Don’t compromise your marriage by making it common…

STONY CREEK VISTA

If you want something to last forever, you treat it differently. You shield it and protect it. You never abuse it. You don’t expose it to the elements. You don’t make it common or ordinary. If it ever becomes tarnished, you lovingly polish it until it gleams like new. It becomes special because you have made it so, and it grows more beautiful and precious as time goes by.
~F. Burton Howard

Marriage.

Created to last a lifetime.

And we want ours to go the distance, don’t we? Not many people stand at the altar vowing their life to another while simultaneously thinking about divorce.

We marry because we want to create a sacred bond as old as time with one wonderful man or woman for as long as we both shall live. And we pray each night for one more day together. Blessed!

STONY CREEK MKS

Because marriage is a gift that fills the void of human loneliness. A partnership where the work load is halved as we each give 100 percent.

And a good and lasting marriage is as precious as a gem especially in our changing, turbulent, throw-away world.

So we need to keep putting our best foot forward — not during the dating days as much as through the years of love shared, challenges overcome and hearts learning to beat as one.

Guided by The One. One day, one night at a time.

And if God’s gift of marriage is so dear then why do so many — my Michael and I included in our broken past — abuse it, take it for granted, neglect it?

Like so much else we grow accustomed, perhaps feel entitled, and hold the expectation that what we have with our husband or wife will always be. No matter what we do or don’t do. Not even if we mistreat or disrespect the significance of our partner or our union.

Essentially, we forget to love our spouse the way God says we should love. Actively. Sacrificially. Obediently following 1 Corinthians 13. {My Michael and I have an embroidered sampler of this verse that hangs in our living room. We read it often!}

Marriage is not something to be taken lightly or let go of easily. Married for life means work and time and sweat and sometimes tears to nurture and grow and protect it. And as we lay down our wills and put our husband or wife first we mature and grow wiser.

As daughters and sons of God. Pleasing our Father.

STONY CREEK TINY HOME

And we behold the beauty of marriage in direct proportion to the effort we expend on its behalf.

But sometimes we just won’t feel it. The warm and fuzzy lovelies of being in love. So we labor and push through a dry spell or a rough patch because we have chosen to commit to honoring God in marriage.

Love persevering.

Powerful force for good filling us who are married like life-giving light in a dark and scary world.

But it will always be far from perfect because we are imperfect women who marry imperfect men. All of us broken. God working it all for His perfect good.

Grace.

Two marred souls baring their souls to each other for better and for worse and still standing by each other.

Clinging. Never letting go. Together. Each helping the other become their best selves.

And the marriage juicy sweet like summer fruit warming in the sun. And only a man and a woman wedded experience this sweetest gift.

Because marriage is different from all other relationships.

Far surpasses living together.

Better than our dearest friendships.

Or our relationships with children and parents.

Marriage is mystery.

A rare and pleasant treasure buried deep on some lush tropical island where trade winds blow gentle one day and the surf crashes furiously on another.

Flourishing under a banner of love divine when the law of love is followed.

STONY CREEK HOUSE SAIL

Us and our first mate loving to distraction until the lines blur and the edges soften.

Deep-down deep.

And still choosing to love.

Side by side. As Mr. and Mrs.

Sharing the same last name and the same bed and looking into little eyes that look the same as our spouse’s.

Marriage.

Good even when circumstances cloud the horizon for a season.

And though the journey be long and winding and we’ll get tired or grouchy along the way, may we never let the light that shines in our heart on the day we say our vows grow dim.

But we need to do this together. This choosing each other over and over.

Grace and more grace abounding as we bend the knee. Trusting God instead of trying to control outcomes or assure ourselves that we’ll never get hurt again. Sometimes marriage does hurt, but it also heals and through it all we get better.

As we become.

SRONY CREEK CHAIRS

So we keep coming to the throne of grace and keep coming together during sunny days as well as stormy nights.

Our spouse is our gift. Uniquely suited. Forever cherished. And we are gifts, too. So give. Give some more. And keep giving.

Both husbands and wives giving and serving in love. Never taking. Never using. Certainly never abusing.

Appreciating and delighting in all that our spouse is — and sometimes that means searching for buried treasure — yet never manipulating our partners for our own advantage.

And let’s not make them hold their breath wondering if we love them. Tell them. Show them. Show up and be fully present and accounted for.

STONY CREEK LANE

Marriage.

A unique union of two who become together what it is impossible for them to become apart. Even if you’ve been cohabiting for years, acting like man and wife, you’re missing out! So maybe now’s the time to put a ring on it.

And then let your wedded union blow the top off all your deepest dreams. And fears. And receive the gift of a God-blessed union.

Surpassing.

Soaring.

And if white lace and promises happened years ago and your marriage has grown dusty from trials, perhaps it’s time to recommit and reaffirm your vows.

In front of God, your children, witnesses. Surrounded by a cloud of great love.

Handling hearts with the tenderest care and utmost respect. Gently. For we are all fragile.

And gushing gratitude.

To God and each other.

Always…

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4 thoughts on “Don’t compromise your marriage by making it common…

  1. Sheila, this is a rich feast which focusses on all that is earthly-holy about marriage. Its intricacies are as finely woven as ring on finger and ties that bind heart-to-heart. Many marriages will weather tough times, shifting sands and painful circumstances, maybe most, maybe all. If we are rooted by our faith and our hope is anchored in God’s word and His sustaining grace, then we have all that we need to stay stable and to live powerfully and prayerfully together as lovers and friends, side by side unto eternity. Thank you for the part you are playing in helping make that possible as you share experience and wisdom here. Blessings and love. Xox 🙂

    • My dear friend…you always write the loveliest words that touch my heart and bring encouragement. And thanks also for finding the posts worthy to share. You are a delight to Father and to me. So glad we have connected. THANKS and HUGS and many BLESSINGS to you…xxoo

  2. Your words are so poetic and beautiful. “Grace and more grace abounding as we bend the knee. Trusting God instead of trying to control outcomes or assure ourselves that we’ll never get hurt again. Sometimes marriage does hurt, but it also heals and through it all we get better.” I needed to hear this as my husband and I continue to fight for our marriage, to have hard, real conversations and fight for real intimacy. Thanks for sharing this reminder to give grace, grace, and more grace!

    • Hey there Lauren — I hope that you are fighting for your marriage in the broadest context of that phrase…as in marriage worldwide is under attack but ours is okay and we are protecting, nurturing and growing it to withstand the tests of time. And if your problems in marriage are more personal trust that God is for you and your hubby and your union. And marriage is full of good and bad times that help us grow in character and become more Christ-like when we choose appropriately. If you need…I have bunches of posts that deal with hard things both under the Marriage category and the Healing one. BLESSINGS and more blessings for a long, fruitful, joyful, life with your man in Christ…HUGS!!