At the risk of sounding like a cliche…

I haven’t written a lot of posts like this because I guess I feel on the one hand like what I’m going to say is obvious.  People should – and most of the time do – know this.  But the more I’ve thought about it, the more I’ve reflected on my marriage with Susan and the way things can get sometimes in a relationship, and the more I see other couples these days, the more inclined I am to put this into words.

I understand how it can be easy to let time get away from you in your marriage.  To let the day-to-day grind of job, kids, house, and other commitments get in the way.  I know how it is to be a guy who fell in love with a girl, got married, and then gets distracted by his career.  It can be easy to let your most important human relationship slide as other things seem more pressing.  The squeaky wheel gets the grease, as they say.  And more often than not, it’s easy to let the flames of your marriage flicker when there’s a job deadline, a screaming baby, or a ball game on.  It can be easy to let small differences (the things about the other that used to be cute) turn into bigger divisions.

And for some reason, we often let these things happen and don’t do one thing about it.

I am grateful that I don’t have regrets in my relationship with Susan.  Was it perfect?  No, of course not.  We had our share of problems and arguments just like anyone else.  But we talked, we communicated, we said the things that were important, we said everything we needed to say.  We knew the other one was there, for life.  We both had a great peace about this with one another.  We fell in love in college and never looked back.  No regrets.

So if you’ll allow me to get into your business for just a minute –  Don’t take your spouse for granted.  You really don’t have any guarantees about the future.

This is what I guess everyone who has lost a spouse says (which is why I probably haven’t said it very often).  But now I find myself wanting to grab couples I see together, shake them, and say, “Do you realize what you have right now?  What you have the potential for?  That it’s worth it – whatever problems you have, to lean into them together and figure it out?  Do you know how precious what you have is?  Don’t dare throw it away!”  Or when I see older couples sitting together at a restaurant and not talking, I want to sit down with them and plead with them not to waste their last years together.

It is true that you and I don’t know what tomorrow holds.  No one is guaranteed anything.  Every couple dreams of a long life lived out together, but no one knows how many days they have.  There are 50-year olds who are only halfway through with their lives.  There are 24-year olds who are in their final days and don’t know it.

So I’m pleading with you today.

Men – love your wives.  Serve them, care for them, tell them how much your heart beats for them.  Some of you have a tough time saying these things to her.  Figure out a way to say it anyway.

Women – build your husbands up.  Love them, show them, don’t let another day go by where you don’t.  Let them know how much you appreciate them.

Forgive each other.  Ask God to help you overlook the things that get in the way.

Yesterday is history.  Don’t assume just because you said it back then that you shouldn’t have to say it again.  Tomorrow is uncertain.  Only God knows how many more days you have together.

Which makes today so important.  Don’t waste it.

 

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11 Responses to “At the risk of sounding like a cliche…”

  1. Suzi Kallam Says:

    Jerel,
    Thanks for the good reminders. As I reflect back, and as I enter the senior citizen portion of my life, I am stunned by all the things I allowed to stop me from living and loving with abandon. Sadly, we allow our flesh to wander and the enemy to put cracks in our beliefs. The wandering and cracks never deliver what they promise…they only serve to take us further away from the One who promises us abundance…real life, satisfying life, peace, joy and more than we could ever imagine.
    I am enjoying the presence of God like I never have before while Susan is face to face with Him.
    We think of you and pray for wisdom as you parent, strength for the tasks of each day, hope in God and peace in your soul.
    Suzi Kallam

  2. Kyle Wallace Says:

    Thanks for stating the obvious, brother — this message never goes without saying!

  3. Julie Says:

    A wonderful reminder- my mom shares the same wisdom often after losing my dad 7 years ago to cancer…the lessons she can now teach are priceless to us…thank you for the reminder, again….
    Julie

  4. Karen McMackin Says:

    Wow! Thank you for reminding me of the importance of my relationship to my husband!

  5. Michelle McConnell Says:

    thank you…

  6. Charlotte Lennartz Says:

    Thanks so much for such a great reminder – God Bless!

  7. Joan Says:

    And your comments hold a bit of “pain and praise” also, which bind a lifetime commitment. There is pain in any relationship and that should not hold us from praise for each other and for grace to grow on. Your reminder is gentle and firm. Blessings.

  8. Carolyn Says:

    God spoke to me through you tonight. Thank you.

  9. mike Says:

    thank you for this, jerel

  10. Misty Dove Says:

    I LOVE THIS!! This is how I feel on a pretty much a daily basis when I see couples fighting over the “little things” or even worse.. just not talking. Losing the one you love really puts it all in perspective!

  11. Will Oswald Says:

    Thanks for sharing this Jerel!

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