Hope For The Hurting

By: Donna Clark

Do you remember things you did to impress when you were dating your spouse? I do. For an art assignment in my high school days, I submitted a drawing of headers. I can’t tell you what they are or what they do, but when my now husband and I were dating, I heard about these a lot. He was in the process of restoring a 1955 Chevrolet and evidently these things were necessary…so, trying to be in touch with the whole restoration process, I thought it’d be so neat to draw a picture of headers! What girl could top that! After grading, the teacher returned my drawing to me, and I proudly presented my art work to my now hubby which, maybe out of good sense or kindness, he did hang in his room. We do things that we think back on and maybe chuckle at or are embarrassed by, but the whole intent of all we did was to impress the one we loved.

Fast forward from the dating days and the pursuing to a marriage that is several years old, and the passion, the fun, the excitement have disappeared. And the question “What happened?” haunts us. We got relationally lazy; we stopped pursuing. No longer do we feel we have a spouse that seems to care; in fact, the relationship feels more disconnected at times than connected. The couple now has fallen out of love and is headed for divorce. What if that couple stopped for a moment and thought of the option of pursuing once again? To stop being lazy and put some work into a relationship that once was strong and loving.

Genesis 2:24, “A man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife and they become one flesh.” Sometimes, we look at this word — united — and think a one-time event. But if you look closely at the original Hebrew language, the true meaning of this word is to cling or adhere to. It also means to catch with pursuit, pursuing hard with affection and devotion. There is a need to continue pursuing; there’s never a point we reach when we can stop. We can have good intentions to pursue our spouse, but so many times the intentions are never converted into actions. Let me give you three thoughts that will help close the gap between intentions and actions.

Number One: When you think something good, SAY IT. Every time you think something positive, affirmative, encouraging, SAY IT. This is not just good for your marriage, it’s good for all relationships, whether it be your children, friends, or coworkers. You can never go wrong in building up another person, the Bible speaks of it as “encouraging one another.” Don’t rob another person of a word of encouragement by keeping a thought to yourself. How different do you think your marriage relationship would be if every day you spoke words to build up your spouse? And when you tell your spouse you love them, follow it with a reason why you love them. I love you because…and let it be sincere and do it consistently.

Number Two: When you think about something special, DO IT. James 4:17, “If anyone knows to do good and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.” Ouch! Guys, that means you watch that Hallmark movie that she loves and ladies, you go ride in the golf cart with him or take in that ballgame by his side. It can be a number of things, but when a thought pops into your head to do good, take it as a sign from Heaven above and act on it. It’s so important to do for your spouse what will cause them happiness. Just DO IT.

Number Three: When you want something different, BE IT. So many times, hurting couples point a finger at the other saying, “I wish she was this” or “I wish he would do this,” “I wish she was less critical” or “I

wish he was more romantic.” Unfortunately, we can focus on negative actions so much they become the only actions we do see. After a period of time, we can no longer see any good in that person. There must be a determination to look for the good and a refusal to continue searching for faults. If we wish to see a change in our spouse, it’s always good to look in the mirror; there could possibly be changes that need to be made within us. Begin being what you’d like to see in your spouse.

In conclusion, if you don’t like what you are getting, look at what you are giving. At some time, there was something special in your marriage, a reason you bought the ring, a reason you said yes. More than likely, there was something you were doing then that you are not doing now.

To get what you once had, just do what you once did.

Saving the marriage,

By: Donna Clark