Joyfulness. I wonder if the vision you have when you hear those words, are of a guy in a suit and girl in a white dress, holding flowers… Oh, the wedding day. What joy.
I’m not sure most couples married a few decades would use the word “joyful” to describe their life together. But they could. If they just thought it through…
Being married – successfully – takes focus and work.
And why wouldn’t it? The benefits and blessings are so great that marriage, when done well, is worth the focused work. Really. It is!
So why would I use the Value word, “Joyfulness”, if there’s a lot of focused work?
Because joy shows up when you work at something.
Increasing Joyfulness in your Marriage
Work at your marriage. Those joyful moments will show up.
Have you ever tried to learn an instrument? The piano or guitar? What did it sound like when you first sat with your new instrument, and put your fingers on the keys or strings? I’m guessing you weren’t Carnegie Hall candidates in your first few hours – or days – or years… It took a while before that instrument in your hands made music, didn’t it? But along the way, there were joyful moments of success. Your melodies became identifiable. Soon your harmonies filled in the extra space, and it became a joy to play your instrument. Joy after focused work.
What about sports… do you remember the first time you threw a ball, or tried to beat a friend while swimming? Were you an Olympic contender first time on the field or in the swimming lane? I”m guessing not. Your joys showed up after focused work on your technique, and your body. If you ever won a game or a meet, didn’t that joyfulness show up then?
Focus on your marriage and joyfulness will show up.
Where do you focus, and what do you work on?
- Focus on each other. This is kind of a “duh” answer – but there are so many instances where husbands and wives let everything else in life consume their hours, that they forget they need time together. Stop procrastinating – give each other focused time.
- Put good stuff into your relationship. All relationships need nurturing. Why would you think your marriage is any different? If you stop watering a plant what will happen? First it droops. Then the leaves fall off. Then it dies. Stop procrastinating – feed your relationship good conversations and new experiences.
- Love your spouse without reservations or prerequisites. You have the opportunity to grow a relationship that’s better than any other in your life. What does it take? It takes something unique – a selfless love. A love where you give without expecting something in return. It’s a love that doesn’t waiver, regardless of circumstance. It’s a loyalty to one person that defies understanding. And it must begin with somewhere – why not with you? Do you have the strength of character to love? In our society it’s accepted that parents will love their children with this kind of selfless love… I’m suggesting that it’s just as possible to love your spouse in this way. I challenge you. Do the work – stop procrastinating. Focus on loving your spouse without reservation or prerequisite. The joy will come.
Don’t let fear of failure stop you from working on your marriage. Stop procrastinating – move past your fear.
Don’t let busyness stop your from working on your marriage. Stop procrastinating and focus on what’s really important.
Don’t let fatigue, or overwhelm, or resentment or all the other reasons we all procrastinate stop you from focusing and working on your marriage relationship!
Don’t you want joyfulness?
Joy will show up. Here’s what it might look like…
- the elation of reaching a goal – something you and your spouse worked on together
- the satisfaction when you see a tough patch come to an end
- the arm around your shoulder, or at your waist as you watch your kids progress
- the hand in your hand – solidarity – as you move from one place to another
- the warmth of your spouse’s care when you can’t go any farther or do any more
- the encouraging word from your spouse when you are uncertain
- the utter astonishment when you finish something your spouse assured you – you could do
- the exhaustion after a challenge, when you only have enough energy to smile at each other
You’ve felt this joyfulness in your marriage – or something like it. Maybe you’ve forgotten?
Isn’t it time to put the focused work into your marriage so you feel that joy again?
This is the 10th of 27 posts about Values to enrich marriage. It’s an “A to Z” grouping of posts to encourage you and your spouse, that was sparked by a challenge on Instagram for the month of July 2016.
All these posts are under the category of “Family”. Why? Because your relationship as husband and wife has a greater impact on just the two of you… Everyone benefits – children and those you love, along with your friends – when you have a healthy, strong marriage!
The posts in this series can be found on the PAGE – 27 Values to Enrich your Marriage (BTW – If you’re reading this post before the end of July 2016, then the page isn’t complete… I’m still writing! 😉 )