(Click here to read part 1 and part 2)
Here are a couple of quick ones, since I didn't want to make the shower last all day :)
5. Tear Down Every Wall When You Feel It Going Up. Sort of like my previous point, don’t let issues go unaddressed. The walls that grow between couples are built one stone at a time, and they’re also dismantled with a lot of work, one stone at a time. You have the great opportunity right now to keep that wall from forming at all.
4. Keep Your Desires (“Needs”) in Check. You already know this – marriage is SO not about you! You will be disappointed at things C does or things he doesn’t do or things he doesn’t do enough of. Keep perspective on what your real needs are, and what are just desires. When C seeks to bless you, be blessed, even if it’s not quite what you were hoping for. Perhaps more importantly, seek to regularly bless him, without expecting anything (even acknowledgement) in return.
3. You Will Learn So Much About Yourself! You’ll discover these emotions, these potentials for fears and insecurities and jealousies that you didn’t know where possible, either in degree or in kind. Remember that each of these fears is an opportunity for you to deepen your trust in God, and each challenge is also an opportunity for you to root your identity and your security more deeply in Christ.
2. Guard Your Heart; Don’t Be Content With Surface Solutions. One thing I’ve so appreciated about HH is that he is not content with surface solutions to things that are bothering me. An example: if I am frustrated because I think he’s spending too much time on his computer (for work or play), I’m prone to say, “Let’s limit your time on the computer to X hours per day.” He, on the other hand, wants to understand why it’s bothering me, what I’m seeking to accomplish through him spending less time on the computer, and why I had such a hard time voicing my frustration until it was at a boiling point. It’s a lot more work to do that, but I appreciate his impulse to not put a bandaid on a gaping wound (or what has the potential to grow into a bigger wound). When you’re feeling frustrated or dissatisfied, don’t just seek to change your circumstances; look for ways to change yourself in those circumstances.