How many of us married women remember the “courtship” phase? Flowers, romance, a man that seemed to hang on our every word? Feelings of worth, beauty, love, tenderness, excitement? When we said “I Do” we knew for sure our “Happily Ever After” was officially beginning.
Shortly after we married, we began to notice changes. He left his socks on the living room floor, he walked past the trashcan to lay his empty potato chip bag on the counter, he wanted to watch TV instead of go out to a movie, he began snoring, he wanted to know “what's for dinner?” instead of surprising us with a night out, he seemed to have one eye on the tube while we poured our heart out, the… list… goes… on!
Soon those feelings of love and bliss turn into feelings of confusion and anger. Sometimes those feelings are held onto so tightly that we began to experience negative emotions towards our spouse. It even seems that when he IS doing something “right” it isn’t “right enough”. It could have always been a little more. Soon those feelings can overtake and damage our marriage because we can’t see past how WE are feeling.
Feelings and emotions are a huge part of life So much so that even our physical self reacts to how we are feeling. We hurt, we shed tears. We are happy, we smile. We are joyful, we laugh. We are depressed, we appear solemn.
Jesus too had emotions. He Wept (John 11:35) He got angry over people doing wrong (John 2:15) He had compassion (Matthew 20:34) He experienced major turmoil and agony (Luke 22:44)
So our feelings and emotions are at times helpful and very valid.
But how do we learn to release those negative emotions we can so easily acquire when our spouse isn’t living up to our expectations… and get back those feelings of love and understanding towards our spouse?
We get them back by realizing that yes, emotions and feelings are natural…but if not handled properly, they can be destructive.
We get them back by asking ourselves “Am I acting how the Bible instructs me to act towards my husband? Am I seeing any good in him, any part of the man I fell in love with? Or am I focusing on the speck of sawdust in his eye while ignoring the plank in mine?” (Matthew 7:3)
We get them back when we learn to not let our emotions be the driving force behind every decision we make… because emotions can lead us into sin. (Jeremiah 17:9) We must learn to trust what the Bible instructs us to do and not always what our feelings tell us to do.
Side Note: This doesn’t mean that our feelings are never valid. Nor does it mean that we should allow ourselves to be run over and stand back. There are times we have legitimate reasons to be hurt and NEED to confront our spouse. There is a difference between being mistreated and being misunderstood.
Love is not always a warm, fuzzy and tender feeling. Love at times is a sacrifice. We have the best example of such sacrificial love when Christ died for our sins. (1 John 4:10)
Love is being concerned for another’s happiness and well being over our own. Love is being willing to lay down our life for the sake of another. Love is asking God to change our heart and attitude. Love demonstrates trust that God will provide for us what we need…even if it takes time. Love is believing that we can have a blessed and fruitful marriage when we do our part to believe God will come through on His promises.
Love will have seasons of ups and downs…but it is during those down times when love is strongest and eventually offers the greatest reward…because sometimes you have to crawl through the valley before you can stand on the mountain.
P. S. This is totally for me!!!
Are there times that your feelings overtake your decisions and cause you to react in a way you soon regret? How do you try to prevent speaking before you think? Answer in the comment section below….