Let’s begin by focusing on three simple words from the standard wedding vow.
“Forsaking all others…”
Merriam-Webster defines “forsake” this way: To renounce or turn away from entirely.
The word “all” here needs very little explanation but just to be thorough, we turn to the Merriam-Webster once again:
- : the whole, entire, total amount, quantity, or extent of
- : every member or part of
- : the whole number or sum of
However, as simple a statement as it seems to be, it is the 3rd word, “others”, that is a little harder for most couples to define.
In a world rife with infidelity, it is difficult enough to fend off all the temptation that come in human form. Our marriages need constant vigilance to make sure we are giving our utmost for the person we wed.
Now mix in all the electronic temptation at your finger tips that are seemingly screaming to unseat your spouse as your number one priority. They don’t even have to be sexual or intimate (although, those are two of the more dangerous types of distractions) and yet you can find yourself forsaking minutes of date night for a not so quick glance at a screen, some raised eyebrows, and one more, “Sorry, Honey. What was that?”.
Also, don’t forget those little people running around who require so much of your attention, those coaches who you disagree with, the teachers who need conferencing, and you’ve got an orchestral size cacophony to sift through to keep your main squeeze the main channel you’re tuned into.
It’s not hard to see why there are plenty of couples who said they would “forsake all others” on behalf of their spouse, but are now living out, “Mostly ignoring some, of if not almost all, of the others.”
What began simply, ends up becoming very, very complicated.
So how do you get out of the grey and back into high definition color?
Here are three solid tips to overcoming temptation so your vows and your relationship start to line up once again:
Start Right Here, Right Now
Every moment is a choice to keep your priorities where they ought to be. Don’t be afraid to shut out all things which are weakening your marriage.
- Close the apps that are killing your time freedom and creativity.
- Delete the recorded TV shows that put marriage in a bad light.
- Stop listening to music that belittles life-long relationships between man and woman.
- Quit sewing words that will make you reap a negative harvest in your marriage.
- Take a hiatus from those “friends” that you only complain to about how bad your marriage is, and who reply in kind.
If you are going to fight for your marriage, then every battle matters for winning the war.
Open your mind to great influences and fill your head, moment by moment, with information that is going to buoy your marriage up, not take it straight to the bottom with a millstone around it!
Then open your mouth and speak as much positive as you can. Become a miner of the silver lining and start becoming famous in your household for doing so.
It’s hard for weeds to take root when good things already have the land occupied!
Which brings us to our next point.
Pull Out the Weeds
No matter how good your relationship is, there are going to be things in the landscape of your marriage that aren’t so pretty.
Work with, not against, your spouse and pull those suckers out by the root. This may even mean fessing up on your part.
A little personal accountability is a good thing.
It let’s your partner know you’re serious about getting right, not just being right.
Are there some financial mistakes that need balancing, maybe some Facebook friends that need deleting, or even a work colleague you need to stop sharing with?
Your marriage is worth making sure only good things grow in and around it!
Unsure of how to see the good from the bad?
Ask yourself this, “If what I have in seed form grows, do I want a whole orchard of it?”
Should be pretty easy to see which harvest you want when you think about bushels of it coming your way.
You’re going to have to get your hands dirty and maybe your knees (and pride) bruised a bit on this one, but it’ll be worth it.
The more you see each other working side by side to make your marriage better, the less you will want to go find another field.
In fact, it’s that much harder to part with the things you invest into.
The perfect segue into tip number 3.
Water Your Own Grass
The saying goes, the grass is greener… WHERE YOU WATER IT!
Keep so much love planted that it’s incredibly hard for any harmful weeds to ever take root again!
If you are wasting valuable time, talent, or even treasure watering a field that isn’t your own, don’t even think twice, redirect and irrigate your own marriage.
It might seem brown and undernourished with plenty of holes now, but with consistent watering, liberal warmth, and lots of focused light, you’ll have a healthy home in no time.
Don’t worry about all the junk that’s happened. With consistent effort, your feuds will turn to your fertilizer.
So enjoy the process of reclaiming the ONEness you began with.
Remember, the opposite of “forsaking all others” is “Keep Hold of only one.”
Use each of these in your marriage and One is all you’ll ever need.