Laughter is the best medicine, especially in marriage.
Years ago, my sister and brother-in-law told us a funny story. Back when cell phones first came out, before texting or caller ID, my sister-in-law was in the kitchen and got a call on her new cell phone. Thinking it must be very important she answered, only to discover it was my brother-in-law calling from the bedroom upstairs and asking her to bring him a bowl of ice cream. At the time that was unheard of, and we all got a good laugh out of it. Now couples text each other while they’re in the same room. Back then it seemed so silly~and even lazy~ that he would call her instead of just getting up and getting it himself, and that’s what made us laugh so hard.
Yes, it’s funny how time can change things. I think over time we can all get lazy in our marriages if we aren’t careful. And that’s when it seems that the little things really start to get to us.
I’m reminded of the wise words of a friend during our Ladies Bible Study one week. We were talking about husbands and habits, and how certain things can drive you crazy after a while. Her simple words had a huge impact~
“I just don’t allow it to bother me anymore”.
I was dumbfounded, but then I let her words sink in. What if I decided to not let it bother me anymore? All the silly, little things that I let get on my last nerve. Things that I didn’t allow to bother me in our first years of marriage.
Could I possibly do that?
With God’s help, that has been my goal.
That goal was put to the test the other day when I asked my husband to do something for me. Fifteen years ago his reply might have fueled a fight~ depending on the time of the month or the circumstances of the day. The thought of that makes me very sad. How easily I let things fuel the fire. As women, we don’t like to admit it but we do allow little things to dictate our emotions. In the moment we feel completely justified for our anger, and we don’t like it when our time of the month (or menopause) gets the blame for the words we say to our spouses. My time of the month is a time of the past now, and when I look back I know that 75% of our fights during that time could have been avoided. As wives, we need to be honest with ourselves in this regard.
Somehow as the years pass we adopt this behavior in marriage as ok. If we aren’t careful, we can allow little things that really don’t matter to slowly chip away at the foundation of something that started as a beautiful dream come true.
And so, I think about my sister-in-law and friend. She passed away at the early age of 35 after giving birth to her 6th baby. None of us could have imagined this would happen when we were laughing about that cell phone call and her husband’s request for ice cream. I’m so glad I have that memory. It always brings a smile but it also reminds me of her husband’s words after she passed away. “I wish I had never fought with her about the stupid things that made us fight”. As much as he cherished the laughter, he deeply regretted the fighting. Just like my older friend’s wise words, his words had a big impact, unfortunately I didn’t let them sink in deep enough. At the time I can remember looking over at my husband and thinking~
‘I’m never going to fight with him again’.
Almost twenty years later and there have been too many fights to count.
Because I let the little things get to me and I got lazy. I got lazy in fighting for the foundations of first love. And in my laziness, I got selfish. I didn’t want to talk things out or pray, too often I just wanted to be right.
What a waste.
Ladies, twenty years from now don’t look back and realize how much better your marriage could have been. Don’t allow yourself to get caught up “in the moment”. We don’t know how much time God will give us with our spouses, so make the very best of every single day you have together. Look at each day as if it could be your last. Don’t let the little things bother you. Don’t let the circumstances of the day or the dot on the calendar dictate your emotions. Give your marriage to God every single day. Don’t fight with each other, fight for each other. Talk things out. Spend time in God’s word. Pray together. Love on each other.
And most importantly laugh.
Always laugh together.
My husband’s reply the other day?
I chose laughter. I laughed and I hugged him and we laughed together. And it was sweet. And I just pray that God allows me many more days of laughter with this man I love. Because all those little things, those are the things satan will use to destroy that laughter. Determine today that with God’s help you won’t allow him to do that.
We hear the world’s words “choose your battles wisely”, but oh how sweet our marriages would be if we chose never to go to battle to begin with. To have on the armor of God continually, fighting off the wiles of the devil.
In the moment we can choose to be stubborn, miserable and right, or we can choose to look past all the silly, little, irritating things that don’t really matter~ and just laugh.
God wants us to laugh.
Choose the laughter ladies.
One day you will look back and be so thankful you did.