Hurts, irritations, unmet needs-life is full of them. How ironic it is that marriage often magnifies these things. For example, we might quickly forget a passing critical comment from a coworker, but we remember the same comment for days-or longer- if it comes from our spouse. And if a casual friend shows a lack of interest in our conversation, we probably think nothing of it. But if our spouse fails to give us undivided attention, look out!
We often ask questions that make our spouse’s hurts worse, such as, “Why is my spouse feeling this way?” “Is my spouse overreacting?” or “Would I feel the same in an identical situation?” when we should be asking, “How could I be more compassionate toward my spouse when he or she is upset, sad, or anxious?” (The One Year Devotions for Couples).
One thing my husband is, is compassionate. Compassionate towards all people, but especially me. What I’ve always admired about him is the way he puts himself in another’s situations before making any kind of judgment. When he and I got married I left behind a lot-my schooling, my job, my family and friends-in order to start our married life in Wyoming. All was left in Oklahoma as I was making the move to Wyoming to begin a brand new life with my husband. Though I couldn’t have asked for more-I was marrying my best friends, the love of my life-it was still a hard move and a huge adjustment. During my most difficult times of adjustments –and I had a few-my husband was always there in a compassionate and sympathetic manner. He put himself in my position and imagined what I must me going through. I know, for a fact, that if he had not shown this kind compassion I wouldn’t have made it as long as I have.
It’s so important to show your spouse you care and understand. That you know their hurt, irritation, sadness, or anxiety isn’t about you, but about them. I encourage you to make a point to show them God’s compassion and love through you.
What can you do today to show true, selfless compassion to your spouse?