See, I thought that being a wife, was something I was going to be naturally good at. I mean, I can cook, clean, do laundry, and I truly love this man that is standing at the altar before me. That's enough right? Love.
Little did I know, I was about to understand the meaning of the phrase "sometimes, love just isn't enough."
I was about to understand what the true meaning of the altar (any structure upon which offerings, such as sacrifices are made) really meant.
These are a few of the many things I learned:
Contentment- I had to learn to love and embrace my life the way it is. I found myself always wanting more or something different out of my life and was sure that whatever "this" was that I longed for would make me happy. I was looking to my husband to fulfil all my needs to be happy, which is an unrealistic expectation to put on anyone. I had to understand that happiness comes from within, learning to be thankful and content with what I had and who I was. Happiness, is not a person. Someone can make you happy for a moment, but happiness, in my opinion, is your view of life. It is a way you choose to see the world and your circumstances.
Say you're sorry- I cannot express the power of these two words "I'm sorry." We all have bad days, overreact to things, are out of line and are in the wrong. Letting your partner know that you recognize your faults and bad conduct, can heal what otherwise would have been a wound that festered into resentment or more controversy between each other. The whole "I speak before I think" is something we all have been guilty of at times. It is nothing to be boastful about. It is not only damaging, but foolish behavior. Learn some self-control. It can be hard, for some more than others, to apologize. If you are on the receiving end, this is not a time to lecture. Accept, forgive, and move on.
Respect- Respect one another and each others wishes. If they ask something of you, it is not the time to be rebellious and have a don't tell me what to do attitude. Usually, it is something within reason that is making them uncomfortable or to feel disregarded. Even though at times I felt I wasn't treated with respect, I swallowed my pride and gave nothing but respect, that's when I found, it is true, you have to give respect to get it. Sometimes you have to take a humble approach and be the first to give it. Lead by example. Stop waiting on the other to make the first move, you both will be waiting together and miss out on the opportunity to strengthen your bond.
Seek wise counsel- We all have well meaning people around, at least I hope, family and friends are. But sometimes, they do not give the best advice. They see us hurting and can't help but to ridicule our spouse and take our side. This can be detrimental for a marriage. Then, when you guys work it out, they can be left with hard feelings toward your other half, that may always linger. For me, I value the advice from someone who can see the situation for what it is and can tell me when I'm wrong. Someone who reveres marriage and knows that I cherish mine as well. This is not the time to post it on facebook and see how many "likes" or comments you can get, dropping subtle hints of what it's about (clearly everyone knows) just for your own self-pity. No matter how much you say things like,"I'm strong, I can make it through this" It's a pity party. Got it! Good. This is a private matter, that should be handled maturely and with care.
Prayer- I always save the best for last, although it shouldn't be the last thing you do. This is everyday life. Ask the Lord for you to find contentment with what He has blessed you with, give you the right words to say when you want to say all the wrong ones, help you to be humble and show you how to respect your partner.
Ask for guidance on what to do when you feel as if everything is spiraling out of control. Do not pray that He changes your partner, you pray that he changes you. You see, who are we to ask Him to change someone else, someone who He created for His purpose? Do pray FOR him though. Trust that I know from experience, it will happen in the Lord's perfect timing. He may not be the early you're searching for, but he is never late. Be patient.