When we first fall in love, we are consumed with thoughts of how wonderful this guy is. His smile. His wit. The way he smells. When we are dating and engaged, it’s so easy to just focus on the best parts of the one you love, while overlooking the little things. When your relationship is centered on learning about each other, having fun, and talking about your hopes for the future, it just seems silly to care whether or not he puts his dirty socks in the hamper or on the floor.
Fast forward a few years and a few kids, and our perspective changes. We stop dwelling on all the cute things they do, and start hyperfocusing on the things that drive us nuts. Yes, we are excited to see them at the end of the day - but it’s just so we can hand the kids off. What seemed insignificant ten years ago is now enough to make you erupt at the end of a very, very long day. There are piles of bills, a crying baby, and dinner burning on the stove. With all of this going on, there just isn't any room to sit and stare into each others eyes anymore... right?
Well, let's pause for a second. Let's really think about this.
It doesn’t have to be like this. I’m not saying it’s not natural to let our stress spill over onto how we view our husbands - I’m just saying that there is a far, far better approach. Yes, you may notice things that bug you, now that you’re living together and sharing so many responsibilities. Throw babies and kids into the mix, and that adds a whole new dimension of stress. When a couple is in survival mode, it can be all too easy to focus on how you are not having your own needs met, and how your spouse may be falling short and causing you even more headache. But ladies, one thing I have discovered is this - and please listen up, because it’s important. You know the phrase, “I’m too busy not to pray?” We need to approach our husbands in a similar manner. Just as we are too busy not to pray, life is too demanding to not see the best in our husbands. We need to be allies, partners, lovers, and best friends with our men. We need to enjoy them so much that we can’t imagine going through something without them. God has given us a tremendous gift in marriage, and if we use it nitpicking and groaning about our spouses, we are missing out on something incredible.
Sometimes we don’t have very many choices in life, but this is one area where we do have some options. We can choose what to think about, what to dwell on, and what to allow center stage in our hearts and minds. Phillipians 4:8 (NIV) says, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things.” Ladies, I want to encourage you to take a moment and dwell on the best things about your husband. Do what you can to let go of the things that bother you, and if it is legitimate concern - bring it up. However, if it’s just a small matter, treat him the way you would want to be treated - and just let it roll off your shoulders.
I can honestly say that my husband is my favorite person on this planet. When I see his truck pull up in front of our house, my heart still leaps - and it’s not because I need a break from the kids. I think he’s handsome, clever, and I’m always impressed at his creativity and intelligence in so many areas of life. Yes, I’m sure that if were to switch gears, I could look around and start noticing things about him that bug me. But you know what? He could do the same thing, and I’d bet that his list would be a lot longer than mine. We have gone through so much in life, I realize now more than ever how much I love him, and how much I genuinely like him. And I don’t say this as an inexperienced newlywed, either - my husband and I have known each other for 15 years, and we have faced a multitude of struggles together. The key to facing those struggles though, is keeping a mindset that is focused on the Lord, on what He has given us, and on glorifying Him in our marriages. And you know a great way to do that? By celebrating our marriages. By focusing on the best in our husbands, and genuinely enjoying our guys.
So yes, while somewhere along the way we do start to notice those little (or big) things that drive us nuts, and while life can hit you hard, and parenting can make you feel crazy, it doesn’t have to take over your relationship. I want to take moment to encourage you to stop, regroup, and start thinking instead about all of the things you love about your husband. Make a list if it helps. And tonight, after the kids are in bed, take some time and just enjoy being together. The dishes can wait. The laundry can stay messy. You are married to the man that God has chosen specifically for you, so go delight in that.
Sharing with: Wifey Wednesday, Deep Roots at Home, We Are THAT Family, NOBH, Women Living Well, Thriving Thursdays, Rediscovering Domesticity, Thought Provoking Thursday, Thoughtful Thursday, Hearts for Home Thursday, Beautiful Thursday,