What Others See

Do you ever wonder what others see when they look at your marriage or when they look at your family? Sometimes they may not see the picture we see in our minds. I was reminded of this recently.

Over the Christmas period a friend of mine dropped into our place. I apologized later from the noise and mayhem. With several generations that included six adults, two young school aged children, a toddler and a baby, it was noisy. But that’s not what she saw. She thought it was ‘lovely to see a normal happy family enjoying themselves and celebrating together.’

So our ‘loving chaos’ as I described it to someone recently made an impact on her.

That’s a positive example. Sometimes what others see is not so positive. Take the couple who constantly correct each other in front of others and bicker. The couple may think there is nothing wrong with their behavior. But what others see might be a bad advertisement for marriage. Others are not seeing love and courtesy, respect and concern for each other from that couple. It could in fact be making others think, ‘if that’s what marriage is like, I can do without it.’

Divorce statistics are high. Couples are breaking up, even couples who have been together a long time. Now, more than ever, we need to see positive loving examples of marriage. Our children and the next generation, not to mention our peers, need to see marriages that work. They need to see marriages that have stood the test of time, marriages where love, respect and selflessness are evident. Of course it needs to be not just when others are watching, but all the time. Love respect and selflessness needs to be the pattern for marriage every day.

If you value your partner, then in every way possible you need to demonstrate that by the way you speak to them and he way you treat them whether other people are around or not.

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