Writing about marriage means you’ve basically got it all down and get it perfect every time . . . not a single marriage mistake, right?
I think we all know the answer to that question!
And, so it was, just a few days ago, I had to be reminded of something so basic, I laughed at myself – How did I forget that?
In marriage, the simple, straightforward things are often the easiest things to forget. When it comes to our relationship we need to remember: The main things are the basic things and the basic things are the main things.
Yes, I think Lisa’s awesome.
Yes, I love her.
Yes, I’d lay down my life for her.
Yes, etc., etc.,
She knows all this. So why was there a slight disruption in the vibe. I’m sure you know what I mean. Walk into the room and something just isn’t right – you’re not quite connecting. How did that happen?
We’d both had a busy day (are there any other kind, these days?). I just arrived home, said a quick ‘Hey Babe’ from across the room, dove into the next thing, and that’s when the disconnect happened.
Why is she so “off” all of a sudden? Did I do something?
But I hadn’t done anything. I just walked in the door. The problem? It wasn’t what I did. It was something I didn’t do.
How difficult would it have been to take five minutes, walk across the room, give her a warm greeting and communicate that:
- I care about how she’s feeling
- She matters
- How she is doing is of importance to me
- She is a priority
- She’s never been far from my thoughts
- I desire to be connected
. . . all this with so simple an act of acknowledgement and interest.
Lisa knows all these things are true but even in a great marriage, it’s possible for your spouse to not feel them in the moment. It’s a marriage mistake that’s easy to avoid.
Were you at the post office? The Store? Coming home from the gym? Arriving home at the end of the day after work?
The next time you walk through the door, don’t do what I did. Walk right up to your wife/husband and make it clear that the one thing you want to do before you take another step is to connect with the most important person in your life. (Unless you just arrived home from the dentist, kissing when arriving is highly recommended!)
This is an “easy basic” that communicates powerfully to your spouse. What are some examples of what you might say during a warm “hello” hug . . .?
I missed you today. Hope you’re doing well.
How was your day, today?
Anything interesting happen in your day?
. . . and, if you have a little more time . . .
How about we sit down for 10 minutes . . . and catch up?
or, go for a walk . . .
or, have a cup of coffee . . .
or, whatever you know your spouse translates as “He/she cares about me”
Again, it’s an easy basic of marriage. We can do this. We just need to purpose to do it – to follow through.
Grand gestures, amazing gifts, awesome fun surprises for our spouse – they’re all great but they can never replace the simple everyday moments we fill with the message – You matter to me as a person . . . my friend and my lover. Remember, in Marriage: The main things are the basic things and the basic things are the main things. When we communicate value in the simple encounters of our day, we encourage our spouse, strengthen the fiber of our marriage, and have a lot more fun together! So, the next time you walk through your front door, don’t miss your opportunity for all that! (I”m not going to!)
Matt Jacobson is the founder of FaithfulMan.com a biblical marriage, parenting, and discipleship ministry providing written and audio teaching, as well as couples marriage coaching. He is the co-host (with his wife, Lisa) of Faithful Life Podcast and is author of the bestseller, 100 Ways to Love Your Wife. Matt is pastor of Tumalo Bible Fellowship and is married to Lisa, founder of Club31Women.com (they have 8 kids!).