Couples who cherish their marriage like a special, remarkable gift have a different set of core beliefs about marriage than those who take it for granted.
Sit down with your spouse, and write down ten amazing qualities about each other. Then write ten qualities about yourself that could use some work. Don’t ask your spouse for help. Really search within yourself.
Then answer me this. What makes you innately worthy to be loved and celebrated for fifty to seventy-five years? My answer is nothing. There is nothing that makes you worthy of your spouse’s love, devotion, acts of service, and the joy of their presence. Marriage is something that you are blessed to be able to participate in. You do not deserve marriage—you are not owed marriage.
Your marriage should not be all about you. Your focus should be on serving your partner and serving your marriage. When you treat your marriage like a miracle and blessing, your heart will reach out to meet your spouse’s needs—make them a priority. Your needs will become part of a larger picture. Remember, in a marriage, your life is no longer just about you. It is about us.
When you internalize this and adopt this attitude towards your marriage, you are on the right path towards making your marriage a healthy and blissful experience for your spouse and also for yourself.
Let’s look at several examples of the characteristics you have if you view your marriage as a miracle, and those you have if you don’t.
If you view your marriage as a miracle, you have:
- a sense of awe,
- a sense of unworthiness,
- a sense of holiness, and
- you constantly care about your spouse.
I wish that everyone felt like this about their marriage, but it isn’t the case.
If you do not believe your marriage is a miracle:
- you see the marriage as “just a marriage”—you have lost sight of all the miracles it took to get married and stay married. This is just a mutual living situation, or worse: something you might even disdain.
- You feel entitled and believe your spouse is here to dedicate their life to you.
- You disregard and disrespect your marriage because you do not see anything holy or good in it.
- You do not hold yourself accountable for your behavior towards your spouse.
- You are selfish or neglectful of your spouse’s needs, desires, or dreams. Self-absorption keeps you oblivious to the sacrifices your spouse makes. You do not feel the need to attend to your spouse’s needs. You may be resentful for the fact that your spouse even has needs.
To this last point: in my experience, your spouse often has needs that are parallel to your greatest weaknesses. There’s a beauty in this. Your spouse challenges you to become a better person in exactly the ways you find yourself lacking.
Look within yourselves. Determine which of these two ways you view your marriage: is it a miracle, or do you disrespect it?
- If you are in awe of your marriage, you will be thankful for your spouse.
- If you are not, you will be critical and ungrateful for your spouse.
- If you believe you are unworthy of your marriage, you will pitch in and act as part of a team.
- If you feel that you are worthy of your spouse, you will focus on what your spouse doesn’t do right.
- If you believe your marriage is holy, you will feel guilty if you wrong your spouse. You will confess when you’ve hurt them.
- If you do not believe your marriage is to be respected, you will demean your spouse. You will blame them for your own bad behavior when you are clearly wrong.
- If you are respectful of your spouse’s needs, you will be consistent—in your chores around your house, and in making sure your spouse’s needs are met.
- If you feel the marriage is about yourself, you will be inconsistent—you will often complain about even small chores and feel inconvenienced by your spouse when they need you.
Where do you stand? Which descriptor fits you most? If you fall into the second category, you must do some strong self-evaluation. Are these the behaviors and beliefs you want to have for the next fifty, sixty years? Is this the person you want to be?
In my experience, the more entitled and disdainful of your marriage that you are, the less happy you ultimately will be.
Excerpt taken from: Miracle Of Marriage
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