We were unfamiliar with speaker and author Gerald Rogers until we read his very touching and very insightful blog post this week, called “Marriage Advice I Wish I Would Have Had.” Apparently, Rogers’ marriage recently ended and it sounds as though this was his wife’s choice. Rather than sounding bitter or resentful, though, his blog post demonstrates enormous love and humility and a great deal of wisdom.
The post isn’t so much about advice he was given too late, but things he wishes he had known or committed to in time to save his marriage. Many of the things on his list are profoundly simple, but profoundly true. Here are just a few of the lessons he imparts to readers. We found them very moving.
PROTECT YOUR OWN HEART.
Just as you committed to being the protector of her heart, you must guard your own with the same vigilance. Love yourself fully, love the world openly, but there is a special place in your heart where no one must enter except for your wife. Keep that space always ready to receive her and invite her in, and refuse to let anyone or anything else enter there.”
We love this idea of making sure that there is a place in your heart that is reserved solely for your spouse. This speaks not only to love, but to fidelity and to making sure that there is at least one part of your life that only your spouse can populate or understand.
ALWAYS SEE THE BEST in her.
Focus only on what you love. What you focus on will expand. If you focus on what bugs you, all you will see is reasons to be bugged. If you focus on what you love, you can’t help but be consumed by love. Focus to the point where you can no longer see anything but love.”
This statement is wonderfully simple but couldn’t be more true. If we take note of all of our spouse’s faults and frailties, what we end up with is a list of reasons why they aren’t meeting our needs or meeting our standards.
This one is perhaps our favorite:
IT’S NOT YOUR JOB TO CHANGE OR FIX HER.
Your job is to love her as she is with no expectation of her ever changing. And if she changes, love what she becomes, whether it’s what you wanted or not.”
So often, we enter into our marriages with the idea that we can make our spouses perfect eventually. Or that they already are. This last statement drives home that loving someone is about loving them for what they are, not for what we want them to be.
There are many more of these hard-learned nuggets of wisdom. Check out the rest of the blog post. Learn from someone whose marriage may be over, but who has something very important to say about protecting our own marriages.