“Your marriage can be stronger than ever. You haven’t seen a good marriage yet.” I wish you could feel the gravity in the room as I said this to the young couple sitting in front of me, hanging on my every word. Kate and Wesley had only been married two years. But they came to their first counseling session exhausted and looking for answers. “We haven’t slept in the same bed since we don’t know when.” This mid-20s couple, successful in every other way you’d want—great salaries, two homes, nice cars—had let life happen to them.
This will happen to every marriage that doesn’t build on the right foundation. Maybe it happens quickly, like for this couple, or perhaps it takes years. But it will happen if you don’t build your marriage wisely by stopping the things you need to stop doing in marriage. Before you can construct any home on the right foundation, there are things you need to destroy first. Here are 3 things worth destroying in your marriage.No one is immune to selfishness.
Selfishness creeps into a marriage in small ways. It could be taking the last bite of dessert instead of offering it to your wife, streaming a new series without asking her to join you, or simply not listening well. These things aren’t the worst things ever if done only a time or two. But they point to a bigger issue if done often. No one is immune to selfishness.
Marriage won’t work well if you aren’t destroying selfishness. Putting yourself before your spouse not only cuts off the relationship but guarantees problems. We must honor and respect our spouses rather than put ourselves first. Guard what you think, say, and do in your marriage so much that you crush selfishness and go from disconnected to connected.
After only two years of marriage, Kate and Wesley revealed they had not eaten dinner together since living together. How does that happen? Couples who are too busy with small things end up being selfish about big things. It’s a vicious cycle that only stirs up divorce. Make time for meaningful talks and moments of connection. Make time to consider why you’re so busy all the time. Is your motivation more about materialism? Kate and Wesley had everything you and I dream of—but they were too busy for their marriage. Could the problem have resulted from being more focused on things than on their relationship?
I’ve seen laziness cause lots of problems in lots of marriages. Lazy marriages let that small conflict fester into an all-out war rather than do the hard work of addressing one issue at a time. Kate and Wesley confessed to not sleeping in the same bed or eating dinner together for who knows how long. Sadly, it’s often easier to be mad and disconnected than it is to confront, speak truth, and love another person so much that you work toward solutions.
Being lazy in marriage is as simple as not doing the things we should. So expect more from yourself. Take the time to engage in that conversation you’ve been putting off. Invest time in that lunch you’ve been promising you’d take your wife out to rather than showing up for another work meeting where you’re not needed.
Sound off: Which one of these three things do you need to destroy in your marriage?
Huddle Up Question
Huddle up with your wife and ask, “What’s the worst part of our family’s schedule? What can we do to make it better?”