Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thou Shalt Keep the Home Fires Burning

Well, after taking a break from our 10 Commandments Tuesday series, I'm back with week 7's chapter!   This week's commandment is

Thou Shalt Keep the Home Fires Burning.

This chapter discussed the stages of marriage that each couple goes through.  There are three stages that are discussed:

1.  The Honeymoon Stage--almost every couple goes through this stage.  Remember how it was when you first started dating your spouse?  You couldn't stay away from each other.  You had to see them every day.  They were perfect in your eyes.  At this stage, the fire is burning brightly.

2.  The Party's Over Stage--this stage happens when you realize that your significant other isn't perfect.  You have the opportunity to see the person for who he/she really is.  You don't have to be around them every waking moment, and they definitely aren't perfect.

In this stage, each couple must make a choice:  choose to stick it out, opt for divorce, do what it takes to make marriage happy and healthy.  

3.  The Best Is Yet to Be Stage--When you decide to make marriage happy and healthy, you get to this stage, which is supposedly the best of all {How would I know?  I've only been married for a year and a halfish}.  This is the stage of mature love.  The love withstands all odds.  Absolutely nothing can destroy this kind of love.

Mature love.  What is it?  Well, Ed gives some great examples that I'd like to share:

  • Patient.  I put up with the imperfections of my mate.
  • Kind.  I perform acts of kindness for the other person.
  • Joyful with truth.  My love grows out of a base of honesty and integrity.
  • Trusting.  I believe in the best from my spouse.
  • Full of Home.  I hope for the best from and for my mate.
  • Enduring.  My love lasts through even the toughest of times.
Mature love is not:
  • Jealous.  Instead, it rests secure.
  • Boastful.  Instead, it refrains from building itself up.
  • Arrogant.  Instead, it humbles itself.
  • Self-seeking.  Instead, it puts a spouse's need and desires first.
  • Angry.  Instead, it refrains from rash outbursts.
  • Looking for paybacks.  Instead, it forgives, even when treated wrongly.
Most of all...love never fails.  Always there to support your spouse.

Here are three tips on working toward a mature love {read the book for a more details}:
1. Speak Blessings.
2. Open up and Confess.
3. Change yourself, not your mate.

I think these three things need to be worked on, no matter the person.  Sometimes we can get wrapped up in the mundane day-to-day things and we forget.  All we want to do is what is on our to-do list so that we can relax.  Making an effort in your marriage will bless it, even if that means taking 10 minutes out of every day and telling your spouse what you admire about them, talking with them, or reading the Bible together.

This chapter is really good, and I highly recommend reading it so that you can get the full effect from it.

Also, to become mature, be...

Questions for this week:
  1. How important is it to you to "work" in making your marriage a happy, passionate, loving one?  Explain.
  2. In what stage of marriage are you today?  What steps do you need to take to move on to the next stage?
  3. Do you consider your marriage a loving, passionate one now?  Explain.  What can you do to make it so?
  4. In what areas of MATURE love are you strong?  Explain.  Where are you weak, and what can you do about it, starting today?

It's been a couple weeks, but if you missed a post, you can catch up here:

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