Avoid the 'Greener Grass' Syndrome: Water Your Own Marriage
- Friday, December 17, 2004
If your marriage is less than blissful, and you feel like giving up, I can tell you from personal experience, marriages can be raised from the dead. My husband and I had one of the worst marriages I've ever seen....but now...we really love each other... even like each other You can too. Are you willing to begin anew?
You're probably thinking, Why should I be the first to change? or How come I have to do all the work? The answer is simple: God will work with whomever is available and give that person the strength to change. Are you available?
You already know that you can't change your mate, but you can change your own behavior. The word change indicates a transformation, which is a metamorphosis; the word metamorphosis begins with the two letters me. Change begins with me.
If you want a vibrant and loving marriage, make this verse your prayer: "Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me." (Ps. 51:10)
I Can't Get No Satisfaction
If either you or your spouse constantly hum the Rolling Stones' tune, you might be in trouble. If you ignore each other's needs, one or both of you will be more tempted to "go" elsewhere. But having unmet needs is no excuse for bad behavior and going after satisfaction outside your marriage is always wrong. The Bible says -- to both of you -- be satisfied with the wife/husband of your youth. That indicates that we should be content with our mates. The best way to avoid the "Greener Grass Syndrome" is to water your own lawn.
If our marriages are well-watered, the grass on our own side of the fence will be lush and soft and lovely. And if you're both content and committed to your marriage, the Flirty Franks and Teasing Tinas at the office, gym, or grocery store won't be as tempting.
Maybe you're saying, "But, Nancy, you don't know how selfish my husband/wife is. You're right, I don't know your situation, but I'm assuming that you chose to marry that person, so they must have some wonderful qualities too. Unless your spouse is abusing you or your children, you can choose to be satisfied in your marriage. Look for the best in your mate, not at his or her faults. The more you meet your spouse's needs, the more he or she will want to meet yours. It doesn't matter who plants the first seeds, because you'll enjoy the harvest -- together. It might be hard to start, but if you don't, and your mate won't, then who will? And let us not grow weary in doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. (Galatians 6:9)
My husband, Ron, recently had a conversation with his friend Earl. Earl said, "For years, my feet have been killing me. I bought insole cushions for my shoes and even bought an expensive pair of arch supports, but nothing helped. So I finally went to a podiatrist."
"What did he say?" Ron asked.
Earl said, "First, he X-rayed my feet and looked at the films. Then the doctor asked me, 'What size shoe do you wear?' I answered, 'Eleven.' Then the he said, 'No wonder your feet hurt, you should wear a size thirteen!'"
Earl shook his head as he told Ron, "I've been buying size eleven shoes since high school. It never occurred to me to measure my feet to see if they'd grown."
His shoes had been too small for years! His feet had changed, but he wasn't paying attention.
Have you measured your marriage lately?
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