Loving Your Spouse, Even When It's Hard

It's easy to love your spouse while you're happy, or while they're happy. It's easy to love your spouse when life is going well and there's not a worry in the world. But even then, it's hard for some married couples to get along with their 'other half'' -- maybe it's because they're hurt or have been hurt by them, or maybe it's because life is just too busy to focus on their marriage.

Through it all, the one thing we should always remember is that love is a choice. Yes, it is. It's not just a feeling, it's a choice. You choose every morning when you wake up what your attitude will be towards your spouse, how you will react to people through out the day, and who and how you love.

This morning while sifting through facebook statuses and messages, I came across this quote, and oh how it stood out to me. Over the past few weeks my husband and I have had this sense of "connection", more so than normal. And I attribute that completely to loving one another unconditionally. Recently, we haven't been "keeping score".  As the quote above says, "After all this time, the Sun never says to the Earth, 'you owe me'". Can you imagine if it did? Our worlds would be completely demolished, I imagine. It's the same in a marriage. You can't keep score. You can't say "well you don't hug me when you get home from work, so I won't show intimacy to you". Or, "you don't help me around the house with chores, so I won't show interest in helping you". Or, "you just nag nag nag me all of the time, so I won't pay any attention to your requests when you have them, as simple as they may be."
"Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends." [1 Corinthians 13:4-8 ESV]
Love doesn't insist on its own way. Love isn't irritable or resentful -- love doesn't keep score.

It was something as simple as him kissing me when I was irritated with him the other day. It was something as simple as me throwing my arms around his neck, smiling, and telling him how much I love him when he was irritated with me last week. It's something as simple as defusing the situation instead of adding fuel to the already burnt out emotions that we might be feeling from being married for the past 7 years.

Instead of acting on your emotion by lashing back at your spouse, choose to love them unconditionally, choose to defuse the situation and remind them of the more important part of your marriage, your love and intimacy. Choose to be love unconditionally, in every situation, even if your spouse is being nasty. This isn't to say you should be a doormat or that you shouldn't take serious conversations seriously. You should never make light of a serious conversation -- but you can certainly allow it not to get heated by the way that YOU act and react. However, we run into little fights and squabbles through out the day and week that could be completely avoided and even turned into some of the biggest 'love' experiences and testimonies that we've ever had.

So remember this in the coming days and weeks -- love your spouse unconditionally, even when it is hard. Choose to love them, and you will begin to see an amazing change and difference in the way that they act and react towards you as well. Get rid of the "well it takes 50/50"....no it doesn't. It takes 100/100 of each spouse in order for a marriage to work. You worry about working on giving your 100, and your spouse will eventually be influenced by you and change their attitude as well. It won't happen over night, it might even take years, but it's the Christ like attitude to have, and as long as you are living your life according to Jesus Christ, that's what matters. Worry about working on your part of the marriage and being a better husband or wife rather than wishing your husband or wife were a better spouse to you. When we learn that our marriage isn't about our happiness, but about serving our spouse and their happiness, we'll see an amazing difference in the way we choose to love. When we realize that we don't need anything in return from our spouse, because that's not the way Jesus was, we'll be amazingly blessed because of it. God hears our hearts cry and as the unfailing and faithful word of God says....

"Delight yourself in the Lordand he will give you the desires of your heart." [Psalm 37:4 ESV]

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