A few years ago, I heard Joyce Meyer talk about the more grounded spouse might be required to put in extra effort to keep a marriage growing.
She was speaking from personal experience where for many years her husband Dave, who was the more grounded of the two, carried the weight of marriage.
I have learned in marriage, spouses don’t always care about the same thing with the same level of passion.
For example the wife who wants more conversation will find herself initiating conversation more often…at least as a start or for a season.
The husband who wants order in the finances might be required to put in extra effort.
Nonetheless, choosing to go the extra mile is not easy.
It might look reasonable and mature. But our flesh doesn’t always enjoy doing reasonable mature things. It takes a change of mindset and intentional effort.
To get better in this area, I’ve realized it’s important to understand;
1. I am not the only one going the extra mile.
Sometimes couples get into “martyr mode”.
They recognize their individual sacrifices but completely fail to see where the other person continually steps up.
For example in our marriage, I am the planner.
It’s easy to get lost in my little details and all the things “I make happen”…and fail to see everything my husband does (especially because he carries his burdens and sacrifices with much more maturity and dignity).
I have observed that in many relationships, it sometimes comes down to caring differently, not caring less.
2. What is important to me?
Strong couples dream together. Still the person with more clarity and passion in one area will sometimes need to step out of the boat first.
I used to think that just because we share a common dream meant we have to devote the same amount of time and passion to get the dream or habit going. But that’s not always the case.
Right now I have more free time than my husband. I am able to devote more time to the things we care about. In the past, I’d make a lot of noise (mostly mental) about his seeming absence.
But as I’ve gotten along in marriage, I’ve come to appreciate the power of teamwork and partnership. Being a good team player means establishing what we care about and then moving on it…even when am the first one.
3. We are gifted differently
Sometimes it’s not that one spouse doesn’t want to do something or that they wouldn’t want to be a certain way.
It’s just they are wired differently. What the other spouse likes will never be a natural fit for them (Note: am not talking about marriage fundamentals)
We must learn to be grateful for our spouses, just as they are and be willing to extend the same grace we ourselves received.
4. Iron sharpens iron
Mark Gungor says that marriage is like a mirror, placed infront of us to reflect the person we truly are. Not the person we wish we could be.
Someone said that “prayer changes things..and mostly me”.
Going the extra mile helps us grow, makes us stronger and better.
Question – Do you like going the extra mile? What tips can you share? Please share in Comments
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