JOeMadi

Most of the time when I’m in the car I find myself listening to the local Christian radio station. It’s a habit I started when I had an hour-long commute one way while we were living in Grinnell, and I found that listening to a radio station that was positive and uplifting really did make a huge difference in my day. It centered me and put my mind in the right state for tackling whatever the day held.

These days my commute is much shorter than it once was, but I have already found a Christian radio station in the Minneapolis area that I enjoy and find myself tuned into most days. Last week while I was running errands I listened to a short sermon about marriage. The pastor had been married for quite some time and had a lot of great advice, but what really struck me was when he talked about loving his wife for who she is right now, not who he might want her to be. I was convicted by his words and what that meant for me in my marriage.

I love my husband to the end of the earth and back; I would do anything for him and know he would do the same for me. I fell in love with him not because I thought he had potential to be someone/something else, but because he was already a kind, intelligent and passionate man. Unlike dating, marriage and the daily grind has a way of exposing the less-than-glamorous parts of all of us, and it’s only natural that we start to notice the things about our spouses that drive us crazy. Sometimes I find myself trying to get Joe to be more like me, to become passionate about health food and plant-based living or to start to love cooking meals. Instead of having a genuine appreciation for the things that Joe is passionate about, I spend too much time trying to make him more like me. Does anyone else find themselves guilty of this?

JoeMadi2

But the truth is that there is already one me in our marriage, and I don’t think that we really need two people just like me. Heaven knows we don’t! Our marriage works because we balance each other out and compliment one another with our differences. This morning, while I do what I love (make breakfast), Joe is doing what he loves (shoveling the driveway). I know this is an incredibly silly example, but it does illustrate how thankful I should be that we don’t both always want to be the one in charge of breakfast since my passion certainly doesn’t lie in scooping snow.

So on this Valentine’s Day and in the years to come I want to do a better job of loving Joe for who God made him to be. As a spouse, that’s really our primary job, isn’t it? My prayer is that as we continue to grow and change in our marriage, that we will continue to love and support one another through those changes and that our love will deepen with each new step we take. Right now, that is a new city, new jobs, and the ups and downs of home ownership. And since our last five nights have consisted of painting closets and hanging shelves from the moment we get home until we go to bed, I’m hoping that our Valentine’s Day date might consist of a trip to the gym and catching up on this week’s episode of The Bachelor online.

Happy Valentine’s Day, friends! I’m so very thankful for each and every one of you and for your kindness, love and support over the past three years. I hope that each one of you knows that you are loved today and that you manage to eat a little (or a lot of) chocolate!

xo,
Madison

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  • Cindy Germann

    This is such a beautiful reminder. Thanks for sharing your heart! Nick and I are polar opposites in so many ways, which is the reason our relationship works! And yet I so often find myself wishing he was more like me…which would not work at all. I hope you two enjoy your evening away from the paintbrushes!

  • http://foodloveswriting.com/ Shanna

    Well said and YES.

  • Caitlyn Hendrickson

    This is lovely; thanks for sharing Madison! As a newlywed myself, these are good words to have resonate in our daily lives.

  • Amber Kuiper

    Such a sweet post, Madison. You guys are a GREAT couple and I love seeing how your strengths and differences works so well together!

  • LaurenJamison

    There is a book called A Lasting Promise: A Christian Guide to Fighting for Your Marriage. A lot of it is about conflict resolution in marriages that have been in place for a while, but one thing they talk about is focusing positive things your spouse does, instead of the negative, and in your own mind, arguing for their side (i.e. thinking of examples of things they did, in their defense instead of your own, about whatever you are upset over). And it kind of retrains your brain in regards to them. I think it’s so easy to focus on the negative and forgetting about all the great things that your spouse did that made you fall in love with them, and stay in love with them, in the first place.

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  • http://thoughtsbynatalie.com/ Natalie Lynn Borton

    I love this post, Madison!!! Thanks for getting vulnerable :)

  • Andrea

    This is such a great reminder! It’s so easy to fall into the trap of trying to change your husband or wishing he was more like “x”. Thanks for sharing!

  • Cassandra

    Ah, I so agree. Thank you for the reminder :) No, you’re not the only one who sometimes tries to “develop the potential” (a.k.a. make him more like me) of the other person, but you’re totally right– there’s already one of me in this relationship and we don’t need another! I loved how you said that ^_^ (I do think that truly helping the other person to develop their God-given potential is important… but I’m fairly certain it doesn’t have to involve him eating like I do or taking on my hobbies and talents.)

    I love remembering that I fell in love with my mate because of who he IS, not who he might magically someday become, because then I get to fall in love with him all over again since he is still the same wonderful person.

  • http://livefaithfully.blogspot.com/ Urban Wife

    YES, I’m definitely guilty of the same thing. Thanks for the reminder that I really don’t want two me’s in our marriage. :)

  • marissa

    this is a wonderful post and a sweet reminder to love your partner for who they are. Thank you for sharing :)

    • Madison Mayberry

      Thank you so much, Marissa!

  • Sarah LeBlanc

    What a

  • natalie@thesweetslife

    such a good reminder! I love Ryan because he is the strengths to my weaknesses…but it’s easy to forget that :)