In marriage everyone makes mistakes. We forget to call when we're running late. We forget our anniversary. We lose our temper and say things we regret. Some mistakes hurt more than others. Sometimes our mistakes are really better defined as "sins against the marriage." When we blow it in marriage, our spouse feels it. That's the difficulty of married life. We have high expectations that our spouse will put our interest above their own, and when that doesn't happen, we feel deeply hurt.
One mistake that happens far too often in marriage is the failure to prefer your spouse. Preferring your spouse (in other words, prioritizing them), is what makes marriage feel secure and enjoyable. Yet our tendency is to think most of ourselves and see our own desires, even when they conflict with the best interest of our spouse. In a recent conversation with a husband in a very difficult season of married life, he reluctantly admitted that he just wanted love to come easy. I replied with what seems like bad news at first - every example of God-honoring love we find in the Bible is the result of choices that come at the cost of our selfishness. Sometimes love is hard. Often love requires me to say "NO" to me; far more often than i realize.
Here's the tricky part… selfishness is easy, it's comes naturally, it is effortless.
So, in order to have the kind of marriage we truly want we have to do the difficult, the unnatural, give more effort. This is why i will say, "make the right mistake." If you are going to fail, fail in the direction of honoring your spouse. Make the mistake of prioritizing your time together. Blow it everywhere else but at home. We too easily take our marriages and families for granted. There are countless opportunities in marriage when desires collide and opinions differ. There are countless outside forces pulling for our attention. People we want to please. Opportunities we want to seize. What we do when we face these dilemmas will speak volumes to your spouse…for better or worse.
This week give it a try. Make the right mistake. Give your spouse the benefit of the doubt. Believe the best first. Don't wait to be asked, show kindness, love and service proactively. Tell them you are thankful to be married to them. I think the right mistake just might make your marriage more God-honoring and more enjoyable.
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