“Marriage is what brings us together today.” A classic line from a classic movie- The Princess Bride. Marriage is hard work but also can be very beautiful if you keep showing up.
In the book Keep Showing Up: How to Stay Crazy in Love When Your Love Drives You Crazy author Karen Ehman takes a look at what it means to keep showing up in marriage. Today, I will share three things I learned from Keep Showing Up.
People are watching your marriage
“Your marriage is a message, and people are watching you preach.” -Karen Ehman
Did you know that people are watching your marriage? This thought really challenged me to make sure my husband Jonathan and I are representing Jesus well.
Marriage is the representative of the relationship between Jesus and the church. Do my kids see Jesus when they watch Jonathan and I? Does the waitress at the restaurant see Jesus as she watches us interact? My desire is to bring honor to Jesus.
You are different than your spouse
Another point I learned from Keep Showing Up is that I am different than my spouse. I knew this already but my eyes we opened to the beauty of differences.
Karen shared about a friend who challenged her to see that her marriage doesn’t need two Karens, but one Todd and one Karen. All too often, we try to mold our spouse to be like us.
Instead of celebrating the differences, we find ourselves thinking our spouse is wrong because he did something different than we are used to doing. Unfortunately, I am guilty of this.
I am thankful that Karen opened my eyes to this point. I want to celebrate Jonathan for who he is. I love how Karen ended the chapter with some practical tips on how to embrace your spouse for who he is. There are seven short sermons to preach to yourself.
Determine to see conflict as good
Say what?! Conflict is good? This thought seemed pretty crazy to me but also really challenging. Karen shared that we need to expect conflict. There will be trouble in our marriages but this isn’t a bad thing.
In fact, conflict helps our marriage to get stronger. As we work towards a resolution, we actually gain a greater understanding of one another.
Karen shares several guidelines to help prevent a fight from breaking out. I loved these because they are so practical. One of the ideas was to set a regular time each week to ask if either spouse is offended by anything.
Karen also shared for “fighting fair” rules of engagement that may help in your marriage. The one that stood out to me the most was “We will not assign a motive.” This reminded me of my need to believe the best about Jonathan.
Keep Showing Up
Do you want your marriage to be stronger? I highly recommend reading Keep Showing Up: How to Stay Crazy in Love When Your Love Drives You Crazy! Which of the three things did I learn resonated with you the most today? This book will challenge you and help you to grow in your marriage. I think you would really like Keep Showing Up!
In fact, I am doing a giveaway. Yay! For your chance to win a copy of Keep Showing Up: How to Stay Crazy in Love When Your Love Drives You Crazy by Karen Ehman simply share why you’d love to read the book in the comments below. Please comment by Monday, March 4, at 11:59 pm. I will choose a winner on Tuesday, March 5. Thank you!