Who Are You And Why Are You Calling Me Your Wife?

choose you

Have you ever waken one morning, rolled over to a snoring spouse and asked (in your inside-your-head-voice), that question?

If you have been married over 3 months, chances are, the answer is an astounding, ‘yes.’

It happens.

The last couple of weeks or so, I have really been sensitive to the number of posts, comments, and news articles about deteriorating marriages. Maybe they have always been there; maybe I have been oblivious..but something seems to be changing.

angry_couple

While infidelity happens to a lot of us and it is the headliner of juicy topics to read and talk about; I just want to challenge ya’ll to think about a dangerous current of toxicity that we all seem to know about…but we really don’t seem to give proper attention to.

How many times, as spouses have we thought, “Hey, I am not cheating and I work hard. I’m a good parent, soooo I got this marriage thing down.” We believe that we can check all the requirements off our lists and call it a day. Everybody should be happy, healthy, and wise. Because of our contribution.

Right?

Wrong.

At times, I have run myself ragged…working, cooking, cleaning, parenting, mowing, laundering….just to end the day, week, month, year..on a sour note with my spouse…thinking..”What on EARTH could you possibly be pissed off about now?!”

frazzled1

At times, my spouse has run himself ragged…working, cooking, cleaning, parenting, mowing, laundering…just to end the day, week, month, year..on a sour note with me..thinking..”What on EARTH could you possibly be pissed off about now?!”

Yeah, I’ve said that. I’ve done that. And I’m guesstimating, most of the people reading this…have gotten that t-shirt too.

The marital truth though..is that we tend to focus all of our energy in the wrong places. I don’t know about you, but it is easy to clean. It is easy to mow. It is easy to cook. All you have to do is do it! Expend some physical energy and the job is done. There is no thought involved. No heart-wrenching negotiation. You just do it and check it off the list.

just do it

Did you know that all the physical labor in the world…will not your happy marriage, make?……….

It just won’t.

Some questions I am learning to ask myself and every married person might consider asking themselves too are:

“In all that work I checked off my list today, did I tend to my spouse’s heart and needs?”

“In all that work I did today, did I build my spouse up?”

“In all the chaos of an exhausting day today, did I pray for my spouse? Love and respect my spouse?

What did I do today to protect my spouse? Place a covering over him/her?”

Ohhhhhhhhhh and perhaps the hardest question of all….

“Did I submit my will to my spouse’s will today?”

black couple love

I can assure you, I am not a good submitter. I’m more of a….battle it out to the very end. And then battle it some more. Like…if my husband tells me not to pour hot grease down the drain, I will argue that if I run hot water with it, it will be okay. And six months later, when he is taking the pipes apart and pulling tons of lard out of them, I will still contend that maybe the water I was running…simply wasn’t hot enough.

It really did happen. And no, I no longer pour grease down the drain.

We have all found ourselves at the intersection of,  “If she asks me to run ONE MORE errand,” and “If he doesn’t put the seat of the toilet down ONE MORE time.”

But we have a choice to make every day. We can choose to make our marriages all about ourselves…or we can choose to consider our spouses before we consider ourselves. Even when we have to do it through clenched teeth. (I am a work in progress, I tell ya…)

At the end of the day, if the foundations of a marriage are not built on the right Cornerstone, the entire house will fall.

We are better together.

If I focus on physical labor instead of protecting my spouse’s vulnerabilities to the world, the house will fall.

We are better together.

There is a reason the Bible doesn’t talk about washing dishes, keeping laundry done, and such.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7..tells us that Love is patient and kind. But it also reminds us that Love ALWAYS protects, ALWAYS trusts, ALWAYS hopes, ALWAYS perseveres.

The heart things, not the physical things…are where we should start focusing our energy on.

Cute black couple talking and holding hands

For those of us that are in marriages that are not our first…we are especially at risk. Whew! And the older we are when we re-marry…..the higher the risk. Let’s just add to that intersection, “No, sir, I am TOO OLD for this ONE MORE mess!”

No.

We are better together.

Let’s take time to rethink the way we treat the people we are married to. Let’s take time to eliminate the toxicity. Let’s take time to keep our marriages together. Let’s take time to focus on the heart things, not the physical things. Let’s take time to show our children better.

We are better together.

We really are.

couple holding hands

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