Whether we state them as resolutions or not, most of us think through a few ways we’d like to improve each coming year. Among those goals…
As wives, our days can become quite routine. We wake up and get ready for the day, move on to what’s on the to-do list and proceed to take care of our many responsibilities. Before you know it, the husband gets home, it’s time to take care of dinner, and we move on to the evening’s events. While there’s a lot that happens in between those generalizations, usually the basic structure is the same.
Routines are good and structure is helpful.
There is potential, however, to just go through the motions and overly focus on the tasks at hand, consequently interacting with our spouse more like a roommate than a husband. It’s great to be able to “do life” together, but when we are just thoughtlessly passing by our husband, something is not quite right, and we know it.
We know it because we remember what it was like when our husbands first caught our eye. There was a time in those early days when we were keenly aware of his presence and maybe even his every move. Some of us can remember a giddiness that was unavoidable just because he walked in the room.
If you have been married for years or even decades, I suppose you wouldn’t expect giddiness to describe your daily life. Nevertheless, I bet many of us would admit we have gotten a bit too comfortable and could put a little more effort towards paying attention to our husband.
More than Roommates!
Life probably isn’t going to slow down long enough to fit in nightly candlelit dinners or long walks on the beach. Realistically, if we want to make progress this week, we are going to need simple and practical ways to invest in our marriage amidst the routines. So, here is one small area that we can begin to work on…
On a typical day, one or both parties leave for the day, separating the couple for 8-10 hours. That is quite a lot of time when you factor in how many waking hours are left. It would seem that those hours are “neutral” in relation to marriage, but they don’t have to be. The moments that proceed and follow these long days have the potential to make a big difference throughout the whole day, almost every day. If we can capture these moments, we will be well on our way to becoming more than just roommates!
Maximize Key Moments
So how can taking advantage of two snippets of time really make that much of a difference in creating a better marriage? I am glad you asked.
If your schedule allows you to say goodbye in the morning, this is a perfect opportunity to thoughtfully pay attention to your husband. Whether it be a word of encouragement, a hug, sweet whispers, a big fat kiss, or a simple kind statement – “I hope you have a great day!” – your husband leaves glad that you are his wife (or at the minimum, he’s not relieved to be out of your presence!). That means that the day starts with your relationship going well. Your husband goes into his day with a positive feeling about you being his wife (whether he leaves encouraged, feeling loved, thankful, or maybe even full of butterflies after that affectionate kiss!).
As the day continues, that interaction might even flavor the thoughts you both have of each other for hours to come. And when the day starts to come to a close, your husband will look forward to being with you knowing that when he gets home he will be warmly received…. That sounds like a pretty good marriage!
This is Not a Gimmick
Maybe this all sounds too optimistic. Maybe it even seems like a way to trick your husband into liking you. It is not.
Displaying genuine kindness is the goal. These snippets of time won’t do much good if you are not working to be a kind wife in general. But if you are more thoughtful about these strategic moments that you normally let pass by, maybe you will start a cycle of kindness that really makes a difference!
Intentional kindness is God’s idea of course. Proverbs 16:24 says, “Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.” Similarly, Proverbs 15:23 says, “To make an apt answer is a joy to a man, and a word in season, how good it is!” Your kind words, at just the right time, make a difference!
If Only it Were That Simple…
Even if it’s hard to believe that these short moments can improve your marriage, I bet you would agree that those same moments could damage your marriage. If there is an unfriendly interaction or a tension-filled morning, it will impact your husband’s day (and yours too). If your husband knows you won’t be happy to see him when he gets home, he will not look forward to walking through that door. If this is the daily pattern, it would be a stretch to say that the marriage is going well.
In one sense, it is that simple. Making strides towards a better marriage may not be easy, but it is often more simple than we give it credit for.
It comes down to choosing kindness regardless of how you are feeling. But more practically speaking, what’s needed is some extra effort. It is about being willing to stop what you are doing and focus your attention on your husband because he is important. It means that you need to look up and smile when he comes home rather than merely going about your business. You need to treat him, quite honestly, like you vowed that you would. It is time to thoughtfully pay attention to him because you love him, and want to choose to show love to him, every day.
A good marriage isn’t merely defined by what happens at the beginning and end of the day, but it sure would make a difference if those times were positive, loving, and pleasant moments each day.
When you hear him packing up to leave in the morning, or walking in the door at night – don’t forget, this is a key opportunity to show kindness! I challenge you, do this every day, and your marriage will improve!