Whether it’s a hobby that we enjoy or a cause that we’re passionate about, we tend to invest time and money in those things that mean a lot to us.
So, if we want our marriage to be a rich relationship that strengthens and nourishes us and our spouse, we have to put the best of ourselves into it.
In his book What Did You Expect? Redeeming the Realities of Marriage, Paul David Tripp shares the following.
“An argumentative moment is an investment in the treasure of being right, and from it you will get some kind of relational return. If you aggressively argue your spouse into a corner, it is not likely that the return on that investment will be [his] appreciation for you and a desire to have one of those conversations again! If you invest in the treasure of willing service, you will experience the return of appreciation, respect, and a greater friendship intimacy in your marriage. If it is more valuable to have your house immaculately clean than it is for your partner to be comfortable, then you will live with the return of that in the quality of your relationship.”
(Why did he have to include that last sentence? I have definitely fallen prey to that example!)
If I want to get a good return in my marriage, to have that prime, loving relationship with my husband, what do I need to invest in my marriage? Here are three ideas.
Thoughtfulness. This includes doing the little things that I know will make him happy, anticipating his needs, and even thinking of and praying for him throughout the day.
Gratitude. From working hard at his job to repairing things around the house to sharing parenting responsibilities, my husband does so much for our family. If I’m ever tempted to be irritated at something he does – or doesn’t – do, I need to mentally revisit all the ways he blesses us. It’s also good to express that thankfulness, either verbally, in a note, or just in the attitude I display toward him.
Grace. We are two sinners living together. I say things I don’t mean, I want my own way, and forget to do things I said I would do. (And that’s the short list!) I need grace. If I want that grace extended to me, how can I not extend that same grace to him? If he has a hard day or has an impatient moment or doesn’t meet my expectations, I must give him grace.
What are other ways we can invest in our marriage?