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I love hanging out with newlyweds. They are so cute and in love. I think that people who have been married a while tend to dismiss that desire to serve each other, forgive each other, and be intentional about having a good marriage. They adapt the attitude of “Oh, just wait! Once you experience the real world of marriage, you won’t be like this!” That cynicism and jaded response seems justified. It is absolutely true that the cute couple in early wedded bliss has no way of knowing what is ahead. They haven’t seen the worst of their spouse yet. They haven’t been hurt by the one who is supposed to love them the most. They haven’t been exhausted with young babies, or in the throes of foreclosure on their home. They haven’t experienced the stress of a move or job loss or infertility.
But have we ever considered that we – the couples who have been married for a while in this “real world” – are the ones missing the boat? We are the ones who have let the stresses of the world and the sins of our spouse cause us to forget
*That our spouse isn’t our enemy — they are on our team.
*That date night is important and needs to happen, even if it’s decaf coffee after the kids are tucked into bed.
*That sex is fun and is worth a little less sleep, even when you’re exhausted parents.
*That even if we lose everything –all our worldly stuff— we still have our love and our God and that’s enough.
*That getting to go to bed every night and wake up every morning next to our best friend is pretty fun!
*That our spouse has some really amazing things about them that drew our attention when we started dating.
*That God asks us to serve our spouse without the need to be served in return.
*That we are called to forgive not because our spouse deserves to be forgiven – but because WE have been forgiven of a much greater debt.
*That God tells us to respect our husbands – not because they have earned the respect, but because He commands it. God tells us to love our wives – not because they are lovable, but because He commands it. And after husbands start loving, wives become more lovable. And after wives start respecting, husbands become more respectable.
So when you see these newly married couples giving goo goo eyes to each other and being all cute and in love, remember that you can learn a thing or two from them. Then go kiss your spouse in the kitchen!