I had the pleasure of attending a friend’s wedding yesterday. When the bride and groom gave their vows, it really moved me. I recalled my own wedding day and my own vows to my bride. I promised a lot of things on that day.  I’ve done better at some than others. But if I had the choice to go back in time, I’d do it all over again. Next to Jesus, Beverly is the best thing that’s happened to me. My life experience is vaster and greater than I ever imagined it could be because I’ve shared it with her.

During the reception, we spoke with friends and the conversation turned to the marriage relationship. One of the topics that came up was this: How do you stop the downward spiral when you’re getting on each other nerve’s?

It’s always amazed me how frustrated people get with their spouses. Only because I’m in the same boat. Here’s this amazing, beautiful, supportive, and loving woman who sacrifices so much for me. But I’ll get so upset because of something trivial that I find annoying. And that one thing can very easily set off a chain reaction where we start jabbing at each other with words that wound. In the heat of that moment, it’s not easy to understand how silly I’m behaving. But at the reception, in a grateful mood toward my bride, I was able to really think about just how good I have it.

Do you remember why you married your spouse? Do you remember why you didn’t even consider other prospects? Or turned away other prospects after some consideration? On my wedding day, all I wanted was my bride.  Yes, the day was special. But I just wanted to begin this married life I had anticipated for so long. Why do we forget that so easily?

We’re not alone. In Chapter 5 of the Song of Solomon, Solomon and his bride have a falling out. He’s been out late working and she’s a little bitter. He comes home all excited to see her, but she withholds her affection from him because she’s upset. When she finally decides to put her hurt aside, she finds him gone. This is the classic downward spiral. One person sins, and then their spouse responds in the wrong way. Then, the first person reacts to that in the wrong way. You get the picture. Two people who were madly in love are all of a sudden hurting each other over and over again. When Solomon’s wife realizes he’s gone, she searches all over for him with these words in 5:16, “His mouth is most sweet: yea he is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, and this is my friend … ” She remembers just how special her husband is to her, but not until he’s gone.

Too often, we take our spouses for granted. We get way more upset with them than we would if someone else did the same exact thing. You might be asking, “But what if it’s serious? What if my spouse sins against me or does something that wounds my heart?” Retalitation isn’t an option. Someone in the marriage has to be big enough to decide not to react to sinful behavior with sinful behavior. Romans 12:21 says, “Be not overcome with evil, but overcome evil with good.” If we don’t obey this command, the downward spiral only gets worse.

When I made my vows on my wedding day, I had every intention of loving this woman for the rest of my life. I didn’t plan on being mean, nasty, or getting back when I feel hurt. I’m so grateful this wedding reminded me of that. I’m so thankful for my amazing bride. She is the love of my life and I never want to forget it. I wouldn’t want to spend my life with any other person in the world. That’s the mindset I should have everyday, whether she’s having a good day or not. Because I’m way more blessed with her than without her. “Whosoever finds a wife finds a good thing, and obtains favor of the Lord.” Proverbs 18:22.

Have you thanked the Lord for your spouse today? Are you knocking heads with them latey? Maybe it’s time for you to put a stop to the downward spiral by overcoming evil with good 🙂