In keeping with the theme of “simplicity”, Nan and I are foregoing checked baggage on our vacation this year and flying with only what we are permitted to carry on with us. We have pared down our list of clothes and things to the essentials, the necessary.
I thought: “What a great metaphor for entering into marriage!”
What if we could begin our married life taking with us only the things that are essential to a good marriage and leave behind the heavy baggage? How wonderful that would be. So I thought about the things that are best left behind.
- ANGER – our pastor Mark Pickerill says that it is impossible to be in a relationship with an angry person. They will eventually kill all the love and safety. Romans 12:18 “Do everything possible on your part to live in peace with everybody.”
- DEBT – It is a relationship stressor like no other. Romans 13:8 “Owe nothing to anyone—except for your obligation to love one another.”
- RESENTMENT & UNFORGIVENESS – Leftovers from old relationships, especially family, will damage your marriage. Colossians 3:13 “Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”
- ADDICTIONS – No matter what kind they are (alcohol, drugs, shopping, pornography, entertainment) they will negatively impact your marriage. Deal with them before you say “I do”.
- UNNECESSARY POSSESSIONS – Wouldn’t it be nice not to burden your new spouse with all kinds of collected “treasures”. And wouldn’t it be nice to have a clutter-free home.
So what do we want to take with us? How about:
- A GREAT ATTITUDE – It makes it easy to be around us
- WARMTH – Others will feel valuable and wanted
- KINDNESS – You will be a person who is safe to share pain and failures with
- PATIENCE – People will not feel anxious around you
- FRIENDLINESS – You are approachable
- THE ABILITY TO LAUGH AT YOURSELF – People will relate to you
For all you married folks out there it is not too late to shed the negative out of your relationship and work the positive attributes in.
It may take some real effort to reverse old behaviors and develop new skills. But like Paul’s admonishment for our faith journey, the same may apply to our marriage.
Hebrews 12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
I am sure that you can add to both my lists. Some of these items have been mentioned in previous blog posts. So how do you rate yourself?