When you're with your spouse it's natural to get lost in the 'routine' of life.We become so distracted by the hustle and bustle of everything and all the things we need to do and take care of, that the days and nights become blurred and before we know it, years have passed.
But we mustn't forget to actually stop from time to time and really value the time we have in each other's company.
A good exercise that I recommend for all married couples is to find an opportunity to stop whatever you're doing take a long hard look at your spouse while they're in the middle of something.
Let's say, for example, your spouse is engage in an activity without you, like washing dishes, cooking dinner, folding laundry. checking email, on the phone, flipping through a book/magazine, channel surfing, putting dishes away, wiping off their make-up or shaving. ironing their clothes, reading a book to the kids, cleaning out the fridge, wiping down the counters, playing on the floor with the kids, sipping their tea, praying etc.
While they're engaged in any of the above activities and not really taking notice of you, watch them intently, focus on their actions, focus on their facial features, watch their body but look beyond the physical form that you see. Instead think about their beating heart and the blood that's running through the course of their veins think of the breadths they're taking, think of the tension in their body and the warmth of their touch.
Now think of the worries that burden them. What are they?
Who are they? Think of the constant pressure that these stresses place on their heart, on their lungs, on their digestive track, on their muscles, on every part of their physical body.
Do they worry about their health or your health?
Do they worry about their aging parents?
Do they mourn for a parent. sibling, or child that they've lost?
Do they worry about their job security?
Do they worry about finances and being able to provide for the family?
Do they worry about your young children and their health or well-being?
Do they worry about your teens and their spiritual, mental and physical health?
Do they worry about your safety in this toxic age of increased racism?
Do they worry about their own spiritual heart and standing with God?
Do they worry about all of the above and so much more?
New feel the weight of all of these things. Which them and imagine how they carry all this weight on their body everywhere they go,every minute of every day. Even in that moment while they are distracting themselves with some task or activity the chances are their mind is consumed with one major worry or multiple worries all at once. Think of the toll such a constant barrage of stress must be placing on their actual body.
And yet where are they? They're there with you. They're committed to you. Even when they fail and make mistakes, they're still there.
Now let gratitude fill your heart as you watch them with these intentions...
Watch them and be grateful for their living, warm presence next to you in this life.
Watch them and remember all the good they've done for you.
Watch them and remember the laughter you've shared.
Watch them and remember the intimate moments you've shared.
Watch them and remember the tender moments when yo were broken and they held you together.
Watch them and remember the times they defended you even when you couldn't defend yourself. Watch them and remember when they walked by your side into a gathering and you beamed with pride.
Watch them and remember how they honor your loved ones.
Watch them and remember the amazing places you've visited together.
Watch them and remember the day your children were born.
Watch them and remember the days you were sick and they comforted you.
Our spouses may not always do or say what's right. They may often frustrated us, defy us, annoys and even bring us to tears, BUT, we must do our part to remember their good, None of us are perfect.We can't be. But we must reward loyalty nonetheless and what defines loyalty better than spouses who remain committed to each other despite all the pressures and stresses of life?
When we remember their good often, our gratitude for their very presence will naturally increase.We will begin to appreciate their actual existence and not allow one day to pass where we take them for granted. Not a day will pass when we aren't grateful to feel their warmth next to us as we sleep and to find them when we wake.
Every single day couples are torn apart one day or another. Whether their marriages dissolve or they are separated by death, there is always a great deal of remorse and regret over all the time wasted and lost on ingratitude, resentment, pettiness, etc.
The remedy for these things is to purposely, intentionally, and regularly force yourself to look, to take a deep, long look at your spouse and be grateful for them.And obviously, for them to do the same.
May God protect all of our marriage s from these diseases. And may we all, husband and wives, increase our gratitude and take these moments of deep reflection and consideration of our spouses seriously.