Archives For marriage

In October I ran the Portland Marathon. I felt great and wanted to set up my next marathon. I signed up and paid to run the Eugene Marathon that was in April. Rachel said, “Are you sure that’s a good idea? We do have Hope due in February and you will be pretty tired. Are you sure you will have enough energy to train?” Rachel mentioned this right before I finished filling out the entry form online. Well, this was offensive to me. “She doesn’t think I can do it,” I thought. “I will show her and signed up anyway.” Surprise! She was right. I wasn’t even close to ready and didn’t run the race. As I discussed in 5 Steps To An Awesome Marriage, I have a tendency to not follow through and my wife is great at following through. I learned these 3 things from my failure.

Proverbs 31:10-11

10 A wife of noble character who can find?     She is worth far more than rubies. 11 Her husband has full confidence in her     and lacks nothing of value.

1.Truly listen to your spouse. I heard the words that she was saying, but I wasn’t listening. I had made up my mind and that was final. She could “support” me or not, but I was doing it. If I believe Proverbs 31:11, I think it would be a good idea to listen to her. I can be stubborn but when the Bible gives a promise, I try to do what it says. Men listen and weigh what your wife is saying.

2. Rely on those with different strengths. I love that my partner in life is my opposite in a lot of ways. I need to weigh what she says even more. She looks at the world through different glasses than I do which gives me a much better perspective. I was looking through the lens of, “This was great. I want to do it again.” She was thinking, “Hello we will have a newborn.” I needed logic, then to weigh out “Will I run on four hours of sleep?” Find someone you trust that has different strengths. If you are a dreamer, find a realist. If you don’t dream, find a dreamer.

3. Failure does not define me. I got knocked down. I failed in listening to Rachel and at running the marathon. I am back on my feet, apologized and acknowledged her wisdom. Also, Hope is five months old so I’m able to have enough energy to run again. I am not defined by this one time of failure. If I let it eat me up, I wouldn’t be running and I may even have resentment toward Rachel for being right. Get back up off the mat if you have failed. Learn, grow, and don’t look back any longer. (Tweet It)

“My great concern is not whether you have failed, but whether you are content  with your failure.” ~Abraham Lincoln

If you have failed to listen, join the club of the stubborn. Let’s learn and grow. Actively listen to those with different strengths. Acknowledge that others may be right. Listen to your spouse and move on when you fail.

What things have you learned from not listening?

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I had one goal when I entered marriage. Make it through the honeymoon without fighting. Lofty I know. Didn’t make it. I didn’t get directions to the spa where I had planned a massage for her. I knew how to get to the town, but not the spa. To make matters worse I stopped to see a waterfall and we were running late. She exclaimed, “My dad would have gotten directions!” To which I said, “WHAT!” Then it started. Who was wrong? Both of us. When we marry someone, it is easy to forget that we have two different personalities, wills, and emotions. I’m a command type personality, spur of the moment, have huge dreams and my follow through has been terrible. My wife is steady, wants most things planned, finishes what she starts, just got to get her to start. We are different, yet we are one. These 5 things will make your marriage awesome!

1. God is at the center. God comes before my wife. Since this changed, the love I show her is limitless. To move her down the totumpole has taken time. There are still parts of my heart that probably put her first, but the more she moves to second the more loving and sacrificial I become.

 “We judge ourselves by our intentions. We judge our spouses by their actions. No wonder we think we’re better.” ~Anne Moodie

2. Honor your spouse. Do you honor your partner? You should not be talking to your buddies guys or your girlfriends ladies about how much your wife or husband sucks. This should be common sense but alas it’s not. It really shows what is in your heart and a lack of control over the mouth. This is a huge problem. Instead talk about God in them. There has to be something that shines through; talk about that.

My beautiful wife!

3. Work at it. Growth doesn’t just happen. We read marriage books now, not when we are struggling. Everything is growing or dying. Growth requires a focus and a priority. Turn off the T.V. and read something about growing together.

“Give your man a break. Let him be who God designed him to be.”~Hot, Holy and Humorous

4. Focus on YOU. What can you do? If you have been reading this thinking, “Oh my husband needs to read this or my wife needs to read this.” Start over and focus on what you don’t do. We all need to come up a little. Do not be your spouse’s Holy Spirit.

“What you do EVERY DAY matters more than what you do ONCE IN A WHILE.”~Simple Marriage

5. You are his or her one shot. I am Rachel’s only shot at having what she desires in a husband. If I love her, I have to give her the best gift she could ask for. A better me. I hope she looks back today and goes, “Wow the man I’m married to is ten times better than the man he was when I married him.” I pray that in the future she will say that of today. Don’t wait until you’re divorced to workout, dress-up, do the dishes, get close to God, read your Bible, etc. Do it now.

Chase your spouse and win them over day after day. If things have gotten rocky it will not change overnight, but you didn’t get here overnight either. Love God, pursue your spouse, see God in them, and be a better you. (Tweet that)

What are things that you do to make your marriage awesome?

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1 Corinthians 13:4 “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.” It is sad that three words into the verse I struggle. I’m good with love, I’m good with is, then patient. Wham sucker punch! Patient? Come on. Why not love works a lot, or love kills the spiders? Love is patient. You mean love doesn’t sit by the door with his shoes on him-hauing about being late for church. My bad. Patience is one of my biggest struggles. Sometimes I feel about as patient as a 2-year-old when they are denied something they want. I may not flop on the ground on the outside, but inside it kind of looks the same. When I am more patient I have noticed a pattern, so here it is. These 4 things help me with patience so that I show love to my wife.

1. Plug into the vine. What I mean by this is submit our will to the spirit of God. I wrote about this more in His Yoke Is Easy. How do we know when we are submitted to Him? We spend time with Him. Reading the Bible, praying, and studying the Word. We need to know what God stands for so we can submit our lives to Him.

2. Proper sleep. I don’t know about you but I’m much more irritable without proper sleep. For me that’s eight hours. Some people will need more and some less. Listen to your body. If you’re like me with three kids ages four and under sometimes sleep doesn’t really happen. My point is make it a priority. We should work out of our rest not rest from our work. Sleep affects so many areas and pretty much every part of physical and mental health.

3. Eat throughout the day. When my blood sugars get low, I have a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde type experience. It’s bad enough that if I am cranky my wife knows that I need to eat. She will ask me, “Do you need to eat?” aka code for cool your jets. So do what I struggle with and eat small meals throughout the day. It is good for your health and your temper.

4. Opportunity cost. This means the cost of an alternative that must be forgone in order to pursue certain action. With my example in the beginning, waiting by the door, my opportunity cost for losing my patience is pretty large. I lose the opportunity for a nice drive to church without tension. Also if I’m extra ridiculous it could pour into the rest of the day. Getting on the crazy cycle is pretty easy.

So my challenge is, let’s be intentional with our love by working on our patience. Walk with God and take care of our body so that we can live a life of patience, a life of love.