Good morning, everyone. It’s a beautiful sunny day here in Austin, Texas. Spring is out and summer is definitely here. Hope you all are having a great weekend. Today I want to speak about a very important topic-what does it mean, when you say-Live with your spouse with understanding?
The second most important relationship you should have, is with your spouse- the first, being with God. We all know that things are not always going to be a bed of roses when it comes to your relationship with your spouse. What does it mean when we say live with your spouse with understanding? And what do you do when the wheels come off the bus? Let’s spend a little time discussing that.
Sacrifice and Serve
The first thing is, living by sacrificing and serving. When you live with your spouse, through sacrifice and serving, good things happen. What does that mean? That means, you may not want to go shopping with your spouse, because you don’t like to spend too much time in the mall browsing through stuff, but she may like to do that. And even though you don’t like it, you make a sacrifice, and you go with her to shop. That helps build the relationship together. That’s a small example of sacrifice and serving.
Sometimes acts of service, is part of our spouse’s love language. It’s important to know, what your and your spouse’s love language is? And then its important for you to do that. So, if acts of service are one of your spouse’s love language, then how can you serve your spouse? Maybe you take out the trash, wash the dishes, vacuum the living room or clean up after she cooked dinner-whatever that service is, it is definitely important for you to do that.
Listen to understand, not solve
Listen to understand, not solve and give space when things go awry. What does that mean? We tend to listen with the intention to respond rather than to understand. Most men typically want to fix the issue and solve the problem- many times that only makes things worse. So just listen, and make sure that your spouse is heard. You don’t have to fix the problem. You don’t have to solve the problem right away. First, just listen. That’s important. The fixing can come later. But first you must understand. And then give space.
Everybody needs space to reflect, to think about how they responded to a situation, and to correct course. If you’re always in each other’s face, that’s not going to help- so give space. Time is a big healer. Related to that is, let God and let go. Trust not in your own understanding but in His plan and in His timeline. It’s important to let go because you can’t fix everything.
Invest in the relationship proactively
Proactively invest in the relationship, spend time with your spouse. Everybody’s busy. Everybody says, “I don’t have time to do that.” No, you have time, and you make time for what is important in your life, and for the priorities in your life. Your spouse and your relationship with your spouse is a priority. Therefore, you must proactively invest in that relationship. It doesn’t have to be a huge thing- you have opportunities every day to do that. Please proactively, invest in your relationship with your spouse.
Stop keeping score
Stop keeping score- this is key. It’s not a game, and it’s not about who is winning and who’s losing- “I washed the dishes today, so I’m up one point. You were short with me and screwed up, and that’s why you’re down two points.” That’s the worst thing you can do. Stop keeping score. When you start keeping score, you’re eroding the trust between the two of you. And trust, as you know, is the foundation of any long term, sustainable relationship.
What do you do when the wheels come off
When the wheels come off, and things go wrong, what do you do? Pray-pray about it. Be intentional and ask God to give you wisdom. Most importantly, learn and often say, the three critical phrases- “I am sorry; please forgive me; I love you.” Those are the three phrases, which each have three words. Very powerful words- I am sorry, please forgive me, I love you. Don’t let the sun go down without addressing the problem. This is important too. If you keep pushing the problem under the carpet and sweeping it under the carpet, and not addressing it, it’s not going to go away. You need to address the problem. And the sooner you do it, the better.
Seek wise counsel
For a lot of folks, when things do go wrong, they seek advice from trusted and experienced friends and mentors and God-fearing people, that want to help you, and want to see you be successful, and lead a more balanced, happy and fulfilled life. You don’t need to always have all the answers. But hopefully, you have somebody that you can gain advice from, that you trust, and that has your best interest in mind. He/she will give you the right advice and tell you where you messed up, and whether what you did or said, was right or wrong? And most importantly, how you can improve, and get bette-that’s very important.
Be intentional, examine carefully and explore fully. Many times, a person is behaving in a particular way because there’s an underlying issue or underlying factor. Don’t treat just the symptoms, but actually treat the cause. To unravel the cause, you have to examine carefully and explore fully. Be considerate and don’t be selfish- put the other person’s interest above yours.
Love your spouse as Jesus loved the church. In today’s digital and internet age, we have a lot of information out there- it’s good to gain knowledge and apply it to get better. Apply it- don’t just be a listener and a hearer of knowledge, but a doer. When you apply the knowledge, that’s when it becomes wisdom.
There you have it-these are a few things to keep in mind when you want to live with your spouse with understanding and intentionality, and you seek to improve the relationship over a sustainable and long time frame. Hope you found this quick blog helpful.
For additional details or if you’d like to schedule a complimentary session on how you can live with your spouse with understanding, and lead a more balanced, fulfilled and happier life, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks