As this topic has been floating around in my head and my heart, the above title came up over and over again. I can’t recall exactly who it was that told my now 7 year old child this phrase but I am certain it was one of his many teachers throughout the years and most likely one from Promiseland Preschool. He was always told, “You get what you get and you don’t throw a fit” Usually in regards to what color cup they got or if there were different snacks which one he would get. The point was everyone will get something so don’t throw a fit about what you get, just accept it.
It got me to thinking about my relationship with my husband. Now don’t take that the wrong way. I love my husband more than anything on this earth and I never feel like he is “just what I got”. He is the man for me. He is my soul mate, my provider, the father of my children. We were molded together from the beginning and we fit so perfectly together. The part it did get me thinking about is the things I knew about my husband in the beginning and that he knew about me from the beginning of this journey together. And how in some ways we have to accept what we are given and not throw a fit about it. Because, is it worth stealing your joy because you or your mate do not meet each others expectations?
I will jump right into my examples here. My husband knew pretty quickly into our marriage that I was not a very good house keeper. He may have known sooner but I am sure it became abundantly clear to him with in that first year. One thing I have always known about my husband is that he doesn’t remember things very often, or usually at all. We have tried different systems over the years to help us out with that but nothing has really stuck. I live daily frustrated by this fact. My thought is” we already had this conversation why do we have to have it again. I told you where the children and I would be tonight. I told you we had this birthday party to go to.” I get overwhelmed at the things he doesn’t remember and I begin to take it personally. Like if anyone else had told him this information he would remember it or that I am not important enough to listen to. None of which is true and I know this. I know that remembering things is not one of his strong areas but that doesn’t make him any less of that amazing father and husband I mentioned earlier. And I knew what I was getting when I married him so can I really throw a fit.? 🙂
Now here is the flip side of that. I don’t think in my ten years of marriage that I can ever remember by husband griping at me for there being laundry piled up that needs to be folded, or dishes that need to be washed, or clothes that need to be washed or fridges cleaned out, or kids rooms organized or floors mopped or carpets vacuumed!! And even now that taking care of our home is my primary job and I am still not the best at it, he never speaks negatively to me about those things not being done. He actually does quite the opposite. When he sees that I am frantic because I am becoming overwhelmed with our home or all the tasks that need to be accomplished, he asks me to sit down with him for a minute or come in the living room and play with him and the kids as they wrestle. He never once has come home from work and said “what have you done all day this place is a mess”. He knew what he was getting when he married me and he understood that. He knows it is important to me to have a clean home but that I rarely have enough time in a day to get it all accomplished! And he loves me none the less.
I on the other hand can nag about something I knew about him from the beginning instead of taking his lead and being content, which is where my challenge lies today. We have all heard time and time again that we can’t change the other person. The only person we can change is ourselves and that is what I have done over the last year or so. I heard a couple talking on a radio segment about communicating to each other the most important things that needed to be accomplished each day. I sat down with my husband and I asked him these things. I asked him if I could only get to 3 things each day what would those three things be. What could I do that would make your day better? His requests were very simple: do the Laundry so that I have clean work clothes each and every day and make sure that each day you are doing something in the way of physical exercise for myself and our youngest. I don’t do so great at the last one but I have been on top of the first. He has his clothes clean and waiting for him each and every morning. Communicating with each other about what things are the most important has helped me see that he doesn’t see me as a degenerate that can’t even keep our home clean. He sees me as the mother of his children, his wife and soul mate and all those other things are tertiary to what I bring to our family.
My husband loves me enough to accept the things about me that he knew from the beginning and it is my goal to do the same for him. Will I get frustrated when he can’t remember what meeting I have on what night, probably. But I will continue to take this frustration to the Lord and allow him to show me what he wants me to gain from it instead of nagging my sweet husband about it. My husband who has been working all day to ensure our family has an income. I will praise him for the things he does well and not dwell on the things he does not do well.
I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content in any circumstance. Phil 4:11
When you get in that rut, of thinking oh I must not be important enough because my spouse/mate did not do _____________ . Start to think of ways you can serve them and you will forget about the things they did not do for you or the things they didn’t remember so you had to tell them 10 times. But as Paul tells us you can be content with much or with little. The point is that you learn contentment with what the Lord has given you, your lot. You get what the Lord has given you and you don’t throw a fit.
When we marry, I think we expect our lives to change. We expect for there to be some level of compromise with each other. What I am learning of late, is that I did not just marry my husband the man but I also married longhorn football, guitars, and yes even video games. We marry our spouses interests when we say I do. Because it is important to them it should become important to us as well.
Now I do not particularly love to sit down and watch a football game unless it’s an incredibly good game. It is hard to keep my attention for that long unless there are some amazing plays or its an intensely close game. But I sit with my husband, make football food, and keep the children occupied because it is important to him.
Some of you have seen my house and you know that it looks like a guitar store threw up in my living room! We are reaching the twenty mark on guitars. Again, it makes my husband happy and therefore I concede and allow them to be hung all over my house! As far as video games go, I enjoy to sit down every now and then and play games so I share in this interest some.
I want to share with you all some things my husband has done in the last few weeks to support me in my interests. It just continues to show me that what is important to me is important to him as well and it is such a blessing to have the support of your spouse. Serving the community has always been important to me and since I became a stay at home mom I haven’t had the same opportunities to serve. In the last year, I have had the privilege of serving on our local community center board. Just with anything you do there is always work to be done. We had an event planned recently and after being up there cleaning all night there was still work to be done when I arrived home. My sweet hubby helped me paint signs for the event until well after midnight. Actually, he did them all while I just sat and laughed with him. It was awesome that we could giggle and laugh with each other about silly things. I am pretty sure we might have inhaled too many paint fumes but it happens. We were also delirious because the signs were flashing at us and I am still not certain this was not actually happening. But he helped me that is the point. He invested his time and energy into helping me do something that was close to my heart. And if that wasn’t enough, the next day he played driver and picked up our food for the event. And best of all he, after pouring so much into this event, when he arrived he was asked if he could wear the costume of a national icon because the person who was supposed to do it did not show. And he did it without any complaining!! Again we laughed as we tried to wrangle this outfit and get it on him. It was comical and a time for us to bond even more.
My challenge to you today is to take the time to ask what interests your spouse so that you can be invested in them and what is important to them. It speaks volumes when we take the time to do little things for each other that have big implications for our relationships. Sometimes we are so wrapped up in our own lives and interests that we miss what our spouses need us to be. You may have to get back to the basics and start asking elementary questions to unwrap all the things going on in the hearts and minds of our significant others but it is so worth the outcome. It is so worth it for them to know they are loved and we support them in the things they do.
My husband has sat down and read all my posts. Even if he doesn’t say something immediately about them, he knows it is important to me to write. He knows that I hope to make an impact in the lives of others and encourage women to be everything God created them to be and he tells me that I am good at it. He takes interest in the things that are close to my heart and he shows it in all the ways he contributes.
How many of you know what the 3 most important things are to your spouse? Have those things changed and were you aware it had changed?
Today’s topic has been weighing on my mind lately because of how easily it is to let things come in the way of our relationships. It can become nothing more than a superficial relationship if we do not cultivate it and feed it the same way we would a garden. This is true of business relationships, friendships, and romantic relationships. I believe the root of all problems and sin is selfishness. In our relationships, when we make things about our selves instead of investing in the other person the relationship will generally fail or at a minimum it will suffer greatly. To have God honoring relationships, we have to ensure that we are meeting the needs of the counter part and they have to value ensuring our needs are being met. When it happens this way, both persons needs are being met without selfish intent.
I am sure there are people who this comes so naturally for and it does not cause them problems but as for me it does not come naturally. In my marriage, it does come pretty easily because I see my husband so much and I desire to have deep intimacy with him. It hasn’t always been this way. When we were first married, we both struggled to communicate with each other and communicate our needs to each other. It took acts of intentionality to make this a habit in our marriage. We set appointments each night to talk with each other with no other distractions. We would set an alarm and when it was time for our meeting it was only me and him. At times, it seemed cold and calculated and not natural as you would expect a marriage should be. But after doing this for an extended amount of time, we were able to make it a natural part of interactions with each other. And although we do have to work on it at times, we are generally very good at communicating with each other and ensure each others needs are being met.
It gets a little more tricky when it comes to relationships that you do not have the daily ability to pour into. I think mostly of my closest friends. Weeks and even months can get away from me if I am not intentional about talking with them. We have to understand that lives are busy. My best friend and I will schedule time to talk to each other. Aside from my husband, she is the one person on this earth who I need the most. However, due to life, sometimes we just aren’t there for each other. But we know that anything worth having is worth working for so we do what is necessary to ensure we make time for each other. That usually looks like 2 scheduled phone calls a month, a few unexpected text, and at least once a year face to face time with each other and our family’s.
When it comes to other friendships, I have to be willing to follow the Lord’s prompts about calling or texting someone. If he places them on my heart, I need to make a connection and follow-up. There are no coincidences with God. I have to keep a list. If I do not keep this list, I will not make those connections and relationships suffer. These are friendships I do not want to ever see suffer due to lack of building them up. Therefore it is necessary for me to be intentional with my actions and words so that my love for them and the Lord can prosper.
My challenge to you this week is for you to hone in on one relationship that you know is suffering because of a failure on your part to make connections, keep up with them, be there for them, or whatever else it is that is standing in the way of this being a friendship that honors the Lord and brings Glory to the Lord. Ask God to help you identify ways in which you can pour into this person, making deposits in their bucket, and always be pointing them towards the Lord.