Weekly Marriage Challenge: Choosing to love your spouse

Getting into an argument or facing dishonesty in a marriage doesn’t feel good. Expectations usually aren’t met, feelings get hurt, and we might even desire retaliation for the wrong done to us. We are quick to defend our position, and fail to consider our spouse’s perspective. It is at these moments that we don’t feel in love with our spouse, and at times may rationalize that I’m not in love with my spouse. Marriage is not easy work. Bringing two people together with very different backgrounds, personalities, experiences, and expectations is never an easy task. Add children, pets, finances, social life, a home, and busy schedules to that list and we find ourselves busy and exhausted. Again, marriage is not easy work.

Marriage is often referred to as a dance, a lifelong dance that requires both partners to become a student of one another. I don’t know about you, but I wasn’t born being able to do the Texas Two-step. There is a definite learning curve. If you are waiting for you spouse to make the first step, likelihood is he/she is waiting for you to do the same. Do you want change in your marriage? It starts with you.

First, decide you want change and recognize your responsibility to take ownership for your actions and words. Is what I am saying showing my spouse I love him/her? Are my words honoring and encouraging? What can I do to show my spouse I care? How can I meet his/her needs? Although you can’t make your spouse change, you can change the dance. Next, decide to reject passivity and become a change maker in your marriage. Identify small and realistic ways to demonstrate love to your spouse, and carry them out. FOLLOW-THOUGH! Know that you are capable and have the ability to change. Look back at when you first got married, how did you pursue you spouse then? You’ve done it before, and you can do it again. Choose to love and find that loving-feeling once again.