Monday, October 7, 2013

Choosing joy: In marriage.

{If you haven't already, join in the conversation about joy here!}

  A few years ago, one of my favorite friends from college passed on some great advice from her mom to me that I have never forgotten. From the beginning of her marriage, she was intentional about speaking positively of her husband to others. She never aired her dirty laundry or expressed unnecessary frustration to people who don't need to know. She chooses to love him with her words, even when he isn't around. 
   I've never been able to forget that and have worked at it since getting married 4 years ago {Some days I'm better at it than others...}. Marriage is hard. Rewarding and awesome, yes. But hard, too. I'm not perfect, Justin's not perfect. But I believe that love is a choice, just like joy. And I believe that words have a lot to do with both joy and love. The more I build up my husband to others, the more I build him up in my heart. Not in false ways, but real ones. I think our culture is one of venting and complaining- and sometimes sharing proud moments or thankfuls comes off as being showy and brag-y. 
  I never want to feel bad for being thankful for my husband. I don't want to get caught up on swapping stories about how frustrating his quirks can be. Instead, I really want to practice loving him even when he's not around. And when he's around, too. I think that doing that make choosing love and joy a little easier when something hard comes around. He's not perfect, I'm not perfect. But we're in this together and I'm so thankful that joy in marriage is a choice. 
  And on that note, I have been feeling extra thankful for Justin lately. He's done the dishes when I've been gone, gone grocery shopping, helped me pack my lunch, cleaned the entire garage on his day off, and started really valuing being healthy. He's good for me, and he's good to me. 

The Whole series:
Day 2. Let's chat. 
Day 3. Nouwen's words. 
Day 4. A choice. 
Day 5. A picture.
Day 6. A quote
Day 7. In marriage. 


Anonymous said...

I love this! I often forget how important it is to watch how I talk about my husband to other people. Thanks for this reminder. :) (And we've been married four years, too!)

Anonymous said...

YES. My aunt gave me the same wise advice when I first got married. It is an excellent practice in discipline and humility.