It was one of those gray rainy days preceded by another sleepless night with kids that were up –again.
I curled up on my couch with my early morning cup of tea while I read my Bible, prayed, and tried to get myself in a good mood before the household exploded with ten little feet.
As my brain cells began to stir I started to think about my misery and my husband. In my exhausted, early morning mental fog these thoughts tumbled out-
I wonder if he ever thinks about how I feel- how hard life is for me with all these kids.
And that thing I asked him to fix last week, it’s still broken.
And just once, I wish he’d offer to do the bedtime and homework routine without my asking.
And that suggestion I gave him about something that might help him at the office-he didn’t think it was very good.
I wonder if he appreciates my carpooling the kids all over every day and feeling like I’ve accomplished nothing…and, and…
As I sat in my pity-party, a question entered my mind. “Susan, what if he had said:
“Honey you work so hard; I appreciate how difficult it must be especially because it feels so mundane to you.
What if he had fixed that broken thing right away.
What if he had come home one night and said,” I’m taking over dinner and homework; you take a break.”
What if he had said, “By the way that suggestion you gave me for work; I took your advice and it was good.”
What I quickly realized was that I would have simply thought of something else that did not please me.
I had fallen into a “picky trap.” Pick, pick, and pick at the things my husband does or doesn’t do. Rehearse them in my mind. Add to the list.
I also realized that I had become an “encore wife,” a person for whom nothing is ever enough.
No matter what he did I would think of something else I wanted. There was no way he could satisfy me.
Picky wives who also want an encore are not very much fun to live with.
And I wanted to be fun.
The Daily Marriage Vitamin
“Please Lord, change my heart. Make me grateful instead of critical. Remind me of things to appreciate in my husband.”
I began to say out loud the things I was grateful for in my man. He gets up early to pray for the kids and me. He is a man of integrity. He is even tempered. He is reliable. He has self- discipline; doing things he doesn’t necessarily like to do.
That morning I discovered what I call the “marriage vitamin.“
Every day I try to thank God for one specific thing I appreciate about my husband. Occasionally, I even tell him.
No, he’s not perfect, but neither is his wife.
And yes we still let each other down, ask forgiveness, and start over again.
The thing about marriage is it’s a lifetime of growing together, of iron sharpening iron.
We never will get it just right this side of heaven. Our God is more concerned about what we learn in the process than He is about us getting it all figured out.
Even with 45 years of marriage, I still get lazy and fall into the picky trap. I still need that daily marriage vitamin.
Today I find myself praying more and more that I’d lighten up and not make a big deal out of something small. And I continue to pray that we’d laugh more together at the dumb things we do.
Today, after all these years we appreciate more and more that we simply have each other. God is good and He is using us to sharpen one another. (Proverbs 27:17)
*What’s your daily Marriage Vitamin for today? Share one thing you appreciate about your husband!
I’m mom to five children (including a set of twins) and grandmother to 21 (including a set of quadruplets!). My husband, John and I have been married almost 45 years. I’ve written 13 books and speak on the subjects of marriage, parenting, and women’s issues. Some of my books include And Then I Had Kids; And Then I Had Teenagers; Barbara & Susan’s Guide to the Empty Nest (with friend Barbara Rainey) and Character Matters!: Raising Kids with Values That Last (With John).
Take the 100 Day Love Challenge
- Get your bundle – each of you get a copy of “your” book.
- Pick a “Start Date” and commit to the next 100 days.
- Each day, do one loving act for your spouse (with no expectation of “payback”).
- Ask God to help you to understand how to love well and to follow through with it.
- Start enjoying the blessings of those little things that say love over time.
We invite you to join us for this 100 Day Love Challenge!