We all form relationships with people who pique our interest. Something about them fulfills a need in us. This starts out very innocently, but then our expectations of one another grow. We view their requests, for our help in meeting their needs, as a demand on our time, energy and resources.
Others of us believe that our significant other should instinctively know our needs and to meet them without our request or input. When they fail to live up to our unspoken standards and desires, disenchantment changes our perspective of them.
We want to love on our own terms, and we withhold love when our partner hurts or disappoints us. We shut down, clam up and turn away from the one that gives us love unconditionally. One way to prevent this drifting apart is by loving each other in their own love language (https://www.5lovelanguages.com/profile/).
We also change as we age: our priorities, our worldview, our schedule of activities, our energy level, and our physical prowess and looks and capabilities all change. We are not as attracted to each other as we once were. Passion wanes and we settle into a boring routine.
This sets us up for an affair, or at the very least for discontentment with our marriage. Resentments build up over the years. We are not interested in the same things anymore, our priorities and goals change, and we look for fulfillment in different places.
At a time like this, accepting each other for what we are becoming is of paramount importance. We can make a recommitment to continue serving one another in love, regardless of our health issues and radically divergent needs and interests.
None of us is perfect, and we are not always correct in our memory of events, or what we thought was our shared vision for the future. Therefore, we can pledge now to support each other, to make sure one another has time to pursue personal interests, and to make each other more of a priority in our life.
Father God, we praise You with our whole heart and we constantly remember the blessings You bestowed on us throughout our entire life. Thank You for forgiving our sins and healing our diseases (Psalm 103:1-10). We count on Your mercy and grace, and we need You to teach us how to extend this same tolerance and compassion to our spouse (Ephesians 1:7-8; 1 John 1:9).
Help us not to entertain bitter thoughts toward each other, which will put a wider gap between us. Teach us to accept each other just as we are, and to forgive our mate’s slights, preoccupation, neglect and misunderstandings – just like Jesus forgives us; yet, inspire us to lay down our life for each other every single day as co-equal heirs of Your Kingdom (Ephesians 4:32; 1 Peter 3:7).
Thought for the Day:
Loving each other unconditionally; dwelling together with understanding of each other’s need and supporting one another; and fully accepting our mate’s idiosyncrasies, changing interests, and irritating imperfections and human tendencies to make mistakes and to fall short of our expectations, will help to increase our love for one another.