Royal Courage

Royal Courage

by Haley I, 2/12/2018

I wish I could say that I’m a model spouse who loves her husband and who is in love with her husband every day, but I am far from that ideal. Before getting married, I assumed that love for my partner would always come easily. I’m not sure why I thought this since we’re two imperfect people and I knew from experience that all human relationships pose some challenges. It just seems like the person you love so much that you decided to spend forever together, should always be your favorite.

That’s not the case, though, is it? A few years into marriage, I have found that many days I am not overcome with feelings of love and appreciation toward the man I married.

While it can be easy to dwell in a place of negative thinking, that’s a dangerous mindset. When I focus on myself in the marriage and what I think I deserve from my spouse, I can always find a reason to feel dissatisfied. When I am tempted to do this, it is necessary as well to identify and express gratitude for his positive traits and what I know to be his expressions of love (even if not my preferred way of being shown love).

While choosing to love might sound laborious and unfair (back to that earlier life assumption — shouldn’t marital love be easy?), I am motivated to do just this for a few reasons.

My promise

When I married my husband, I made a vow to love him under many different circumstances — “in good times and in bad.” Frequent bad days of hurt feelings and angry words can naturally take a toll on me and lead me down a path of negative thoughts. It is far better for me and for my family if I simply remember that I made a promise to love and to act on that than to store up offenses and let blame and bitterness set in.

We are one

My husband and I united in marriage and became one. We are on the same team. That means that any resentment I hold toward him doesn’t only harm him; it also harms me. If I tear him down, I tear down myself and our family with him. When I choose to love even in difficult circumstances, I am building up our family and looking toward a personal future with hope. That is worth swallowing my pride and enduring the hard days.

I need grace

I know that I am not a perfect woman or a perfect wife. I need grace too, and I hope that my husband thinks it worthwhile to overlook my faults and offenses for the sake of our marriage and our family. If we are still loving each other fifty years down the road, it will be a huge credit to him.

Love is a powerful force that is likely to bring about change in those who receive it. Even when love is not easy and romantic, as we are conditioned to think it should be, we can trust that our selfless acts of love will bring about the best results – no matter what that result is.

Marriage is hard – but a healthy marriage and a strong family could be the crowning achievement if you continue to choose to love, day after day.

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