I read this Facebook status from author Lysa TerKeurst the other day and I loved it so much I copied it and pasted it into an email to Brian in hopes that we could implement it in our own marriage:
Early in my marriage, I was determined to be a “good” wife, but I wasn’t really sure what that meant!
Desperate to get it right, I tried to figure out exactly what it is good wives do. Do they cook meatloaf, vacuum every day, and watch football? This list in my head of what a good wife does grew until it completely overwhelmed me.
Finally, I told my husband, “I just can’t do everything good wives do. Tell me three things you’d like me to focus on and I’ll try to do those well.”
His 3 things were simple… Be emotionally and spiritually invested in our kids, take good care of your body and soul, and keep the house tidy. (Notice he said tidy – not perfectly clean.)
Of course I don’t limit myself to these three but understanding what matters most to my husband has certainly freed me to enjoy my marriage so much more.
Three things to focus on. That idea appeals to a rule-follower and list-maker like me oh-so-much. As I read Lysa’s words, I realized there were so many things in my life and my marriage that I let slide and as a result I carried around a hint of guilt with me at all times. Guilt. All the time. Not really a great thing to being living with, am I right?
Thankfully Brian found this exercise equally appealing and when he got home from work we had one of the most fascinating and enlightening conversations we’ve had in our marriage. It’s honestly crazy that we never thought to ask each other the question in the first place: What 3 things are most important for me to focus on in our marriage so that you feel loved by, supported by and connected to me?
At a time when we have so much transitioning happening (ahem: a tiny human to care for), I’m so glad we’ve been able to nail down the key things we need to better love each other. It not only is already making us feel so much more connected and loved, it also is freeing us from unnecessary guilt for the things (like cleaning the floors, for example) we simply don’t have the time or energy to take care of regularly.
What do you think? Have you ever done this exercise with your spouse or significant other? What would your three things would be?
Photo by Brett and Emily Photographers