Crown Jewel

Cultivate a cheerful disposition; endeavor, as much as lieth in you, always to bear a smile about with you; recollect that this is as much a command of God as that one which says, “Thou shalt love the Lord with all thy heart.” Let us take the pure gold of thankfulness and the jewels of praise and make them into another crown for the head of Jesus. When it is the Lord’s work in which we rejoice, we need not be afraid of being too glad. Cheerfulness is most becoming in Christian men. Contentment is the crown jewel of a happy life.
Charles H. Spurgeon
Daily Help (February 20, 2014)

My Sweetheart

I have the most wonderful husband! He has been my sweetheart for 19 years. Most people who know us now could never imagine that our marriage hasn’t always been great. In fact, often people are shocked to hear that we too had/have struggles.

I read a book years ago by Jill Savage, founder of Hearts at Home, in which she openly discussed her marital struggles. I can’t remember the exact number of years that she and her husband had been married at the time, but she made a comment that stuck with me. She said when people ask her how long she had been married she replied (something to the effect) 18 years, 8 of them happily married. 🙂 Oh how we can relate to this. Later she shared that she and her husband made necessary adjustments in order to save their marriage.

The fact is, marriage is NOT easy!
It is work, and lots of it. It is learning to put someone else’s needs before your own and learning to let go of your pride. It is learning to forgive before anyone asks or says they are sorry. It is letting go of the offense and never bringing it up again. It is giving of yourself, even when you don’t want to. It is making decisions for the betterment of the marriage (& family).

Marriage is a commitment not a feeling. Feelings and emotions often betray us. Sometimes we are absolutely enamored with our spouse, at other times we may appreciate them, still others we may tolerate them and then there are the days (for whatever reason) we might just loathe them. But we stay together because of our commitment, knowing that things will not always be as difficult as this day and things will not always be a perfect as that day.

Just before we married, my neighbor, who had been married for a lifetime, gave me some marital advice. One thing she said “You both can not be crazy at the same time!” Oh how this has come to our aid in the midst those moments of insanity. We often laugh and say, “It’s my turn to be crazy today, you will have to wait!”

Even so our marriage was dull. We went through the motions, and had nearly succumb to the fact, that it was our “lot in life”. (Our sad, sad lot!)
Just when we thought things would never improve my husband gave me (us) the greatest gift! He decided that he did not want to go on being married………….”like that” anymore.

He decided that he wanted to be married and he wanted to enjoy it. It was an amazing gift that couldn’t help but impact our marriage. He made a decision to change. He bought me flowers, he was kind when I was difficult, soft spoken when I was angry, loving when I wanted to fight. He treated me like a queen (especially when I didn’t deserve it.) I was taken back and confused. He was gentle and loved me unconditionally. And that love was so powerful that I could not help but respond, like a flower my heart began to open.

Funny thing is we had been given the secret from the very beginning but had just ignored it…….
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. (1Corinthians 13:4-7)

Once we took this to heart our real romance began.

Happy Valentine’s Day!