Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Most Enjoyable Work

There are a couple of old sayings floating around that are kind of funny. The first one is: “Everything worth having has a price.” While that price may not be in money, it’s true, there is a price, somehow or other you’ve got to pay for it; whether it’s with time, energy or giving up something else to have it. The other saying is: “The best things in life are free.” This one seems to be a direct opposite of the first. I prefer the version of this that someone said, modifying it to say, “The best things in life are bought with something other than money.”

Have you ever seen an elderly couple walking hand in hand, or sitting in a restaurant, that are still obviously in love with each other, even after all those years? It’s wonderful to encounter a couple like that; unfortunately, there aren’t enough of them around. Most couples don’t make it that far.

The reality is that there’s no way to have a good marriage without both partners putting a lot of work into it. I’ll go as far as to say, there’s no way for a marriage to survive, without both partners putting a lot of work into it. On the other hand, the more work a couple is willing to put into their marriage, the better it can be.

People talk about falling out of love with their spouses. That’s a lie. What they did was stop working at loving them. When we stop working at loving, we start focusing on the negative. That’s when we’re in trouble; focusing on the negative is a sure path to destruction.

Any couple who have similar beliefs and lifestyle can make a success out of their marriage. I’ve seen couples where they spoke different languages, with maybe a couple hundred words in common, yet they made their marriage work. I’ve seen the rich marry the poor and make it work. I’ve seen people from different cultural backgrounds come together in marriage and have a wonderful life together, overcoming their differences. I’ve even seen arranged marriages where the couple was happily in love with each other.

What do all of these marriages have in common? They made a decision to work at it. Any good marriage is so because both marriage partners decide to work at having a successful marriage. Maybe one has to change a bad habit; maybe the other has to learn to like something they’ve never tried before; maybe they've both got to learn a new way of communication; but, you know what, they do it.

The thing that most impedes a couple’s ability to make their marriage work is a lack of desire to do so. Anything can be changed, if one decides it’s worth making the change. The second thing that impedes success in marriage is pride; that is, the kind of pride that says, “They’ve got to change, I won’t.”

There’s a common word between those two problems, it’s “change.” Making a happy marriage requires change. We have to be willing to change our habits, change our traditions, change our customs, change our ways of doing things, and even change ourselves. But, it’s worth it.

Every couple who have make their marriage into bliss have done so by changing, adapting, learning, and coming up with new ways of doing things that aren’t his or hers, but theirs. What is there in life that is more valuable to you than your wife? If you can come up with something, other than God, you’ve got a serious problem. You’ve already broken your marriage vows. You’ve stopped cherishing that person you vowed to cherish.

Invest in changing you, so that your marriage can change. I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that you’ll enjoy the fruit of that change. Just remember, she’s worth it.

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