“Which One Describes Your Marriage?” (click to read) was a post I read yesterday on the health of marriages. I’m still thinking about it today, and I’d like for you to read it, too. (I think the principles can be applied to all kinds of relationships, don’t you?)
I think the observation of “transactional” is be spot on. I have been there before — subconsciously keeping score on a few things, and it’s miserable. As the post says, it’s subtle. To the untrained eye, it might even look like it’s in the “Thriving” category, especially if you can keep up with pleasantries. However, you really can’t give your whole heart when you are relating to your spouse like that in the slightest.
Getting some advice from my pastor last year about ways *I* needed to alter my thoughts and behavior was life-changing. It was not only refreshing to my marriage, but my outlook in general. Specifically, I was taking things way too personally (especially when Tom would come home from a trip.. I was feeling a bit empty after not seeing him and wouldn’t give him much breathing room) and attributing every little bit of friendly sarcasm, criticism or disagreement as, “He must not really love me…” (Which wasn’t the case at all!)
I also had to realize that my happiness couldn’t primarily hinge on how I related to Tom (What pressure on him! How ‘used’ he must have felt!) but in my relationship with the Lord.
I hope the linked post is helpful to you. Leave a comment and tell me what you think!
If you read it, and realize that you would not place your marriage in the “Thriving” category, please do give me a call or send me a message. I’m happy to listen and to pray with you!
PS: No matter what you think of the Bible, you’ve gotta admit.. this is a pertinent, truthful description of real love:
I Corinthians 13:4-7 “Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered , does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”
And, of God’s perfect love for us.. so much that he even came to the earth to die horrifically on a cross (Jesus didn’t pass quietly and peacefully in his sleep!) and pay for our sins with his own life:
John 3:16-17 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.