Marriage is a precious gift, yet not one I always treasured. I really didn't give much thought to nourishing my relationship with my husband. I just assumed you get married and it works out.
When I hit my wall with anxiety and depression in 2009, I was looking at the negative in everything, including my marriage. I knew something needed to change and naturally I thought it was my husband. The truth was, I was the one who needed to change.
It was a tough truth to swallow yet my journey has taught me that I cannot change another person. What I can do is change my perspective and love them.
When I started focusing on the good in my husband and loving him for who he is, and meeting him where is was, our marriage was transformed.
First, I needed to refocus my eyes. Rather than looking at the things that bothered me, I chose to look at the qualities in my husband that I value and appreciate.
Second, I started loving my husband again. What does it mean that I starting loving him? I started to live out the wisdom from this verse:
"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres." - 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
I hadn't been living out this truth. When I started infusing:
- being humble
- being slow to anger
- trusting his choices
- and more
there was a huge shift in my heart and mind towards my marriage. Nothing else changed, not my husband, our circumstances, etc.
It was my perspective, my words and my actions, that changed.
I will not pretend it is always easy to live out love. I am human and I can be impatient and selfish, etc. Yet as I practice pausing, breathing and praying to align with love before I speak or act, the more often I am able to live out love with my husband; and the stronger the roots deepen in our marriage.
Today I encourage you to live out love towards your spouse...
- Focus your eyes on their good qualities. Even start a journal on this journey and write them down.
- Live out love. How?
- Sit down and write down the areas of love you know YOU could work on. Then choose one area this week where you will focus on living out that component of love towards your spouse.
- Do the same next week, and the next, and the next. Don't expect perfection from yourself. Simply do your best and learn from the rest. Keep infusing love into your marriage, practice patience and see, in time, what happens.
- For more encouragement visit my marriage pinterest page and read my marriage related blog posts below.
Every person, marriage and circumstance is different. Whatever your step is next on your journey I pray you can experience the transformative power of love as I have.
A few resources from my marriage journey...