This week, Mr. Older and I will celebrate our 48th Wedding Anniversary. If you add the three years we dated from the time we were in eleventh grade, we have been together 51 years. I am sixty-five years old. He's taken up the majority of my existence on this planet - and I have taken up his. We grew up together, sorta.
I think people assume that when two people have been married almost FIVE DECADES and seem happy to BE married, they must have some mysterious secrets the rest of the world does not have or know. Or they must be wonderfully loving and perfect people. The truth is just the opposite: we have discovered that the secrets to success in marriage are rooted in such simplicity that we often overlook them. In the next few blogs I will be sharing some simple secrets we have uncovered through trial and error.. (mostly error).
Before I begin... let me just give HONOR TO THE LORD and acknowledge that if it were not for the fact that Mr. Older and I LOVE GOD more than we love each other - and - that God has swept in and had MERCY on us... and helped us overcome HUGE mistakes, I would not be writing about being married for 48 years. But we'll get to that in another blog:
Secret #1- YOUR HUSBAND IS NOT YOU
that other people should want what we want, do what we do and like what we like.
WHERE DID WE GET THAT IDEA?
(Hint: The pit of Hell?)
Are you presently harboring a grudge against your husband? Your wife? When ever I find myself annoyed at Mr. Older, I stop and think about the situation.. and before long I remember that the root of my anger is that I have decided that whenever he doesn't want what I want..
HE IS WRONG AND I AM RIGHT.
YUP. HE'S WRONG. I'M RIGHT. THE END.
Where did I get this idea that I get to be annoyed at my husband just because he doesn't agree with me?
(HINT: The pit of Hell?)
SECRET #2 - He isn't evil - he is a man.
There isn't anything MORE OPPOSITE on earth than a man is from a woman. Another reality. Men don't think like women think and we don't think like men think. Don't assign evil and ulterior motives when your husband (OR WIFE) doesn't agree with you. He is just being human.. like you are. He sincerely believes that the way he thinks the two of you should discipline the children, or spend your extra cash, or spend time with his family, or don't spend time with yours, or have the friends he has... is an opinion he is entitled to have. And.. He is.. entitled to have a different opinion about every subject. It's called.. HE IS NOT YOU. HE IS HUMAN. HE IS MALE. HE IS OPPOSITE. Lighten up.
SECRET #3 - Spend LESS time trying to change his mind, and MORE time trying to change yours.
Marriage is not an Olympic sport where you have to WIN every argument. You will NOT DIE if you stop trying to be right......and start trying to be reasonable. Instead of being blind with rage... why don't you ask the Lord to help you see his (HER) side?
SEEING HIS SIDE OF THE DISCUSSION is not going to kill you, or cause you to have huge warts on your face, or make you look fat. It is simply allowing your heart to TRY and see his side. Sometimes, after doing this, I have come to the conclusion that.. Mr. Older continues to have the WRONG opinion about something.. but.. at least I understand what his opinion is and why he has it. And once I acknowledge his right to NOT THINK LIKE ME.. I am less grouchy and angry. There is nothing in all the Bible that says we WILL always agree, or we MUST always agree... It talks about how we will be angry.. but don't sin. Don't let anger take ROOT in your heart. It talks about submitting to one another.. it talks about LETTING SOMEONE ELSE HAVE THEIR WAY.. consciously.. making the decision to LAY DOWN your rights in a discussion and...
SECRET #4- SURRENDER
Without an adversary, there cannot be a war. There is something so foreign to us in our natural flesh about just giving in, just letting someone else have their way. Because...
Marriage Wars are always about WHO IS IN CONTROL.
CONTROL IS NOT SUBMISSION.
CONTROL IS DEMANDING SUBMISSION.
ONLY GOD HAS A RIGHT TO DEMAND SUBMISSION.
AND EVEN HE WAITS UNTIL WE WILLINGLY DO SO.
SURRENDER requires acknowledging that GOD IS IN CONTROL. Your husband thinks he should control you? How funny and sad that he believes he can compete with God for control of what happens to His daughter? You think you can control your husband??? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAhahahahahahahahahHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA (Breath) HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHhahahahahahahahahHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
It's hilarious when we say things like, "I have given God control"
AS IF.. WE WERE EVER IN CONTROL OF IT.
YOU MAY PROTEST about Mr. Younger- "He gets his way all the time!"
And your point is? What? That you think YOU SHOULD GET YOUR WAY more often?
It's about WHO is in control when it comes to marriage: God, you, or your husband.
GOD. IS. ALWAYS. IN. CONTROL.
SOMETIMES WE ACKNOWLEDGE THAT.
AND SOMETIMES WE ARE IDIOTS
Plead your case before your Father in heaven,and ask Him to give you HIS HEART.
Let Him deal with the foolish man who thinks he is allowed to be a selfish husband.
Marriage Wars was never the plan God had and has for marriage.