Me – Selfish?

Marriage is hard, isn’t it?  It can just really be a pain sometimes.  The main reason it is hard is that I love ME most and want MY needs met first.  And that does not result in a great relationship, whether marriage or otherwise.

Think back.  For every difficult period in your marriage, what was the bottom-line cause.  Could you boil it down to a selfish spirit?  I challenge you to think about that honestly as you look at yourself in the mirror.

Unfortunately, husband, I believe the Bible teaches that biggest burden falls on you.  If you can set the tone for the marriage by being a godly spiritual leader, then wife will have no excuse for not submitting (Eph 5).  But the cool thing is that she will WANT to submit because she will know you are leading her in God’s way.

I want to encourage you both to set aside whatever you think your dream is right now – house, baby, degree, career, retirement fund, big vacations – and put the MARRIAGE first.  Because if you get any of that other stuff and your marriage doesn’t survive, then what do you have?  Nothing but a lot of pain to clean up for years ahead.

As a believer, I don’t think God cares a whit about what your dream is until you care about what HIS dream is.  And once you are turned on to that, your life will blossom into something you could have never dreamed.

. . .Never Been Divorced?

We’re spending more time with some of our grandkids lately and I have to say that they are a joy.  It’s not that they weren’t before.  It’s been hard to mesh schedules and that kind of thing.

But they are spending the week with us because of their dad’s work hours.  Since its spring break, they go to the Y during the day but in a couple of weeks, I’ll put them on the bus before I leave for work.  In the evenings their dad joins us for supper and spends time with them before going home to sleep.

I hope I’m making some memories for them like I have with my grandma.  We’re not doing anything particularly special.   I’m having them help set the table and clean off the table.  Laci and I made her an apron a week or so ago and she is wearing that to help me put the finishing touches on dinner.  And they love strawberries, so I cut them up, put them in some dessert dishes that were MY grandma’s and let them enjoy.   And Papa even let them stay home with him all day yesterday.

So on Monday night as we were visiting and I was telling about when I was a little boy girl, I said something about my dad.  Levi asked me who my dad was.  I was surprised because they have spent time with my parents on several occasions – even though they are not their natural great grandparents.   So I said, “Grandpa Jim.”  Since my dad is in a wheelchair, they have interacted with my mom more – at the pool or going to Little Theater.  But I knew he would know who I was talking about.  His reaction was, “You mean your parents have never been divorced?”

My parents have been married 53 years.  Not only are Levi and Laci’s parents divorced, they have no natural grandparents – or great-grandparents – that have not been divorced.  Wow!  That really hit me.  While I grew up in a world where divorce was the exception, they are experiencing a world where it is the norm.

How I pray that even though this is our second marriage, we can model the attributes of a godly, healthy marriage for all of our grandkids — and our kids.  What a legacy we could give them!  What are you doing to strengthen your marriage today?