21 November 2016

5 Reasons To Be Thankful For Marriage

I have a love-hate relationship with fall.

On the one hand, it's nice having the weather cool off slightly after the hot summer months. On the other hand, some days take it a bit too far and I freeze my butt off. I love that autumn means that the leaves become beautiful fiery shades. My favorite is the maple tree that turns bright red. But unfortunately the trees are only one rainy, windy day away from becoming completely bare. I also love fall because it contains my birthday (the best day of the year, of course) and Thanksgiving.

In the middle of trying to plan the perfect Thanksgiving recipes, assembling grocery shopping lists, cleaning the house, and getting swept up in the Christmas chaos that seems to start earlier and earlier each year, I try to bring my focus back to what I am thankful for. My mind drifts to marriage. I will be the first to say that marriage can be hard at times. But despite its challenges, there's still a lot to be thankful for about marriage.  Here's five reasons to get your brain jogging and hopefully you may come up with some more of your own!

1. You have a built-in teammate to help navigate life's many challenges. Life can be crazy at times. Or all of the time. Having a teammate in life allows you to look at your schedule and divide up tasks to lessen each other's load. If you need improvement in this area, you can read five tips on getting your husband to help out around the house (hint: it can also work on your wife!). You have someone to vent to when you need to de-stress and unwind after a long, hard day. He or she can pray for you, build you up, and cheer you on. When you face a tough situation, you know someone has your back. You don't need to face the world alone when you have a spouse by your side.
"Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.”(Genesis 2:18)
2. Marriage forces you to grow, mature, and be continually refined, whether you want to or not!
Marriage can be difficult. In fact, marriage is a big, fat, ugly mirror. If you are selfish while single, something has to give once married. If you frivolously spent money before marriage, that now affects your spouse and needs to be addressed. In marriage, you learn how to be selfless, love unconditionally, and forgive daily. Every day is a work in progress, refining us continually, even when it hurts. And oh, how it hurts at times!
“If you want to be free to serve Jesus, there’s no question—stay single. Marriage takes a lot of time. But if you want to become more like Jesus, I can’t imagine any better thing to do than to get married. Being married forces you to face some character issues you’d never have to face otherwise.” - Gary L. ThomasSacred Marriage: What If God Designed Marriage to Make Us Holy More Than to Make Us Happy?
3. Marriage allows you to specialize yourself to form a power couple. You then get to benefit from the best traits of each spouse. Part of being a power couple requires focusing on each other's strengths instead of weaknesses. If you had the exact same strengths, one of you would be redundant in the relationship, and thus, unnecessary. So be thankful for the unique strengths of your spouse, as well as your strengths that you can contribute to the relationship. You are stronger together than apart!
"Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken." (Ecclesiastes 4:12)
4. Sex! I'll just leave this one here since it's pretty self-explanatory. But marriage allows a couple to experience sexual intimacy in a truly God-honoring way without guilt or shame. If you need help discussing with your spouse how to strengthen your sexual intimacy (we all do), you can read more about it here.

5. Marriage lets someone truly know you intimately, inside and out. Part of the way my hubby and I regularly deepen that intimacy is discussing our weekly Marriage Monday questions. As I look back on memories with my hubby, I realize I am so incredibly thankful for him. He knows all of my flaws. Every single one of them. Ones I didn't even know I had until the big, ugly marriage mirror flashed them in my face. And he still chooses to be with me and stand by my side. He loves me when I'm being unlovable (more often than I'd like to admit) and he forgives me daily, just as God does for us. That is something to be thankful for!
"But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8)
What are you thankful for about marriage? What qualities of your spouse make you thankful? 

I hope you all have a happy Thanksgiving with your loved ones!

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