Cultivate Love

1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

I love my husband.  I believe that love is a choice.  I chose to marry him, I chose to join with him in a covenant to stay together through the ups and downs of life till death do us part.

Has it been easy? No.  Each time we are challenged in our marriage- when the going gets rough- I can see how easy it would be to allow that rift to form, to stop cultivating love for my husband each day.  To entertain negative thoughts about him.

There have been times in our marriage when I could have wounded him deeply.  When he made mistakes- and I could have rubbed it in- or kept bringing it up- shaming him.

Times have come when I have allowed my own pride or stubbornness to come first- when I have withheld forgiveness.  Days when I have hurt my husband and failed to acknowledge it-sometimes taking hours- other times days to finally go to him.

What I have learned over almost eight years of marriage: every day I make choices to cultivate love or to undermine it.  Every fleeting thought can become the seed that plants strife in your marriage or one that fosters intimacy, trust, and love.

Honestly, without the Lord- I know that our marriage could never be filled with the love and trust that is so prevalent today.  He has guided us both on this journey- and helped us to cleave to each other in the hard times instead of blaming and taking out our anger on each other instead.

The two greatest ways that I foster love while my husband while he’s at work are:

  • Guarding my Thought Life
  • Praying for my Husband

Guarding my thought life– during the day, while I am working at home- I think about my hubby and look forward to seeing him.  I talk with our children about him and how much I love him.  I think about being intimate with him.  I laugh and remember good times we have had together.

I foster love for him in my mind.  Truly, this has been so powerful for me.  Daily making the choice to squelch those negative thoughts that come.

And I am also keenly aware of how my children are affected by the way I talk about and interact with my husband. They notice everything- and if there is tension between us they are quick to pick up on it.  It is my responsibility to do all I can to cultivate peace in our relationship.

Praying for My Husband– When I think of him during the day, especially if there is some underlying tension or a situation at work that has him concerned, I will lift him up in prayer.  I also pray for him with my children, encouraging them to pray for their Dad too.

I have found that many times, while I am praying for my hubby- if I am holding onto any anger or feelings of hurt, they many times melt away as I remember how much I love him and the covenant that we have made together before God.

I feel the conviction of the Holy Spirit- and God softens my heart toward my husband.

I find myself longing for Him to grow closer to God and I pray that for him too.  My Mom gave me a great book that I use when I don’t know what to pray. It is called-Praying God’s Will for My Husband by Lee Roberts.

These are two simple but very powerful things that we can do daily to show support and love for our husbands-something quiet and secret- yet so important for there is so much power in our thought life- for good and for evil.

I pray that this post will encourage you to mentally begin to cultivate love in your marriage- to recognize how powerful our own thoughts are in the battle to keep our marriages strong and healthy.

Lord, I pray that you would help us to love deeply from the heart- and that our love would not be based on anything our spouse does or does not do- but rather flow from the outpouring of love we have received in salvation.  May we extend forgiveness freely, remembering all that you have forgiven us.  Help us to cultivate love and peace in our marriages.  To keep our homes free from contention and strife- and filled with every fruit of your Spirit.  In and through the power of Jesus Name- Amen.

My Love

 

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6 Responses to Cultivate Love

  1. Jaimie says:

    Mm. Yes. I’ve been working on this too…especially with praying for my husband. I can only do so much to help him become the man God’s shaping him to be…the rest is up to God. But the biggest thing that I CAN do is pray. Thank you for this encouragement and reminder! Just prayed for my man right now!

    • Rachel says:

      Prayer is such an amazing thing- the more I do it, the more I find that God is changing my heart in the process, molding and shaping me into His image- transforming my mind and heart to be more like His. What an amazing thing to see the work that God can do in us when we submit ourselves to Him- and He can bless so many through us! All Praise and Glory to our God.

  2. Wonderful post! Cultivating a god-fearing and glorifying marriage takes an intentional pursuit. Looks like your priorities are in order, my friend! So blessed to have you linking up to The Alabaster Jar!

    • Rachel says:

      Thank you Jolene! I have been so blessed by your posts- so thankful that Jaimie from Living in the Light got us connected. :)

  3. Valuable insight – I especially like how you expanded “guarding my thought life” . We’re not always careful or aware of how our thoughts effect our actions. Thank you for sharing!

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