MARRIAGE, LOVE, AND FEELINGS
Don't have unrealistic expectations. Recognize the feelings you had in the early days of yourrelationship for what they were. They were feelings - no more, no less - just feelings! When I married Dave I didn't even know what love was, and my emotions were so dysfunctional that whatever I did feel couldn't have been trusted to tell me anything. I married Dave because he asked me to, and I knew he was a good man. He did excite me because he was and is very good-looking. He was also an amateur bodybuilder and had muscles everywhere. I liked the way I felt when he kissed me. He had a car and I didn't have one. He had money and I didn't have any, so there were lots of things to excite me. We have been married forty-four years now, and I can say without any hesitation that I sincerely and definitely love Dave. I don't always feel excited when he comes home, my heart doesn't pound when he kisses me, but I truly do love him.
No matter what happens, I am committed to Dave. That is love! Love is not a mere feeling. It is a decision about how we will behave and treat people.
When we are disappointed, our emotions initially sink, and then sometimes they flare up in anger. After some time goes by and we have thoroughly expressed our anger, we may feel the sinking of emotions again. We feel down, negative, discouraged, and depressed. The next time you are disappointed, pay attention to the activity of your emotions, but instead of letting them take the lead, make the decision to manage them. There is nothing unusual or wrong about initial feelings of disappointment, but it is what we do from that point forward that makes all the difference in the world.
I learned long ago that with God on our side, even though we will experience disappointments in life, we can always get "reappointed." If you or I have a doctor's appointment and he has an emergency and has to cancel, we simply make another appointment. Life can be that way too. Trusting that God has a good plan for us, and that our steps are ordered by Him, is the key to preventing disappointment from turning into despair.
THE POWER OF HOPE
Millions of people live miserable and unfruitful lives because they are deceived. They believe they are merely victims of whatever comes their way. If they wake up feeling depressed, they offer no resistance, but erroneously assume that they must behave the way they feel. I know this very well because I lived in this same type of deception for a large part of my life. If the deceived person is offended and feels angry, he usually expresses his anger and even hangs on to it as if it is a battle prize. It occurs to very few that they can let the anger go and trust God to take care of their vindication.
The world is filled with discouraged, downtrodden individuals who could make their situations better by simply choosing to continue on in hope. Once we learn the power of hope and practice it, it is a hard habit to break. Just as a person can form a habit of being discouraged each time things don't go her way, she can learn to encourage herself through hoping that a blessing is right around the corner.