Our small group met last night. There are 8 of us, 4 couples. Together we represent over 100 years of marriage and we would be the first to tell you that we don’t have all the answers. We read and discuss together books dealing with relationships. Our goal is to strengthen our marriages. One couple has been married 11-12 years as it’s round #2 for them. The rest of us have been married over 30 years each. We all have things to contribute to the discussion and things to learn. One of the gals who has been married over 30 years said you know when I think back to the first few years we were married, it’s a miracle our marriage survived. Our love was shallow. Now after 30+ years I love my husband so much more. Our love is more “real”. We talked about that. By “shallow” she meant, more concerned with how they felt and things looked. It was important to be happy all the time. When they weren’t happy they thought there was a problem. Over time they (and we all agreed) that some unhappiness did not necessarily indicate a full-blown problem but was an “idiot light” – like on a car dashboard. A sign that something needs checked in order to keep running without ruining the car, or marriage in this case. We also all agreed that over the years we’ve learned the place to start looking is inward.
Years ago I got the book. “The Power of a Praying Wife” by Stormie Omartian. She tells a brief overview of her own marriage and how she discovered the power of prayer for her husband and their marriage by default. She then adds 30 specific topics to pray for in regard to your husband all based in scripture. The Power of a Praying Wife can be found here. I highly recommend this book. Interestingly her first prayer listed is for herself or myself or you. That’s where you have to begin if you want a lifelong, covenant keeping relationship. I’ll say it again, begin with yourself. If you are saying, wait a minute you don’t know my spouse. He/she does _______, fill in the blank. I believe you and I’m not saying you spouse does not have a part in this. I’m also not saying if you do take some time for introspection, find and “fix” a few issues that your marriage will automatically blossom into the perfect relationship. Truthfully, nothing will automatically. instantly change any relationship no matter how good or how bad it might be. Once a behavior is changed it still takes time for your spouse to trust that change. What I am saying is there is very little chance that your marriage is going to mature in a positive way unless you are willing to deal with yourself first. Are you willing?