In February our thoughts turn to romance. Remember the courting days when he was your knight in shining armor? Now you hardly get to talk to the guy. He comes home, and you’re sorting the last wash and fixing dinner. You still have to get the kids bathed, and toys are strewn everywhere. When the kids are finally down, you hardly feel like romance. After all, romance got you into this exhausting routine!
But the best thing you can do for those precious little crumb-grinders is to love their daddy. I hear couples say they will be mature and the children won’t get hurt, but that is impossible. Divorce rips the children’s security from underneath them. The only things that can protect them from that is both parents’ commitment to the family. The key is to keep in mind Love is a Choice. We women get trapped because we are oriented to our emotions. Believe me: you cannot let your feelings rule your life! Communicate your hurts (in a positive manner) so resentments don’t build up, but be quick to forgive. Paul writes in the epistles that we have to cast down thoughts. The battle truly is in the mind.
When those times come and all you can think of is how tough life is, or how difficult this relationship has become, stop and pray for your husband. Thank God for his gifts and strengths, pray for him not to give in to temptations—remember that gal at work doesn’t have to pick up his dirty socks, smell his morning breath, or listen to him fuss at the kids. He sounds intelligent at meetings and looks good when you send him out the door in that freshly ironed shirt! Why were you were attracted to him? Take out the photo albums and remember the good times. And while you’re at it, remember, you have morning breath, too! As well as a few bad traits he puts up with.
Once you cast down those bad thoughts and tell that accusing voice in your head to shut up, then act like you love him. Am I telling you to be a hypocrite? Is that living a lie? No, it is walking by faith. Faith is the substance of things not seen, the evidence of things hoped for. It may take a while, but as you behave lovingly and reach out with warmth and acceptance, the stars will come out again.
From forty years perspective, I promise you it is worth every struggle. We share so much history. No one knows me like Joe. He was with me when our son almost died. He was with me when we left his clothes at home when we left for vacation. Our children visit both parents at the same place. One couple sits in the parent’s pew at the weddings and the christenings. And you, too, will receive a card on your anniversary that says: thanks for showing me how it’s done!