Love is something we all strive for and search for all of our lives. If we are lucky we find it, if we are extra lucky we find the truest of unconditional love. Little girls dream of the day they would get married, heck adult women dream of the same thing if they aren’t married yet. While we are dating someone we act at our best, constant compliments, never pointing out faults, and never causing each other stress instead we try to relieve it. We do our best not to get angry with each other or hold grudges against each other when we get hurt. We always see the best in any situation and support each other through every endeavor we try. But when we get married some of that fades. Sometimes we slack off, and find ourselves getting annoyed more, and not complimenting each other as often. We tend to bring back past hurts and when we get stressed become negative and sometimes unsupportive. We can get jealous at times over things that didn’t seem to matter when we were dating. There are things we can do to try and not let things turn in that direction, we can focus our efforts on being the same person when we were dating instead of changing once those wedding bands come on. We all remember the scripture that talks abou love, or those little figurines that say “Love is…”
The scripture says something along the lines of “love is kind, patient, love is not jealous nor boastful” and so on. Each of those things are a guideline to how our love should be towards our spouse. Love is patient means that we don’t get aggrivated with our spouse. It means respond positively to a certain situation instead of in a negative way. We learn how to deal with those little annoyances so they don’t grow into mountains. When you are patient with the person you love, your temper fuse becomes longer and you will see that it will take longer for your spouse to upset you and cause you to explode into anger. Our patience with each other can stop arguements in their tracks. Our patience can make situations better instead of causing more problems the way impatience would According to the “Love Dare, “anger is usually caused when the strong desire for something is mixed with disappointment or grief.” When we expect our spouses to do something and they don’t we get disappointed and then comes the anger because they didn’t meet our expectation. We need to understand and be patient when our spouses don’t meet every one of our expectations, no one can meet all of our expectations.
Patience allows us to listen to each other instead of jumping to conclusions. We sit and talk instead of bickering and arguements. You sit and evaluate why you were hurt and disappointed instead of throwing it into your spouse’s face, which only causes them more pain. Patience allows us to wait until we get the whole story instead of passing judgement right away. Patience is a point were love meets wisdom and every marriage needs that kind of a combination. We tend to have that combination during that dating stage, but somehow it becomes less combined, we need to ‘glue’ it back together so to speak. Patience also doesn’t expect our spouses to be perfect, it has the understanding that we all have flaws and we are all bound to fail at some point in time. We just cannot get upset when our spouse fails sometimes. Patience doesn’t come naturally, it is something we need to seek and make a part of our marriages.
When we are kind we maximize the positive things within each other. It creates a blessing within us in the eyes of our spouses, we become a blessing to them. According to the Love Dare there are four categories of kindness: gentleness, helpfulness, willingness, and initiative. Each of those things play a different part in our kindness/blessing to our spouses. Gentleness is how we treat our spouse. We become more tender and senitive to how they feel when we do certain things. We also speak to them with love, so we are able to criticize and tell them something bad with the utmost love and it would make it easier for them to hear it. We take care to make sure that they feel loved rather than neglected or like a failure in your eyes. Helpfulness is about meeting their needs. We step up to make sure that their needs are met, while we put ours on hold. We step up to make sure anything they need is met, we help them with whatever they need help with. For example a husband could do the laundry one night to help out his wife.
Willingness on the other hand is being agreeable, co-operative, flexible and accomidating. When something is needed of us, we are will to accommidate instead of complaining and making a big deal out of nothing: a mountain out of a mole-hill so to speak. We are willing to basically do anything that would be helpful to our love. Lastly initiative means that we think about to what will make their spouse happy and then do it without having to be asked or told to. We do not just sit around waiting for our mate to tell us to do somethng specific, or even give us something special. For example, recently my boyfriend brought me a leaf. It was purple and red, very different and unique, but he saw it and thought I would like it and be able to use it in my scrapbook. It is a common misconception that love is based on feeling, but it’s not. It is based on actions which makes knowing each other’s love languages important.
No one knows you the way your spouse does. They will notice when you start to sacrifice your own desires for theirs. We sacrifice our wants for the sake of our mates which is the greater purpose of a marriage. Jealousy is when we begin to envy out spouses. Instead of congradulating them on a job well done, we are jealous they have succeeded when we didn’t. Jealousy can easily poison the life of love that God has created for us. We need to be a cheerleader for our spouses instead of complaining when they do something great. When we envy each other that only leads to fighting and quarreling and every evil thing: that comes from James 4: 1-2. Even the Bible talks against envying each other. When we are not jealous we complement one another not competeing with one another. Being selfish lets jealous enter into the relationship so when we aren’t selfish then jealousy has no way to enter our hearts.
To better our relationships we need to learn how to be unselfish, not jealous, thoughtful, kind and patient. We need to learn to be patient with each other and our faults, because no body is completely perfect. We shoudn’t boast about what can do or did to help someone or make them think we are a good person. When we boast we can be annoying to our spouse. When we boast we make our mates feel like they aren’t as good as you and we shouldn’t be doing that. Instead we should talk about their best attributes and build their confidence and self esteem. We are suppose to be a support system and source of stress relief for our loved one, not the source of stress or making them feel less of a person. There are many things we can learn about love just by trying to change these four small things within ourselves. If we learn to be patient, kind, thoughtful, and unselfish or unjealous we can improve any relationship; not just a marriage. Let’s start today and change the outcomes in our relationships. Show your passion and love through your actions.