Quiet and common notions...shared here...with you! Of life ~ our hearts and our home.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Heart Work in Marriage (part three)...

Here is( part one) and (part two)... and for the post that started this whole topic, you can read it here.

Continuing in our thoughts of marriage and all it's "heart work"... I decided to combine these next three areas into one post, although not necessarily addressing them in this same order.

  • Expectations/Never to take each other for granted
  • Going to bed angry
  • Using our manners with our spouses (Eph. 4:32)
When Scott and I first met... by the way, we met through eHarmony, almost 6 years ago.  I had already lived on my own for over 10 years and so had Scott (in some form or fashion).  We met each other with a lot of (unspoken) expectations.  He had come from a broken-home life... was a fairly new believer (of about 5 yrs)... and so, how I grew up (that being Conservative Mennonite) and mixing that up with how he was raised and all that he had experienced (very, very different), we knew that there would be a lot of things to work through.  We also knew that there would be things between us (and about us) that, due to our history, would work out quite well... but still... it would require us to "not take each other for granted". 

What does that look like, exactly?  It's when assumptions about another run wild.  When expectations of another are so high, its difficult to accept the other's failures.  Bottom line - it's selfish!

Saying those words of "Never to take each other for granted"... was serious.  We meant it then, and we still do, to this day.  But, it requires us to be rather intentional in our communication and in our expectations of each other.  As you read in this post...it's still an on-going process.  But, whose marriage isn't, right?

How do we attempt to do this? 
Ephesians 4:32 (KJV) says, "And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you." 

As simple as this verse may be, it is still so often by nature the hardest verse to live by.   I don't know if Scott thinks about this verse in the day-to-day of our marriage, like I do.  Perhaps it's because of it's simplicity, and the fact that I am trying to teach it to our children on a daily basis, that it's constantly on the back fringes of my mind. 

This verse is also a helpful for the improving of our "communication areas", as well.  Sometimes by saying nothing at all, actually, is what says it the best!  By choosing to be kind with our words...and by forgiving the "out of place" words... you will find that you'll want to talk more and you'll want to keep on communicating with your spouse.

This brings up the next part of using our manners with our spouse.  Implemeting common courtesies such as a simple "please", "thank-you", "I'm sorry", and "excuse me", etc.  is HUGE in helping to keep the "taking for granted" at bay.  Using our manners with someone (with anyone) is to put our expectations of them "down a notch".  It's putting others first, ourselves last and other's in between.  In that lies true JOY!  I still like to say, it's all in the little things.

"A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones" ~ Proverbs 14:30

This verse is really true, for me.  If Scott and I do go to bed angry with each other, which it honestly does happen, from time to time - although it is NOT our desire.  Immediately, I can tell the next morning, that I didn't sleep well - at all that night.  My body is tense, I ache all over and I feel "out-of-sorts".  I know how hard it will be to function in a pleasant manner towards my children and/or even to others if I am at all "off kilter" with my man, from the day/night before.

Our desire would be to "talk it out" - before the sun goes down.  There is even clear instruction from God's Word in Ephesians 4:26 -27 stating that you can be angry,  but in your anger do not sin.  So, if it goes unresolved and you continue to put the day(s) behind you... especially, if you're ignoring issues that need to be addressed or they're constantly getting pushed under the rug... you'll know it or at least start to realize that there is obvious sin involved with your spouse.

 Don't let sin rot away at your marriage relationship.  Don't give place to the devil (v.27).   He would love nothing more then to worm his way further into a rocky relationship - and really reek havoc.  If you give an inch, he'll take a mile.  Instead, if we're solid in our committment to one another; on the same page; willing to communicate; lose some of our expectations of one another; be kind and use our manners... then there really is not a lot of ground for the enemy to have a leg to stand on.

These are all the more reason to keep working at the Heart Issues in marriage.  It is not easy.  It is really, really hard. And we can't do it on our own... apart from Christ Jesus.  He needs to be at the Center - of our personal lives as well as our marriages.

I realize I've barely scratched the surface for the areas I've mentioned - I've actually probably raised a lot of questions and/or concerns.  Let me tell you, we are still very much a work in progress...and like I mentioned once before, we are certainly no experts on marriage - we're just two sinners who fell in love and are in dire need of God's grace, every single day.

: : Come back tomorrow as I let you in on a little secret in how I specifically pray for my man!!

The first photo is one of the largest Bridal Wreath bushes I have ever seen...so beautiful in Spring. The photo was taken over where we used to live.  Can you tell I'm getting ready for Spring?


  1. That was a great post. Marriage is definitely a day-by-day process of love, hard work, and forgiveness.

  2. I've loved hearing your thoughts on marriage, especially this last segment because it addresses things that we're going through right now (taking each other for granted).

    Looking forward to tomorrow's post...

  3. I also meant to answer your question about the sleep study. I think that they do sometimes do them for several nights (and days - some people stay and are monitored during naps!) in a row. With mine, they just wanted to see if my enlarged tonsils and adenoids were making me stop breathing at night, which they were. My referral was written for five nights, so I guess I could have gone back if I needed to, but they got what they needed after one night.


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