Summary: There are five things which keep a marriage and your love growing
How to Keep Your Love Growing
A woman wrote to Dear Abby: “Do all marriages eventually go stale? Ours has. My husband and I don’t seem to have much to talk about any more. We used to talk about our kids but now they’re grown and gone. Now I have no major complaints about my husband but the old excitement just isn’t there anymore. We watch a lot of television. We read a lot. And we have fun with some friends. But when we’re alone together it’s pretty dull. We even sleep in separate bedrooms now. Is there some way to recapture the old magic?” Reader’s Digest reports that the number one question people ask marriage counselors is “Why don’t we love each other the way we used to?” The truth is every marriage is always either growing together or growing apart. Because it’s a relationship, a living, breathing thing, it never stands still. Relationships never stand still. There are five things which keep a marriage and your love growing.
First, keep on paying attention. Attention means love. It’s the most loving thing you do when you give somebody your attention. When you’re paying attention to somebody you’re saying to them, “I value you. You matter to me. You’re worth listening to.” When you give somebody your attention, you’re actually giving them your life because your time is your life and you’re never going to get that time back. So the most valuable thing you can give somebody is your attention. When you give them that you are actually giving them a part of yourself.
The truth is that’s how you fell in love. You began to pay attention to somebody and they began to pay attention to you. If that hadn’t happened, you would have never fallen in love. And that became the beginning of a relationship. Marriage takes a lot of attention. Do you remember how much attention you used to give to your husband or your wife before you got married? You bought flowers, you wrote notes, you made phone calls. You talked for hours. You spent a lot of time together. In many, many ways during dating and engagement you said, You have my undivided attention. In fact, you thought about them all the time when you weren’t with them.
What happened? You don’t think about your husband/wife all the time now. Your attention shifted. You got complacent. You began to take things for granted. And over time we tend to pay less and less attention to our spouse and more attention to things like bills, babies, budgets, career, hobbies and sports. All of a sudden your husband/wife is no longer the focus of attention of your life. When that happens, the marriage begins to deteriorate. Write this down: I show I care by staying aware. If your marriage is going to keep on growing you’ve got to figure out a way to keep on paying attention to each other. If you don’t do that, your marriage is going to start to crumble. You’ve got to keep on paying attention.
Second, keep on making adjustments. Over the years you’re going to face lots of opportunities to make adjustments. Things are going to change. The kids are going to grow up. You’re going to find yourself moving from time to time. Jobs will changes. Even illnesses force us to make adjustments. Because circumstances keep changing you have to keep adjusting. Moe than anything, we have to adjust to one another. Nobody’s perfect. Somebody wrote to Dear Abby and said, “Dear Abby, I’m 40 years old. I’d like to meet a mature man my age with no bad habits.” Signed Rose. Abby wrote back, “Dear Rose, So would I.” The truth is we all need to learn to grow to adjust to each other but that’s especially true in marriage. The key to making those adjustments is unselfishness. In fact, learning to be unselfish is one of the greatest lessons of life and marriage. If you want to be selfish, don’t get married because to have a successful relationship you have to learn to be unselfish. 1 John 3:18 “Our love should not be just words and talk. It must be true love which shows itself in action.” What does this involve? What does adjusting to your husband or your wife involve? It involves a couple of things.
First, it means thinking about what he or she needs the most. It’s putting your spouse’s needs ahead of your own. Philippians 2:4 “Look out for one another’s interest and not just your own.” I don’t know why it is that the longer we’re married, the less we think about each other’s needs. That’s sort of a crazy thing. The Bible says that we’re supposed to be concerned about other’s needs and serve them. That’s especially true in the home.