Do you know what is important to your spouse? Do you think that they share the same priorities as you do? Hopefully in raising a family, finances, spiritual life, you do share common goals and priorities. But, what about those little things in life, that maybe set your spouse on edge and you just don't understand why? Things like leaving the toilet seat up, not placing socks in the laundry hamper, leaving the bathroom light on all night? Those things don't seem like much, but oftentimes it's those little things that wear down a relationship.
I will tell a big one for me.....laundry. Can I just say that I absolutely hate doing laundry??? It is the bane of my existence! I am not the laundry queen....never have been. I would rather do anything, than fold and put up clothes. I will wash every dish in the kitchen by hand if it meant I never had to do laundry again....are you gaining an understanding of my dislike for laundry?
Now that is not to say that my family is walking around with dirty underwear, they are not....I do the laundry, but sometimes I put it off, saying that it be there tomorrow for me. And, when you have five people in the house, that seem to change clothes like there is no tomorrow, trust me it will be waiting on me when I get up. Throw into the mix that our dryer died......can at least get an "awww?"
But the laundry is a higher priority to my sweetie....he does not share my philosophy of "it will be there for me tomorrow." On occasion he has gotten up to go to work and his shirt is not pressed.....to him it is the very end of his existence....to me, not so much, when you can press it quickly and he can be on his way...
But how many disagreements and long sighs could we avoid if I would just take the time to press it for him ahead of time? You see, when I don't have his shirt ironed, he feels like I don't think that he is important. Over time, those feelings build up, then what do you have? The volcano will erupt. Is that what I want for my relationship, a cycle of tension building up over a shirt when I could simply avoid and put to rest the whole thing through a few minutes spent when the shirts first came out of the dryer?
What would happen to our relationships if we really practiced this verse? It may not be the laundry for you, it may something else. I read a story about a family with 8 kids. All 8 kids were able to make their own peanut butter sandwhiches. However, in the process, the peanut butter jar would become gooey. Then when the husband wanted to make a sandwhich the jar would send him over the top....and the wife felt like he should understand that they have these children and thats just the way it had to be. Then she realized that the thing she thought important, the living room, was always kept clean and neat. There were no toys in there, there was no eating in there, it was kept pristine. It occurred to her, that she could keep this room immculate, but not have the time to wipe down the peanut butter jar....now she has the cleanist peanut butter container in town and much less stress in her relationship. She began to value her husband's priorities above her own.Look not every man on his own things,
but every man also on the things of others.
~ Philippians 2:4
And that is what I have done about the laundry.....it was just a habit that I had to get into of tending to the clothes when it was needed and not waiting. I determined in my heart that if it was important to sweetie, it was important to me. And, along the way he bought me a new dryer to make my life easier.....
Today's Vow: To consider your priorities as I would my own.The Challenge: Place those things that are the most important to him at the top of your list.
We do this all the time with our friends and co-workers, but today let's do this for our spouse. I can't wait to hear your results!
Another day on the journey