“Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity. Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person.”
– Colossians 4:5-6
Speaking with grace can be challenging. Sometimes it is tempting to dump the salt shaker on someone’s head and top it off with cayenne. I struggle with that. I struggle with speaking truth in love when I feel anger creeping in.
That said, I want us to stop piddle-dinking around in our marriages and start working on them.
I may only have a few years experience in this department, but I sure as heck know what doesn’t work in a marriage:
Selfishness. Laziness. Apathy. Rudeness. Indifference.
Oh hey, aren’t those the same traits that God is always twisting and wrenching out of us in our daily lives with Him? Only now there’s another human being in that equation, and our choices are quickly realized in their reactions to us.
No one likes to be uncomfortable. Especially me–I would much rather slither away from a situation than admit I’m wrong. But that is not an option in marriage.
You are responsible for 100% of your actions. You can’t blame your spouse for how you react or what you say or how much effort you put into building your marriage.
You can’t blame them for your rudeness, you can’t blame them for your selfishness or laziness. And if you just don’t care any more? That’s not their fault.
I want to see marriages thrive. I’m tired of people giving up when they already have what they need to succeed. If there is a snag in the relationship, work on it. Talk it out. Fix it. Don’t let it fester and worsen.
One of the first things I had to learn when I got married was that my husband couldn’t fix what he didn’t know was broken. If I’m irritated about something but don’t tell him, he’ll continue to do it and I’ll continue to get irritated. That’s not his fault, then, that’s mine. When I am honest and upfront, minor irritations can be resolved quickly and they don’t have to erupt into something ridiculous and unnecessary.
Mostly, though, it comes down to not being selfish. Getting married means becoming part of a team and sometimes that may mean giving up what you as an individual may want. I think people freak out and think this means they can never do anything they want–that’s not true. It merely means you have to put your spouse’s interests above yourself, and if that’s too hard, you need to ask God for a selfless heart.
Did we enter marriage thinking we wouldn’t be changed?
Or is it that now the rubber has hit the road and it hurts a little? Be molded, be shaped, become better.
Don’t be another divorce statistic just because your ring got too snug and you’d rather quit than build a stronger marriage.
Don’t give up.