In my copious amounts of free time while on bed rest, I have been able to begin reading through my stack of books that I bought but never had time to read before now. Yesterday, I picked up from my shelf a relatively new book on marriage from one of my counseling professors, Paul Tripp, entitled “What Did You Expect? Redeeming the Realities of Marriage.” I’m a few chapters in, and I’m finding it to be a good reminder of the foundation marriage is meant to be built on: loving one another out of a love for God and a perspective of living in God’s kingdom (not mine). It’s the simple thoughts that can make a big difference. In this morning’s chapter, I was struck by two illustrations about the importance of daily choices to shape the overall course of a marriage: (1) you reap what you sow: “…there will be organic consistency between the seeds of words and actions that you plant in your marriage and the harvest of a certain quality of relationship that you will experience as you live with one another” and (2) the investment principle: “Every treasure you set your heart on and actively seek will give you some kind of return.” Both beg the question and day-to-day reflection on what sort of “harvest” I am sowing to in my marriage — or what sort of treasure am I investing in? Am I sowing words of kindness and love or of harsh criticism? Am I investing more in the “treasure” of my own kingdom (getting my own way – being demanding) or in God’s kingdom (seeking ways to love and serve and build up my husband)? Here is a good summary of why these are important things to consider DAILY in marriage:
The character of a marriage is not formed in one grand moment. Things in a marriage go bad progressively. Things become sweet and beautiful progressively. The development and deepening of the love in a marriage happens by things that are done daily; this is also true with the sad deterioration of a marriage. The problem is that we simply don’t pay attention, and because of this we allow ourselves to think, desire, say, and do things that we shouldn’t.
More thoughts I’m sure as I continue through this book. And I must say it’s a nice break from all the pregnancy & baby books I’ve been reading — probably a good balance, too, as we must keep in mind that our family is built first on faith in God, then on our love for each other … into which we invite our children to join. Marriage must remain a priority for Seth and me, which I know will be all the more difficult as we double our family size soon! But that’s truly what’s best not just for us, but it will be what’s best for our daughters as well. They will derive security from knowing that Mommy and Daddy love each other – through both good days and bad.
Second set of thoughts – or actually more of a recommendation. My little bro Bryan just started two for-fun blogs called best or worst, where you get to vote on what you think about his daily pick. So I will shamelessly promote them – check it out and cast your vote: Best or Worst Ride and The Best or Worst.
Bed rest update: today marks the fifth week of it. I’m still hanging in there – and the girls seem healthy. I’m now 30 weeks along, and I’m hopeful for more! Really thankful for friends and family who are taking such good care of us during this season.