We all want the happily ever after, but we often think it happens naturally.
I suppose I could get on my high horse (whatever that means) and preach a sermon here about reviving marriages by changing a wicked, hateful attitude to a sweet, endearing one.
But honestly, it’s not that simple, is it? I don’t hate my husband; I’m madly in love with him. Crazy about him. So what needs to change? How can I revive my marriage through my attitude?
My incredible husband and I had a dinner conversation today about attitude in marriage. He basically said that when either person is focused on his or her self and doesn’t think about the other, then the attitude needs serious adjustment. He also gave an illustration that I’d not considered in a very long time.
When God created Eve from Adam, He didn’t use a heel bone. He didn’t use a piece of his skull. God chose to take a rib from Adam’s side. My honey relayed to me that he feels this is because man and woman will thrive when working together, side by side. (You can see why I’m so crazy about him, right?)
But honestly, the area of my own attitude I’m confessing today is not one of hatred or malice towards my husband. It’s not even the whole “I’m doing my part; you should be doing your part” thing. My difficulty in the area of my attitude in marriage probably wouldn’t be noticed by most people. This attitude might be considered the complete opposite of outwardly speaking badly toward my husband (which I try to never do, though I have failed before. Sorry, Honey!!).
I believe that the most dangerous attitude one can have in marriage is:
You see, I have seven kids. One with special needs. And I’m privileged to work from home, so I get to be the one to take care of most of the cleaning, cooking, and general housework aside from what the children are assigned. We have doctors appointments, dentist appointments, therapy appointments, school, homework, and extracurricular activities just like you do. And what happens in the middle of taking physical and mental care of my children and home responsibilities and work?
I forget about my husband. He works hard, never complains, and is committed.
But I get so caught up in taking care of my children and the many demands of every level of their care, doing my very best, rising early, staying up late, sacrificing just like most of you reading this… that I forget that my husband has needs too. That I’m the only one who can meet those needs. That I’m his helpmeet.
Then the LORD God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” Genesis 2:18 (ESV)
So what can I do about this attitude of forgetting- the one of just moving along in my own groove, forgetting that marriage is a dance for two?
I need to be purposeful about showing my love for him.
1. Plan time alone together.
2. Greet my husband with hugs and kisses, not complaints of the craziness of the day.
3. Leave notes for him.
4. Enjoy physical intimacy with him.
Often when writers write about a certain subject, I think we feel as though we have to make ourselves an authority on the topic. Can I just tell you that I haven’t “arrived” in my marriage by any means? I love my husband deeply. In fact, our kids announced to us today that when they get older, they aren’t going to make out in front of their kids like we do, because that’s gross…
But I just want to encourage you to think about your marriage attitude, the same as I’m thinking about mine.
Do you have some ideas you could share about how to be purposeful about loving on your husband so the attitude of complacency doesn’t sneak up on you? I’d love to read them in your comments below!