Marriage Tip | “Don’t count the things you do. Do the things that count.” -Zig Ziglar
Today May 30th my husband and I celebrate 14 years of marriage! We have had many times of bliss and also many times of choosing to walk in love and grace. No marriage is perfect, I encourage you to make it your aim to make your marriage the best you can by investing in your spouse with love and intention. Remind yourself continually this is the person you love and want to spend the rest of your days with. Think on all the reasons you fell in love, date your spouse and reignite your flame often.
My bottom line for this post is to encourage you to do the things that count. You know your spouse best. What they like, appreciate and what brings them joy. Don’t keep track of all the things that you do for each other, rather choose daily to do the things that count. The things that express love to your spouse. Is that gifts, is that offering to pick something up from the store on the way home, is it love notes, watching the baseball game with them?
I know it is great to be whisked away on a trip, it’s great to receive long stemmed roses but it is just as great to be left a sticky note on the fridge or in the car saying “I love you, I am so happy I am married to you”. Those little everyday expressions of love will help keep your love alive.
I am so grateful for the text messages my husband sends throughout the day. I know he can get busy and caught up in his work day and I can get busy and caught up in errands and taking care of the kids and house that you can sometimes feel disconnected or distant. Sending those thoughtful texts throughout the day let’s each of us know that we are thinking of one another. There are times when he sends more text messages than I do. If I am involved in a project or it’s a busy week with kids activities. There are times when I send more text messages, when he is meeting deadlines, and sales goals. It is key in marriage not to keep track of who did what and how often, but focus on what you can do to express your love and appreciation. I always find it is reciprocated, maybe not always in the time frame we think or how we think but keep at loving and you will receive it back.
I am so grateful when my husband uses face time, he does this quite often when he is out of town, but even sometimes when I text him something great about the kids or my day. He will face time us and it just makes it more personal, like he is right here celebrating with us.
There have also been those times when he has so thoughtfully called or tried to face time and I have sent him to voicemail. I remember one time in particular, I was helping three of the boys with homework, giving one a spelling test, cooking dinner, and had a crying little one on my hip. After a number of calls I rudely answered and said “I’m a little busy here. I know you are enjoying your quiet drive home, I can’t talk right now”. Not very nice of me, I know. We all have those moments. My frustration had nothing to do with him, but I took it out on him. The key is to later go back and apologize and express how you appreciate his calls. I don’t want him to not call because I might be busy, that was not the message I intended to send, so it was important to express my apologies and appreciation for those calls.
We both know each others favorite snacks and drinks. I love when I find a coffee in the fridge. I know that he thought of me and thought how it would bless my morning. I make it my goal to always sneak in a note in his bag if he is going out of town and keep around the house his favorite snacks.
Your spouses favorites can change over time and throughout different seasons in life. I am always grateful when my husband offers to stop at the store for me. I typically do the grocery shopping, but when I have a baby, my hubby takes over going to the store for me. When I had my son Isaiah, I don’t think I went to the grocery store for like six months. My hubby got in the habit of shopping, while I made the list, it was wonderful. Stay flexible and look for, seek out, what would bless your spouse in your current season of life.
It can be easy after being married for a while to think on all the things you do for your spouse or family. If you think on all you do, you can sometimes get a sour attitude. So rather than think on all the things you already do. Have a servant attitude and think of what can you do today, what would count today in your relationship.
I often tell my children with sibling spats, you cannot control another’s actions. You are only responsible for your actions and how you respond. It is a good reminder for couples. You cannot make your spouse leave notes and make thoughtful gestures, you are only responsible for your actions. As you invest, loving and thoughtful gestures your spouse will take notice. Don’t do these things so they take notice, back to the Ziglar quote, “Don’t count the things you do. Do the things that count.” Your love counts, your investment in your marriage counts, choose daily to do the things that count.
I have heard widows share how they would give anything to be kept awake by their spouse snoring, or pick up their dirty laundry. Remind yourself even in tough times that your spouse is a gift. Having them in your life is a blessing. Make the best out of every moment, remember everyone has bad days, sometimes bad months. Choose grace and ask what can you do to make life easier for them, what can you do to bring a smile to their face.
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