Fighting for your marriage: know thyself

A few days ago I was reading a friend’s blog post about needs, and it reminded of one of the most important things I have learned in marriage.

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In order to share your heart with someone, you must first know it well enough to share it. I once overheard someone say that one of the hardest parts of genuine relationships is that you have to take the time to drudge up your own heart in order to be able to express it.
And sometimes, the work of knowing your heart well enough to express it is…well…so much work that people give up.

It’s true.
Knowing yourself can be a draining task.

What do I need? Why am I feeling this way? What are the things that are most important to communicate in this limited amount of time?

All of these questions can feel overwhelming, and so we don’t ask them. We don’t ponder our own emotions. We don’t go to the One who can help us sort out our feelings because, well, our feelings are messy. And we don’t want to deal with them.

But, if we want a marriage full of life; a marriage that is healthy, thriving, green – this is a must. We must take the time to sort through our own hearts in order to help the other person see them more clearly.

Here are few ways that I have found that are doorways into my own heart:

1. Journal
Taking time to write about what is happening in life  and my heart is a great way to connect with what is going on inside of me.

2. Simply stop
Many times the reason I don’t know myself very well is because I don’t stop. I rush about, filling every spare moment with busyness. Often times just stopping and sitting will bring about a rush of thoughts and I will find out something has been on my mind, I just didn’t know it.

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3. Prayer
There is Someone who knows your heart better than you know it yourself. Prayer connects us, not only with the Lord, but also with our own hearts. We find ourselves in prayer. We receive guidance and wisdom in all of life’s situations.

Finally, one last thought on knowing yourself.
And it’s about the dreaded E word.
Emotions.

Emotions are not truth, but they do have a way of telling us something about ourselves. We shouldn’t always obey them, or respond to life based upon them, but we should recognize them for what they are – a waving flag.

Today, for instance, I have felt on the verge of tears the whole day. I kept asking myself why. I realized it is because in the last several days I have barely seen my husband. He has been at work until late, and then going to bed quite early to try and get some sleep before the next crack of dawn day. And I miss him.
So I scooted my little self off to the hospital for a (literally) 10 minute lunch.
Just to see his face, hold his hand, and remember that there are days ahead where he won’t be running around like a headless chicken.

I could have just cried, or tried to ignore my tears, but I did neither – I asked myself why, and then did what I could to alleviate the reason & spoke hope to my heart.

In fighting for your marriage, I hope that each of you finds ways to connect with your own hearts and needs so that you can learn to communicate with the person you love.

What about you?  What ways have you found that are effective in discovering your heart’s needs? How have you seen that discovering your heart is important in marriage? I would love to hear your thoughts!

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