I think it would probably be most honest of me to admit that a big reason why I am almost insisting to myself that I want to post these thoughts right now is because I am very aware that I have not made any “Huggie-Wuggie” posts for a very long time.
I am very aware of this, as I do not want to be sporadic about posting here. On the other hand, I feel as if I just have not had the necessary inspiration (OR I have not made the necessary time to think through issues and meditate upon them at length….)
However, I have been thinking about a few things; for instance the difference between love and infatuation, which is a question that has kept me puzzled for over a decade…and a few other thoughts. However, on this and other issues, I think I will need to take more time to deeply think through them before I can come to any coherent viewpoint.
This post is a quick expression of something that occurred to me, that could also probably benefit from more consideration. However, here is the basic point:
I have been observing relationships etc as is my habit, and watching a few TV programmes dealing with real-life stories of marital problems. I think that at last, I have finally accepted that my underlying attitude to marriage has been very wrong in one key way. That is, up until now, I’ve been looking for someone excellent in the hope that his excellence would effectively cancel out the possibility of his making a serious mistake which could ruin the life that I have dreamt of for myself. The vulnerability within marriage is something that has always terrified me, because, in effect, I have always felt that I would be putting everything I am, or everything I long to be, at the mercy of another, very imperfect person. Why would I do that?! Why would anyone do that?!
The way I’m looking at it now is that marriage is a commitment between two people to always be there for one another, closely tied together, no matter what. Because you are so closely tied to this other person, then the bad decisions they make will inevitably touch your life. And yet (I’m thinking) the commitment you are making as you are getting married is that:
“I am going to be committed to you, whomever you turn out to be, whatever you do.” Obviously, it works both ways as he is also making a commitment to whomever I turn out to be, however my actions might reverberate against his life and his dreams.
I know that in practice there are a few situations when you cannot realistically live together with someone else, for instance if they put your life in danger, then I would say “Get out of there!” However, you can still be exclusively committed to them from a distance, praying for them, believing that God can change them…
Bringing out the best in someone…
This was a thought that occurred to me only within the last 24 hours. It was born out of deep frustration!
Do you know anyone close to you who can sometimes cause you frustration? We all have these people, don’t we? I’m sure it is safe to say that. Furthermore, I know that at points in my life I have caused deep frustration and even immense pain to other people – and I might still do this, even now that I’m a little older and wiser.
Up until now, my attitude towards the thought of frustration in marriage was to avoid anyone who would cause me frustration, and I always thought to myself that I did not want to “spin gold from straw” – thank you very much! That is, I wanted someone who was excellent to start off with…
But then, I started thinking of these particular frustrations. And I thought to myself – “Remember, no-one is perfect!” Yes, this person ALWAYS does this – someone else might not do this particular thing, but they might display another trait which I might find ten times worse. Also, I know that in marital discussions you are supposed to avoid using generalisations like “always” – but please believe me that in this situation it is perfectly apt – always always always!
And then I thought to myself – “I am always going to find myself surrounded by imperfect people – not least myself. How could I make the best of this situation? How could I bring the best out of this person?”
For the first time ever, I prayed about this particular thing, even though it has been annoying me for so long. (I like to think of myself as being a prayerful person, but too often, prayer will be the last option to cross my mind to deal with particular issues).
I made up my mind that I was going to address the issue with grace and gentleness. This, if anything should demonstrate to someone out there that God must be very powerful indeed – I usually get very angry, very quickly, even if I don’t outwardly express that anger. In fact, it occurred to me that bringing the best out of people and situations will generally mean refusing to get angry (as that would take me out of the place of grace and kindness).
I thought to myself – how could I manage this issue? Should I just “grin and bear it”? Which aspects of this could I compromise upon? Pragmatically speaking, are there actions I could take to minimise my exposure to the most frustrating aspects of this thing? This will reduce the likelihood of my getting angry, and therefore make it easier for me to maintain a gracious attitude…
There will probably be a few people reading this who will think that all of this is SO OBVIOUS! It might well be obvious to most people. However, it has not been obvious to me. This is part of the reason why for so long I knew that I lacked the necessary maturity to get married. However, (this is a bold claim!) I honestly think that I now have the necessary emotional maturity to get married. This is not a wild boast – after all I am already a few years older than the average age of marriage for either women or men. This is one area of my life in which I have clearly trailed behind other people…
Now the situation I am talking about is a real situation, caused by a real person. However, this person is not at all a possible marriage candidate. However I like to draw lessons from my general interaction with people to feed my understanding of how to get on with my husband. I try to evaluate my potential success with Mr HW by the success of my interaction with others. So to apply the first lesson, about being committed no matter what, I thought – “OK, I’m not going to leave! I’m not going to walk away. I’m going to stick this out, and make it beautiful.”
I still think that you have to invest all possible care and prayer and watchfulness regarding your choice of spouse, but once you’re in that marriage, then leaving is no longer an option. Also, I guess it may be possible to leave emotionally without leaving physically – to withdraw emotionally for the sake of peace on a number of issues until you are not investing at all into the marriage, or actively engaging within it…. So it’s not only that “I am not going to leave”, but “I am also going to actively engage and invest in this thing – and I am going to keep engaging and investing in it” Even if the time comes that your spouse refuses to talk to you, then for the Christian, prayer is always an option – as long as you remember to consider it! 😉
1 Corinthians 13v8:
8 Love never fails.
Photo of red bow from Pixabay