Marriage Made Simple
Recently, my wife, Michelle, and I had an evening to ourselves. We decided to watch a movie someone had recommended on Amazon. We had never watched a movie on Amazon before. We own a Vizio “smart TV” that features all the different apps, etc. When I sat down on the couch, I grabbed the cable remote and started channel surfing trying to find “Amazon” on our cable box. After a few minutes of confusion and frustration, I asked my wife if she knew how to access Amazon. She said no! After a few more minutes went by and more frustration and confusion took place, I finally pulled out the user manual and called the 1-800 number for technical support. When I explained to technical support what I was trying to do, he asked, “Are you holding the Vizio remote?” I said, “Yes!” He said, “Push the button.” “What button?” I asked. He replied, “The button that says Amazon.” I said, “Is that all I have to do?” He said, “Yes, push the button!” When I pushed the “Amazon” button on my remote, suddenly I saw a circular image on the screen and within seconds, every movie imaginable was right before our very eyes.
I know what you’re thinking … “This guy is a complete idiot!” I must confess, you’re right! I am the biggest idiot on the planet when it comes to technology. It just doesn’t come easily to me. I can take something so simple and make it so complicated.
When it comes to the marriage relationship, many couples do the exact same thing. They often take something that should be simple and make it so complicated. In fact, getting married is the easy part; staying married is much more challenging because you are taking two completely different individuals and putting them together under one roof. Those differences are what can make the marriage relationship complicated, frustrating and messy.
Is it even possible to simplify your marriage? I believe it is. Below are four buttons you can push to help simplify your marriage relationship.
- Love Deeper
What if the love we have for our spouse went beyond the physical and emotional kind of love to a sacrificial, unconditional kind of love? The kind of love that seeks to unconditionally love, accept and serve without expecting anything in return? Without this kind of sacrificial and unconditional love, the marriage relationship only gets more complicated.
- Forgive Quickly
Many have experienced traumatic hurt and pain in their life. Therefore, I am not saying you should just sweep those hurts under the rug and pretend they didn’t happen. If we have been hurt deeply, we will NEVER forget those experiences. However, we can choose to replace those memories with a new attitude and perspective in order to experience freedom from letting go of past hurts and offenses. What complicates a marriage relationship is when we allow all the “little” hurts and offenses to grow into bigger and more hurtful offenses. We have to learn to forgive quickly and move on. Otherwise, we will live in our own self-imposed prison.
- Choose Joy
Happiness comes from circumstances. If things are good, I’m happy! If things are not so good, then I’m unhappy. This is a roller coaster of emotions you don’t want to ride. The truth is, in life, there will always be something good and something bad going on at the same time. Therefore, we can choose to have joy even in the midst of difficulties if we keep the perspective that growth comes through our struggles. Don’t take life and yourself so seriously; find ways to bring laughter into your marriage.
- Live Intentionally
Marriage gets complicated when you lose your “why.” When we forget our “why,” we die. To simplify our marriages, we have to stay true to the vision we had for our marriage in the first place. If we don’t, we will experience “vision drift” caused by all of life’s demands, challenges and distractions that can quickly derail our marriages. Therefore, we must live intentionally every day by focusing on pushing the right buttons.
Love deeper, forgive quickly, choose joy and live intentionally. That is how you make marriage simple.
Rodney Gage is an author, speaker and the founding Pastor of ReThink Life Church that meets at Lake Nona High School. His passion is to help people live life on purpose. To learn more, check out rethinklife.com.