by AJ Hall
I can say confidently: I love my wife more today than the day I married her.
Not only do I feel more in love with her, I actually love her more. I’m able to love her more because my capacity to love has grown—my heart has become more open to her; I’m more devoted to her, I’m more sensitive to her touch, and I have a deeper appreciation for her.
When we first got married, I had all the same feelings of attraction. I’ve always been attracted to my wife—how could you not be? She’s beautiful!
But I also had a 25-year-old, established practice of closing myself off to any deeper kind of relationship. My walls were up. My mask was on. I didn’t know it at the time, but I had shut myself off to any form of intimacy—I couldn’t tolerate anything or anyone getting too close to me.
You see, the truth is: I had engineered safeguards in my life against ever having to experience the sting of rejection. If I don’t ever let anyone in, I can’t be hurt. If I keep you at a distance, there’s no chance I’ll be vulnerable to attack.
Isn’t it amazing how we human beings can craft such intricate systems of behavior in our daily lives to keep people out—without even being aware of it?
But here’s the thing: we all have our junk. We all have our strange tendencies. We all have our quirks. Many of us carry pain and hurt from our past. And we bring all of this junk into our marriage. Doesn’t marriage have a way of drawing our junk to the surface?!
Doesn’t marriage have a way of drawing our junk to the surface?!
But you’re not stuck where you are. You can change. You can grow. You can develop an ability to love.
Let me encourage you today: YOU can have a great marriage. You can build a great marriage. I don’t care how jacked up you are. I don’t care where you are starting from. You can grow. You can get better. If I can have a good marriage, anybody can have a good marriage!
It doesn’t matter how much pain you’ve been through. How much fear has been jam-packed into that soul of yours. How many mistakes you’ve made. How closed off you are to others. You can learn to love… and be loved. You can learn to let other people in. It just starts with one simple thing:
you need COURAGE to change!