Today is my 20th wedding anniversary. I can honestly say it’s been good most of the time. Sure we’ve had our ups and downs, trials, arguments, misunderstandings, and a touch of the silent treatment. Overall, we are a happy couple. Now…that is.
It’s difficult when two personalities live together. For example, I’m strong-willed and my husband is more compliant. When we argue, I fight to win. He, on the other hand, hates conflict. So what does he do? He yields. This went on for years in our marriage. Because Pat would yield, I won every disagreement. After a while, I began to think, “I’m just right all the time.”
Meanwhile, Pat is hiding out in the closet with a voodoo-doll stabbing it repeatedly. I had no idea he was building resentment towards me. In my mind, I let him run the things. He ran the vacuum and dishwasher at my command.
It wasn’t until we were sitting in a counselor’s office that the whole thing came to light. Pat responded with, “Yeah, what he said. That’s how I feel.” I sat astonished at the enlightenment with my mouth hanging open.
But God… works in mysterious ways, does He not??
Shortly after we discovered this flaw in our marriage, we were asked to co-lead a class at church for engaged couples. “What?” I thought. “Why in the world would they ask Pat and me to lead a class on marriage?”
Because God was at work.
We said, “Yes.” The material was from Dennis Rainey’s ministry entitled, Preparing for Marriage. Even though Pat and I had been married several years at this point, this book began to change our relationship. When they asked us to step up and be the leaders of the class, we were thrilled. The more we read and taught the class, the more the truths sank in and the more we changed—for the better!
If I had to choose one thing that would help you today improve on your marriage, it would be this: Receive your mate as a gift from God.
God made a helper (Eve) suitable for Adam. Eve was God’s provision for Adam when no other relationship would do. Adam knew God. He also knew that God could be trusted. So in faith, Adam received Eve—warts and all. Adam received her as God’s perfect provision for him.
Most of the time, we are attracted to the traits of our spouse that are opposite of ourselves. For example, I’m basically shy. I’m husband is very outgoing. When we were dating, I was attracted to this quality in him. After we were married, it became annoying at times. But God made us different for a reason. We complete one another. (No, Tom Curse didn’t come up with that line) God did! My husband’s strengthens make my weakness stronger. And vice versa.
Therefore, we’ve learned to follow Adam’s example. Instead of becoming annoyed by one another, we have chosen to receive each other as a gift from God. By trusting in God’s provision and accepting my husband’s strengths and weaknesses has made all the difference in our marriage!!
I challenge you today to receive your mate as God’s gift from Him to you. In doing so, you demonstrate your faith in God’s integrity to give you good things and provide for your needs.
Now, I must go and prepare for an evening of romance. We’re having dinner at our favorite restaurant tonight. Later this month, we’re going to continue our celebration in Chicago!