When we get married, one of the biggest things we have to deal with is the transition from single life to married life. What used to be mine is now ours. The way I like something matters less than what works best for the good of our union. Marriage is more than the sum of its parts, marriage is the all-encompassing work of husband and wife to grow together and have a successful and blessed experience.
This sounds well intentioned, but let me be transparent for a moment: I have a struggle related to the married life transition—I don’t always respond to my wife’s requests as promptly as I should. It’s a holdover from being single. I’m happy to do everything she asks, but I do it on my time. But I’ve learned this isn’t the best method to keep a healthy relationship. Let me explain…
When we’re single, we’re often not used to being inconvenienced. When we leave home and get our independence, one of the things we appreciate most is that we are no longer inconvenienced for the most part. This mindset has to change in marriage.
We look at requests or compromise sometimes as a form of inconvenience. It’s not that at all–it’s what we signed up for. My wife became my first and foremost priority when I asked her to marry me. I would like other husbands to take note: doing what she asks you to do should not be taken as inconvenience, but it should be taken as the opportunity to serve every chance you get.
Promptness vs Procrastination
When I’m asked to do something from anyone, I assess the situation. How urgent is the request? Is this necessary? How does this benefit my family and I in the long run? Is it something I want to do? After I analyze the request, I make a decision: If I’m going to do it, is there a sense of urgency to do the task?
What I have learned through trial and error is the sense of urgency is relative. In marriage, I think the request itself constitutes urgency. It may not be urgent to you, but try to have a sense of when your spouse makes a request because it may be important and urgent to them. I’m not single, therefore all requests should be taken as important. When I show promptness to responding to a request, I’m showing the request is important to me, which often translates to my wife how important she is to me.
There is an opportunity to be excellent in everything we do. Whether its our careers, parenting, hobbies or anything we do in life, we can choose to do it halfheartedly and with a lack of focus or we can choose to be intentional and work in excellence.
Although I can respond to a request on my own time, if I’m really being intentional about showing my wife that I want to serve her, I will respond in a timely fashion. When I’m holding myself to the highest standard possible, I’m holding myself to a standard of excellence I expect from my family, including my wife and children. When you show an example of excellence, it’s a lot easier to expect others to follow.
I have gotten much better at addressing my wife’s requests as quickly as possible. What we can all take away from my challenge is if we focus on the task at hand, make it a point to be prompt and not procrastinate and strive to live in excellence, those new requests simply become an opportunity for us to show our spouse how much we love them each and every day.
BMWK, in your marriage do yo operate on your own timeline?