through plenty of storms that have toughened me, and proven to me over and over again God’s faithfulness.

Psalm 57:1 says, “. . . Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me! For my soul trusts in You; And in the shadow of Your wings I will make my refuge, Until [these] calamities have passed by.”

Do you see the key word there? It’s “make.” I will make the shadow of your wings my refuge. It doesn’t say He will take me under his wings, it says I choose to get under there. I CHOOSE.

Again; options.

I choose to keep my thermostat at 68 degrees. And I choose to pay the consequence each month when the electric bill comes.

I choose to hide under the shadow of His wings when calamities come. And there’s a calamity either coming or going pretty much all the time. It’s called life.

Choose to get under His wings, it’s cooler under there, and there aren’t any snakes.