and now for the long ones… this one directed to the women… and a great write… – by now you know what’s going on so read, enjoy, learn… this one by my internet friend Rachel T Moore:
Since I only know my half of what works (my husband is amazing and mysterious like that), I’m going to address what a wife can do to build a good marriage. I’ve only been married two years (dated for three prior to that) but there’s a couple things I’m glad I’ve learned/am learning:
I think that the best advice I have is pray, laugh, repeat.
Pray for your spouse, pray for yourself. Pray together, pray apart. Ask for yourself, ask for others. Rejoice, praise, be grateful, be angry, doubt, seek, love, commune… and Enjoy.
I think that in our spiritual lives, as well in our marriages, we start to take everything too seriously sometimes. There’s a season for serious, yes… but usually we’re all so self-important that it’s ridiculous. Our spouses are our partners and friends and lovers… not some sort of validation or someone we need to change to be a certain way. But we don’t treat them like that. We nag them about doing chores the way we’d like or harass them about their failures, or only direct attention to them when it’s negative, and it’s such a loss.
It works to diffuse serious situations too. If I’m consistently falling short on a goal or a virtue, my husband has a knack for gently teasing me into realizing what I need to do! (Although I have seen other couples where the woman takes that sort of teasing TOO SERIOUSLY… ya gotta be less touchy, ladies!). Sometimes, in the heat of an argument, I just have to hear MYSELF and just how stubborn/ridiculous I’m being and stop and have a good laugh! It allows me to get over any embarrassment or self-importance at being on the wrong side (or even just an unreasonably stubborn side) of a discussion, and be open to what my partner is saying.
My husband and I have had a rough year (job stresses, unemployment stresses, health issues, depression), and I think what really got me through was constant prayer, which gave me the strength to DECIDE to be joyful, which is contagious don’t ya know! If we started to get into slumpy depressed woe is me mode, it could be as simple as making funny faces or singing funny little songs, or deciding that even though it’s ten at night it sounded like a perfect time to make cookies because who can be sad with the smell of baking?
Actively pursuing joy (and thus in my case, laughter) reminds me how in love with my husband I am (and I can tell you I’m MUCH more attractive to him laughing than nagging) and gives me the strength to do the hard “grown-up things” that life consists of (work, bills, chores, etc.).
And it’s amazing how, when you are constantly in prayer and deciding to be joyful, your husband responds! It’s like magic. Then, when a day comes and it’s too hard to be joyful on your own, your partner/friend/lover/husband is there to make funny faces and sing silly songs and pray with you and help you through.
The much-lauded Proverbs woman is said to be clothed in strength and dignity, and that she can laugh at the days to come. I think that’s not only because she has her house in order and all those wonderful things that were listed in that daunting chapter, but that she has learned to laugh! Now, everything that is thrown at her, she knows exactly how to handle.
Pray, Laugh, Repeat.
[married for 2 years]