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Shari Popejoy




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February 2, 2011
 

The WORK of Marriage – Stretching Out (e)

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Written by: Shari Popejoy
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So, how can stretching yourself help your marriage?

We’ve already established that stretching is necessary, unavoidable and even healthy for growth and advancement — not only in terms of muscular and physical fitness, but in the marriage relationship.

It cannot be a bad thing to stretch yourself to try new things, to overcome dysfunctional ways of dealing with stress, to reach for a higher level of emotional intimacy and closeness in marriage. Let’s just say I’ve convinced you that stretching out (teshuwqah) is beneficial. Now what? How does that apply to you today? Well, I’m going to give you some simple and practical things that you can do today to stretch yourself and perhaps increase the peace in your home, and the happiness in your relationship.

If you never work your muscles, they will be weak, ineffective for productive labor, and possibly even become atrophied and useless in time. You will not be strong for the task, as the Proverbs 31 woman was. “Her arms were strong for her tasks” Proverbs 31:17.  Make your arms strong for the task. If they aren’t strong, don’t be afraid to do a little exercise, s tretch out, and get a little limber!

The WORK of Marriage, is fighting through the hard times, working through the difficulties, making you strong enough to endure the lifetime effort of making a successful life together.

How can you stretch yourself? Here are some practical things you can do. If you are a little out of shape, perhaps you should just pick one today, and try another one tomorrow :-)

  • Hold your tongue the next time you want to retort with an unkind (albeit true) remark.
  • Reach out to offer respect even when he is unworthy of it.
  • Forgive him, and allow him to be human, just as God forgives you. (Matthew 6:12)
  • Overlook his faults, and share your love with him anyway.
  • Laugh with him, even when your heart is heavy.
  • Draw close to him, even as you want to withdraw.
  • Be kind, even when he is harsh, or indifferent, or distracted, or careworn.
  • Get out of your comfort zone and offer love to him in a way that he understands.
  • Do something that he enjoys, even if it’s not comfortable, or convenient.

As you attempt some of these exercises, you might burn with agony and pain, but keep stretching!  It’s good for you.  Before long, you’ll be doing this with ease!

So get up and get stretching!

Shari

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Won Without Words by Shari Popejoy is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at blog.wonwithoutwords.com.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://www.injoyinc.com/.



About the Author

Shari Popejoy
Shari Popejoy is the author of the book Won Without Words, and the blog Won Without Words, encouragement to wives. She writes the Livingstone Library, an adventure series for young people, and the blog Oh Joy!, (injoyinc.com/oh/) for busy moms. She is a frequent contributor to Christian print and online magazines, and writes from the quiet country of the Ozarks, where she lives with her husband, Marc, and their three children. You can find out all about her at sharipopejoy.com!



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