Monday, May 8, 2017

Investing in What's Important

One thing that the Lord has brought to my attention recently is that I do a good job at my work. Why am I good at my job? Well, I pay a lot of attention to it. I do the things that are necessary each day to keep up and then I go a step or two further to make it excellent. I “go the extra mile.” This has served me extremely well in my career. I’m someone who doesn’t have to be managed. This performance, and it is performance, is something I almost take for granted. At work, it is who I am. The tweak in my spirit about this is, “Why?” Why am I going the extra mile, and how can I apply it to my marriage?

First of all, why would someone apply themselves and go above and beyond? Because they like it is the only answer that makes any sense, to me at least. I really like what I do. I get to invest in people and help other people and deliver an important, often life-sustaining product. What a job. He has blessed me greatly. How has He blessed me even more? He’s blessed me with this incredible, beautiful, intelligent, understanding wife who also happens to be my best friend in the world. That is why I work hard at marriage. He reminded me of that and everything came into focus.

We, as husbands, often dive into our work or our hobbies or whatever excites us rather than investing in our marriages or our families. Think about baseball dad, who pushes his son or daughter hard to become the next Nolan Ryan or Serena Williams. How is his marriage? If he isn’t careful, he isn’t putting enough care into it.

Sometimes, I’m guilty of going into auto-pilot and getting done what needs to be done for the people who need it done. It’s very easy to put things in the “immediate, but not important” category ahead of the “not immediate, but important” category. I have to be intentional about doing what is most important, which is taking care of the two most important relationships in my life: Christ and Laura.

Relationships are like plants. I like growing things, so I think of things in those terms. You don’t have to nurture them every waking moment. They can survive days without water or sunshine, but they can’t survive weeks or months. It’s easy to forget to water them today and then put it off tomorrow because they will survive. They won’t survive long like that though, and pretty soon, they start to look brown at the edges and droop. If you pay attention to them every day though, pruning here and watering there, they start to thrive. They really become beautiful. When you really pay attention to your spouse, your relationship blossoms. When you love them in their love language, even small ways, it means the world to them. Little by little, you go deeper and love more.

What do you put before the important things? Are you investing your time and energy into your marriage relationship? 


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