What would happen if we decided to offer our spouse a blank slate every morning?
Remember when you first fell in love? You probably found yourself thinking, “How could I find someone so perfect??” For me, I was just crazy about Jimmy’s assertiveness. He was such a go-getter, and although I appeared pretty independent on the outside, I was deeply insecure on the inside. So he made me feel safe. I just loved how dynamic and confident he was. He was strong in ways I knew I wasn’t.
Of course, as tends to happen for most of us, what attracted me to Jimmy initially started to become a source of frustration and tension over time. I began to see his assertiveness as aggressive and controlling. The thing is, he hadn’t really changed! But the way I saw his attributes morphed as I became more familiar with them.
There’s a saying that perfectly describes this phenomenon that happens to so many of us in our marriages: “Familiarity breeds contempt.” Essentially, we become disenchanted with things we experience in our everyday lives, even if they were some of our favorite things in the beginning. This is one of the great challenges of marriage: How do you stay in love with the person you fell in love with when you LIVE with that person every day?? Familiarity is inevitable. We’ve committed to spending every day together for the rest of our lives! So how do we successfully resist contempt and continue to love our spouse?
Lamentations 3:23 tells us that God’s “mercies are new every morning.” Think about how amazing that is – that God, who is deeply aware of our imperfections and watched us make all those mistakes yesterday, has fresh grace and fresh mercy for us today. Nothing we did yesterday, as familiar as He is with all of it, affects His approach to us today. He chooses to give us a blank slate every day. This blank-slate kind of love, faithfully offered again each morning, is the kind of love that lasts for eternity.
So, what if we took a page out of God’s book of love for us and applied it to our spouse? Think about it: What would happen if we decided to offer our spouse a blank slate every morning? They would be able to surprise us again. They’d have the opportunity to woo us with their good qualities again. They would be interesting to us again! Honestly, what if we just spent the whole day assuming there was something new we could learn about our spouse? We could re-enter that early-love phase of discovery, where we become fascinated with our spouse again. Where we feel drawn by what they bring to the table.
Just because you really know your spouse now doesn’t mean that they aren’t just as attractive as they were when you met. You just need to give yourself the opportunity to see them with new eyes every day. The way God sees you. I believe this is one of the keys to a love that is “the same yesterday, today, and forever.” Ask God to help you give your spouse the same kind of blank slate He gives you daily, and be open to discovering all there is to love about your spouse in a new way, every day. When you do, you’ll find yourself falling in love all over again!