To give yourself to a spouse in marriage: to remember, as life gets crazier and children come and dreams look possible and you feel the thrill and sense of accomplishment that comes from giving yourself to those people and goals, that your giving of yourself to your spouse comes first and, if nurtured, will last longest and best. It’s easy to lose sight of that.
To receive to yourself someone as your spouse in marriage: to remember that you actively received that spouse, the attractive and good as well as the unattractive and imperfect aspects of their lives and personalities. It is easy, as time passes, to be annoyed and frustrated at the minor imperfections and differences your spouse brings to a marriage and to wish that they were different from what they are. But the covenant is to receive a spouse, not selectively accept only the parts that we like best and be dissatisfied with the parts that are different. It’s easy to lose sight of that too.