You have probably heard the saying, “temporary pain for long term gain”, and even felt it’s reality in your life. My husband and I have seen this evident in our family from the day we started dating. Many transitions that were a big pain but a necessary process.
For our family, some big ones have been:
- Dating long distance for one year until we got married.
- Getting married, juggling jobs, and going to night school to receive an education.
- Becoming parents and navigating that new world.
- Moving to 2 different States and starting our life there.
- Having teenagers and learning how to coach them instead of parent them.
- Starting new jobs and adapting to new schedules, learning the system, people, and responsibilities.
If you reflect on your own journey, you will find there were many transitional times in your life. Most of them involved a temporary but exhausting process which eventually led to understanding, stability, and a routine.
What Intentional Actions need to be in place to move through these transitions and come out stronger?
For our family, it has been these 5 key tools that form the acronym…. LEARN….because we had to “learn” how to apply these to our life.
- Let God be the foundation of our Life –
Happiness in marriage is not about finding a spouse who always acts the way we want them to. It is about two imperfect people trusting in a perfect God and conforming to His will and purpose for them. That’s a marriage God can bless!
- Each other’s interests before our own –
Human nature is to look out after our “own” thoughts, feelings, and actions, but we should work hard to learn and respect the other’s perspective, desires, and contributions.
- Apply the Fruits of the Spirit –
These have been huge in helping us to see how to love each other and how to live together. Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Gentleness, Goodness, Faithfulness, and Self-Control.
- Remember Forgiveness –
This can be a very hard action to do. But things are even harder if we “do not” do it. We will not always be the one who needs forgiveness, but being willing to forgive others that do not deserve forgiveness is a powerful healing tool for both people.
- Never just happens….you have to plan it.
One thing our kids will always be able to say is that their parents “made” time for each other. We have tried to set an example of intentionally setting aside time for us to talk every night. Sometimes it is a 30 minutes and sometimes longer. We may take a walk or just sit outside, but somewhere alone. We made the choice early in our marriage to not watch TV in place of communicating. Just like eating and sleeping are vital to good health, we know the importance of scheduling “our time” each day so that we don’t grow apart and so that we maintain a healthy relationship while setting a strong example for our kids when they are married one day.
Bible verses that support these tools are
Let God be the Foundation of your life: Proverbs 3:5
Each other’s interest before our own: Philippians 2:3-4
Apply the Fruits of the Spirit: Galatians 5:22
Remember Forgiveness: Colossians 3:13
Never just happens…you have to plan it: Hebrews 10:24-25
From my Heart to Yours,