Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Decision in Marriage

You only own one thing: your power to decide. All your possessions can be taken from you by an army, an illness, or an attorney. Your health can disappear overnight. Your reputation can be trashed by your own behavior or by the entirely specious claims of another.

But you can always decide how you will react, what you will do.

On my other blog I mentioned that I wanted my marriage to be passionate, risky, joyful, etc. and one of the comments asked me how did I keep that going when I or my wife are tired?

I decide to.

As a man, I believe it is my job to give first, serve first, and love first. If I have had a bad day (as someone with chronic pain and a few health issues, this happens!) and my wife has had a bad day (this, too, can happen) it is MY job to bring joy back into the day. I find that if I get my butt off the couch, ask her what I can do for her, hug her, smile at her, treat her, that that usually changes the course of the day. Does it wear me out or make me even more tired sometimes? Yes, but no more than the grind of joylessness would have. I can be tired and unhappy or tired and happy. Guess which one I choose? When it is in my power to decide, I will decide in a way that brings joy back into the marriage/day.

Does it cost me something? Sometimes. Okay, usually, but who cares? I have a choice. I can decide. I choose love, joy, and life. Yes, it is against my nature. My personality is more suited for a lighthouse keeper or a lone gunman, but I can decide to rise above my DNA and so can you.

Men -- love your wives even -- especially -- when they are not lovable. Love your children and spend time with them even -- especially -- when you don't feel like it. Serve your God and spend time in prayer even -- especially -- when you feel distant from Him and reluctant to speak to Him.

You can do this. You have the power to decide. You have the power to choose.

And if it costs you so much that you get worn out sooner and so see Jesus sooner... tell me, where is the downside in that? So you don't get to spend some time in the hospital dying of nothing in particular... where is the downside in that?

Stand up. Show up. And make a choice. THAT is something no one and no circumstance can take from you. No matter what happens, you get to decide what you will do in response. Maybe it won't be the response you'd like to make. Maybe it won't be the perfect outcome. But it is the best one you could find and you have made a choice.

And that changes everything.


At 8/08/2006 05:39:00 PM , Blogger That Girl said...

I'm guessing that your lovely wife is willing to make the same decisions!

At 8/08/2006 08:29:00 PM , Blogger PatrickMead said...

Sometimes, but not always. That doesn't matter. I love her always and choose to show her that.

At 8/08/2006 09:54:00 PM , Anonymous TinaMarie said...

Wow! I came to the blog to get some encouragemant. This week is VBS at Church and starts at 6:30 but as one of the teachers I need to be there at 6:00. I got off of work today at 5:30 and had to pick up 2 teens and a 9 year old before heading to the church building. They were not ready and I had to go find them. Needless to say I got there late but the activities went well. When I got home I was feeling so tired and achy. I was missing my down time, what I call my chill time and my great niece was crying loudly. I went to feed her and rock her and seh fell asleep. I was wondering how I was going to get through tomorrow, at work we are tie-dieing with 3 to 5 year olds (my co-teaches idea) and the last evening of VBS. Then I read the blog and it reminded me of why I do what I do and who sustains me and the reasons I do the things I do. I know this is not related to marriage, however the principles still apply. There is a choice to do what blesses others and in turn you are blessed. It is not all about "you" and the immediate rewards. Thanks.

At 8/09/2006 09:51:00 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great points here, especially relating to marriage. Loving others is a choice -- an action verb -- rather than a feeling. God didn't call us always to *feel* love for others (although we will typically feel love for people if we see them as God does); God called us to *show* love to others, actively. The feelings will follow our actions, probably sooner than later.

In marriage this is helpful also, because there are times when 'tired' isn't the problem, so much as one mate questioning whether s/he is still 'in love' with her/his spouse. In those times, we have to *choose* to *show* love to them, and trust God that the feelings will return.

Its all about the choice, and the will to make Godly choices.

At 8/09/2006 04:33:00 PM , Blogger DJG said...

You are right, there is nothing more exhausting than going to be knowing your spouse is "ill at you" about something. I should be busy choosing more wisely!

At 8/11/2006 08:29:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

You just summed up what I was trying to work through in my most recent post on 4H week. It was great, but exhausting and we are trying to decide whether to coach again for another year. I am the, "of course, it is all worth it" and my friend is the "I don't know if I want to, it cost me this and that . . ."
She's frustrated I know, but I am praying that she will come around.


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