It’s been awhile since we purchased our book, Cherish, by Gary Thomas. After many months we are on chapter 12. Did you know that you are annoying and your spouse has the ability to help you grow? You know the pattern. You do that thing you do, your spouse gently calls you out on it, you call your sibling or best friend to confirm that he/she overreacted, and you are validated that it’s not you that has the issue.
The example Gary gave was a personal one. He had an opportunity to run ten miles in a beautiful area while visiting his son. His obsession over running became the focal point of conversations and the agenda setting. His wife gently reminded him that his priority needed compromising to fit the group. He accepted the sound reminder and engaged with the family. He eventually had the free time to run in the end.
Being a woman of faith, I appreciated the reference of Jesus never being compulsive, he served in the moment. My husband and I were asked by the study to list our three annoying habits. We shared, agreed (we know this after 28 years of marriage), and laughed. Most annoyances truly arise from feelings of inconvenience. Your actions, lack of action, or comment altered my plans or thoughts. How annoyed Jesus must have been but switched gears and served or spoke up. A mature marriage will serve and sometimes speak up. When your loved one speaks up, listen and take to heart their advice. No other place can you grow in character and strength than within your marriage. Don’t get defensive or angry–listen. Your friend may agree with you that your spouse overreacted, but you are not married to them. Let’s be real, too. Maybe you do overreact. It’s all in the delivery. It’s the millionth time they are doing that thing that they do, but it’s your joy to gently remind and guide them into a better way.
Take joy in striving to please the one you love most and change. Find one area of growth and take action to do something different. Learn to love within your spouse’s idiosyncrasies and think about the strength that lies within the weakness.
I may be task oriented which supports the to do list, but thank you for reminding me to enjoy the now. Can you take something from the list? I need help.
Peace to all marriages who continuously strive for better marriages. If you are single, remember your current relationships with loved ones and friends are fertile ground for a future marriage. I’ve thought often about the practices of what I’m learning in this book and how I can apply them with work and family relationships. Who could use more grace and better communication on the job?