Monday, April 14, 2014

How (not) to kill your husband!

The other night I was called out around 8:30 PM to go make a hospital visit at the ER. As I walked into the living room to tell Misty goodbye I turned toward the TV to see what she was watching. I mainly looked because the name of the show was said and it really caught my attention. The title of the show is "How (not) to kill your husband." After I looked at the TV, I then looked at Misty and she had a mischievous grin on her face. She reassured me it was just a commercial for the show and not the actual show. She then said that she may need to watch it though! This TV show is similar to others where they basically show you what a person did in their attempt to murder their spouse and why they were caught. I guess you could consider it a how not to get caught guide, which is pretty unnerving!

Marriage is a fickle thing. There are some marriages that are so bad they actually do want to kill their spouse (and in some cases actually attempt it). There are some marriages that last for 70 years and we are amazed at how they have done it. Regardless of how great a marriage seems to be or how badly it seems to be going, marriage is a struggle. See, marriage is God's perfect union being attempted by two imperfect people. And because we are imperfect people we bring our own baggage, our own selfish desires and our own issues into a relationship made for more than just us. When you add two people with their own baggage, selfish desires and issues, then mix in kids, finances, jobs and family issues, we have the ingredients for a very explosive bomb. This bomb has the potential to leave collateral damage for years to come. So how do some couples diffuse the bomb and others can't seem to put the burning fuse out before its too late?

My answer is this, I don't know. I do know this, marriage takes the work of two people not just one to make it work. I also know that marriage is work, it's not easy to make marriage work. The hardest job in the world is raising kids. The second hardest is marriage. Misty and I have had our rough patches in marriage like all couples, but we've been committed to doing what was necessary to make our marriage work. If both spouses aren't committed to making the marriage work, then the fuse will continue to burn until it sets the bomb off. 

To make a marriage work you also have to change your perspective. Just like when a child is born, a parent's perspective changes from a self-centered perspective to a perspective that focuses on someone else's needs. When we get married, our perspective has to change. Our marriage isn't about what it does for us. Our marriage is about glorifying God and what we can do to make our spouse the greatest man or woman they can be. It's about putting their needs above our own and constantly working to show our love to them. Can any of us do it perfectly? No we can't. Should we strive every day to do all we can to edify and build up our spouse? Yes. Otherwise we are simply watching the fuse burn towards the bomb.

I'll end with this. Last year I stood in the ER with a man who had just lost his wife of 71 years. They had a great marriage. Was it perfect? No. Did they both work hard to make their marriage work, especially when he served in WWII? Yes they did. That night I saw the picture of what a great marriage is all about. I saw a man who had loved his wife completely tell her that he should have loved her more, that he should have done more for her. He understood what it meant to set aside his self-centered desires and put the wants and desires of his wife ahead of his own. That's how you diffuse the bomb. That's how you make a marriage not just good, but great.

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