You’ve Got to ‘Work at It’
Clara Null writes: ‘At a wedding my granddaughter Melissa asked, “Why is the bride always dressed in white?” I replied, “Because white represents happiness, and today is the happiest day of her life.” Her next question was: “Then why’s the groom dressed in black?” Marriage only works if you “work at it.”’ So here are three principles for strengthening yours: (1) Become a good listener. Jesus said, ‘…consider carefully how you listen…’ (Luke 8:18 NIV) Sometimes the most important thing in communicating with your mate is to hear what is not being said, to learn to read between the lines. Just ‘being there’ isn’t enough; your mate needs to feel heard—and validated. When they are, they’ll open up and accept what you have to say. (2) ‘…speak the truth in love…’ (Ephesians 4:15 NLT) Nobody likes to be corrected, but when someone is heading down the wrong road, love will ‘get in your face’. Our marriages break down when truth is violated, integrity is forsaken, trust is broken, manipulation is allowed, self-interest is the rule, control is the goal, and time isn’t invested. (3) Always believe the best. Love sees you at your worst but never forgets your best; thinks you’re a little bit more wonderful than you really are; will talk with you endlessly or just sit with you in silence; is happier about your success than you are; doesn’t try to know more, act smarter or be your constant teacher; it listens even when what you have to say is not particularly interesting. That’s because love believes you’re important!