Today my husband and I are celebrating our 36th wedding anniversary! It’s hard to believe that it’s been that long. Raising our eight kids certainly has kept us busy, and made the time fly. We also have five grandchildren now, and as you have probably noticed on my Facebook page, I am LOVING the fact that our newest granddaughter is in town! (That’s a first for us.)
When we said our vows thirty-six years ago, we promised God that we would remain faithful to each other in the following circumstances: in sickness and health, if richer or poorer, and in good times and bad. Blissful at the marriage altar, we didn’t really think things would EVER be bad! Yet we have definitely faced those things in our marriage. There have been times of sickness, times of “poorer” (more often than richer!), and some bad times mixed in with the good. We have had our struggles and challenges, as all couples do. What helped us through those hard times?
Practicing TWO KEY ACTIONS have helped us in our marriage.
My husband made that his motto, and as a reminder he posted the key word in a few places where we see it often. Thought the reminders were posted for him, they also helped me! When I am irritated about something that I think he should or shouldn’t have done, I see the little note with the word “YIELD” on it. It quickly reminds me that rather than focusing on “my rights”, I need to yield those rights to God, and let go of my expectations. When we don’t see eye to eye on things, he chooses to yield. This isn’t easy, but it has been key for us in our marriage!
Love is actually a choice, an act of the will. Often we confuse that with our feelings, and think that we don’t love our spouse any more. The truth is that on some days I don’t “feel the love”. However, I choose to love regardless of how I feel, and then I act on it, because I know it is the right thing to do.
Recently I was doing something that my husband didn’t really like. When I realized it and apologized, he said, “At first I started to get mad about it, but then I decided that instead I would just choose to love you more.” I love the fact that he CHOSE to overlook it, and CHOSE to love instead of getting angry or resentful. How many marriages would be saved if we followed that philosophy?!
Give those expectations to God, yield “your rights”, and CHOOSE to love. These actions will make for a long and happy marriage!