Over the last few days we’ve chatted about “The 15 Things Wives Should Stop Doing” and “The 40 Things Husbands Should Stop Doing” on the show. We saw everything from hate mail and disgust to love and thank you’s for posting theses lists online for people to find in hopes of improving their marriages. But it got me thinking…will people actually use these lists for self improvement or as marriage weapons of mass destruction?
These lists were written by Wives for Wives (The 15 Things) and by Husbands for Husbands (The 40 Things) as real life examples to shed some light on things we may not realize, not giant spotlights we can operate to point out areas of lack in our spouse. Keep these 3 things in mind if you’re going to use these lists…
1. They are FOR YOU so actually USE THEM. I know its so much easier to point out the things that our spouse does wrong, but thats not the purpose of these lists. They are for self reflection and self improvement. So do a little self improving. Think about it this way, God doesn’t first wait for us to become perfect or get it right before he decides to love us, so don’t expect your spouse to get it right first before we try to improve our behavior in marriage.
2. Don’t expect the other to move first. Yes, this is a little “Love Dare-ish” but its true. You move first and you keep moving, regardless. Love is a balm that can soothe all hurts and heal all wounds, so keep trying and keep loving them everyday. Will it be hard when you look across the court and your team mate isn’t on the same game plan yet? YES. But as they begin to see the changes in you, with a little prayer and a little Jesus, your example might just lead the way to spark some change in your spouse too.
3. Don’t use these lists as clubs to beat your spouses with. I wish I was perfect and didn’t let my anger pop up or let a few choice words fly or react poorly every now and then. But it happens and when it does I hope my wife isn’t on the other side of me standing there with the “40 Things List” ready to point out my every mistake. Giving the same grace we would want in return is a key to making marriage work. So show grace in failures, praise in progress and love them always.
Marriage takes work and I hope these lists help to strengthen your marriages and promote better communication between you two. For more resources on love and marriage check out: www.familylife.com. That’s where I found both the 15 and 40 Things Lists.
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