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Tuesday, October 23, 2012
I say it here a lot, because I believe it is really important: how you think about your marriage is almost more important than what you do about it.
Now don’t misconstrue that statement as an excuse for neglecting your marriage. Of course I believe you should invest in your marriage and that you should put effort into making your marriage great.
But if you can learn to picture your marriage through the right lens, with the proper perspective, it can’t help but show up in your actions. I sum it up this way: right thinking leads to right doing.
One of the most important marriage lenses is the lens of love.
The Lens of Love
In my walk with God I continually find that I have a limited understanding of the depth, intensity, and constancy of His love for me. This limitation in my thinking causes me to constantly slip back into trying to earn God’s love and to win his approval. I’m working hard to get something I already have! At other times my limited knowledge of the love of God causes me to be offended in the face of difficulty. When things don’t go how I want them to, I begin to doubt His goodness and doubt His good intentions toward me.
We can tend to do the exact same thing in our marriages. Because of our doubts and insecurities about the love of our husband or wife, we either struggle to earn their love or we get offended by their perceived lack of love. Both of these cause tremendous negative fruit your marriage.
How different would your marriage be if you were totally assured of your spouse’s love? What if you could assume that love was at the center of everything he or she did, despite how it appeared? How would that kind of security change the way you interact with your husband or wife?
When Love Disappoints
Of course neither you nor your spouse will come close to matching the matchless and perfect love that Christ lavishes on us. Sure that is our goal, but we are human after all. What do you do when love falls short, when your spouse’s love isn’t as unconditional or selfless as you wish it were?
At the point where love disappoints, you have three choices:
- Become insecure, and work ever harder to earn their love, hoping that it will also earn their better behavior.
- Become offended, which typically causes you to pull away or get angry.
- Assume love. When you chose to believe that your husband or wife loves you, despite how it appears on the outside, you can move past the offense more easily and maintain your intimate connection.
Assuming love isn’t easy in the face of disappointment, but it is by far the best alternative.
Do you have an example from your marriage where assuming love made a difference?
See my follow-up post: Unloving or Unloved
See my follow-up post: Unloving or Unloved
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