It’s St. Patrick’s Day, and we are surrounded by rainbows, shamrocks, and pots of gold. St. Patty’s Day has always been a fun holiday to me that just seems to make people jolly and carefree. This year though, I was struck by the notion that chasing pots of gold isn’t isolated to this day of wishes and the luck-of-the-Irish.
It has been said that at the end of a rainbow, there awaits a pot of gold. The problem is that no one is ever able to find the end of a rainbow, meaning people are chasing after something that doesn’t exist. For all practical reasons, people don’t literally go around searching for mysterious pots of gold, but metaphorically speaking, they do.
Have you ever noticed in your own life, or in the lives of those around you, how there is a general lack of contentment? People are always hoping and reaching for more – the better car, home, job, wardrobe, circle of friends, or spouse. It’s not that ambitions are bad, but it’s that too often they become all encompassing. People get so caught up in chasing imaginary pots of gold with the hope that their lives will feel complete and end up missing out on the real treasure chest that is right in front of them.
It is easy to get trapped in that “just a little bit more” mentality. Everything around us screams that we need that perfect item, and then we will finally be happy, content, and fulfilled. Sure, we get that new car, job title, or outfit and feel fabulous … for a solid day or two, and then we are back to chasing after some other pot of gold. There is nothing on the face of this earth that can make you feel complete. It’s all just stuff.
When we get sidetracked and lured in by all of the pretty items around us, we miss out on the truly invaluable blessings God has placed in our lives. Like our family – our spouse. Those are the actual pots of gold we have been entrusted with that bring true joy, contentment, and purpose. God knew that we needed to be in relationship with others. He created us with the desire to be known and to know, to be loved and love. That was His idea, His plan for our lives.
Somehow we miss out on or destroy those priceless treasures we have been given. We convince ourselves that our spouse just isn’t good enough. He doesn’t really love me. She doesn’t make me feel like a man. He isn’t who I thought he was. She isn’t as attractive as she once was. We argue too much. We’ve just grown apart. The excuses and complaints are never-ending.
People focus on all of these disappointments, flaws, shortcomings, and failures of their spouse and soon, they are convinced that their marriage is of no value. That doesn’t mean that it has lost its value, it just means you have lost your sense of its value. A gold coin can be said to be too heavy, burdensome, and tough to keep safe. Some people may think it’s just a pain and liability. Regardless, there is no changing the fact that gold is precious, and its value only increases exponentially over time. The same is true about marriage. You can complain all you want, but your marriage is even more priceless than gold and growing at an insane rate of value with each passing day.
Just because you lose your sense of the value of your spouse and marriage does not negate its actual worth. You are cashing in before you get to see the real rewards. I can promise you that I am in 100% agreement that your spouse and marriage are not perfect. Guess what? Neither are you. No one is. So, if you think trading in your current spouse and marriage to chase after another one is the answer, then you are in for a rude awakening. Just like chasing rainbows for a pot of gold is a ridiculous thought, so is chasing after the perfect spouse and marriage. Every single human being has their flaws, which means they will hurt, disappoint, anger, and fail you. And, you will do the same to them. That’s where commitment comes in right alongside of the true meaning of love and forgiveness.
Your marriage is the real pot of gold. It’s right there in front of you screaming out its value and worth. All you have to do is recognize and grab hold of it. Let go of aimless pursuits of temporary highs that will only lead you further from the real treasure. Invest time, love, and energy into your marriage. Tell yourself every day how valuable your spouse and marriage are and why. Then communicate that to your spouse through your words and actions.
Rather than expending all of your energy chasing after phantom tales with zero benefits and often steep personal price tags, just take what you have and cultivate it. Start spending some time investigating things, and you just might dust off a diamond. Date your spouse. Think up thoughtful ways to express your love. Work at your marriage. Read books. Attend marriage seminars and couples’ retreats. Go to therapy. Extend grace. Offer forgiveness. Be romantic. Show respect. Talk often. Laugh together. Go have fun. That is what helps you to realize and grow the value of your marriage.
The other element that goes hand in hand with recognizing the treasure that is before you is to safeguard it. If you found a pot of gold, you wouldn’t just leave it out and vulnerable for theft. You would put it in a safe place, guard it with your life, and make sure to give it the care and attention necessary. Marriage is no different. It is up to you to protect yourself, your spouse, and your marriage from the culprits that are out to steal and destroy.
Satan wants nothing more than to snatch that precious marriage out from underneath you. You see, he knows its true value, but his goal is to convince you that it has none. So, he tells you that pornography is where real fulfillment is. Or that guy that listens and makes you feel so special is what will really make you happy. That girl at work that just thinks you are the greatest guy ever, that’s the real treasure. Being a workaholic and buying whatever you want is where it’s at. Running around sleeping with whomever you want, not being tied down and burdened with a family is the greatest life. He will try anything and everything he can to convince you that your marriage is the joke of the century. And of course, he isn’t dumb enough to present you with the real outcomes of these situations upfront. No, he knows you really well and starts small. It’s just a little glance from her at work, a harmless lingerie magazine, one little lunch outing together, one meaningful conversation, or one month of overtime. He’s clever, and he is waiting to steal your treasure.
It is up to you to see the value of your marriage and spouse and then to take protective measures to keep it safe and sound. Regardless of where you are at in your appraisal of your marriage, it is never too late to see its true value. If you are just starting out, maintain that excitement and passion you have for one another. If you are kind of coasting by, step it up and get things lively and fresh again. If you are barely hanging on, then it’s time to make some major adjustments to get things back on track. Your marriage has not lost its value; you have just lost touch with its worth.
It’s time to stop chasing after metaphorical, dead-end, phantom pots of gold. You have the real treasure right in front of you, if you will just be willing to open your eyes to its merit. Look up and realize that you don’t need to get lucky because you are already blessed with the best.
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