counting to ten while prayingAbove all, maintain constant love for one another, for love covers a multitude of sins. 1 Peter 4:8


I have a great marriage. This does not mean things go smoothly all the time, as anyone who has been or still is married can tell you. Some days, it takes all I’ve got to remember the wonderful reasons I fell in love with him. He is good looking, smart, sensible, trustworthy, kind, practical, and he loves dogs. He could probably come up with a similar list for why he chose me too, and on a good day, our good lists are all we see. But throw in a sleepless night, a bunch of things in life going wrong when they were expected to go right, and dinner getting burned, and we become less compatible. That’s the nature of a long-term relationship, the nature of life. Jesus said, “In this world you will have trials, but I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).


Counting to ten while praying saves me. I have learned that doing both together can get me out of an awful mood and make me more willing to forgive. The results are even better if I also list the reasons I chose my husband while I am praying and counting to ten. It’s a package deal. The more you work it, the better the outcome.


So does love cover (or excuse) a multitude of sins? I believe it does. But obviously no one deserves to be physically or emotionally battered to the point where people are in danger of getting seriously hurt. Ephesians 5:21-33 describes an ideal marriage. But the passage is often misinterpreted to mean that a woman must obey her husband no matter what. The 21st verse clearly says, “Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ.” The remaining verses provide a standard to live up to: “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church” (v. 25) and  “Wives, be subject to your husbands as you are to the Lord” (v. 22). Both of these statements compare marriage to our individual relationships with God. We are to strive to have the same relationship with life partners—and everyone else—that we have with our Lord. And counting to ten while praying helps all of us!


Jesus, help us model all our relationships after our relationship with You. Amen

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