Hampton University in Virginia hosted a marriage summit earlier this week. Former National Football League coach Tony Dungy, Chick-Fil-A founder S. Truett Cathy and his son Donald served as co-chairmen of the event. Organizers brought together “more than 100 religious leaders, psychologists and other counseling professionals, public-health workers and others affiliated with groups that range from the conservative Focus on the Family to the Omega Psi Phi black fraternity.” I’m sure the discussions were lively. Topics included sharing ideas and creating solutions around our high divorce rate, encouraging more responsibility from fathers and the increasing number of unwed mothers/single mothers raising their children in single-parent households. Sometimes looking at the sheer magnitude of the problem in our country just makes you want to give up.
I had a similar situation at my house this week. We moved recently and I have been putting off organizing my home office. I’ve felt stressed and overwhelmed by looking at all of the boxes and it just looks so big and intimidating to me! When I first moved in, I tackled the least-daunting tasks first. I had lots of energy and enthusiasm to give but now that the kitchen is organized, the other rooms are settled, and most of what I wanted to paint is painted, my home office is the last big thing left to conquer.
I know that really digging into my home office will take discipline. Going through things that I have had around forever but just aren’t serving me anymore. Giving away things that I don’t have a place for at our new home and throwing away things that no one else would use or appreciate. To have a productive home office that serves me well,I will have to say goodbye to the visual clutter that prevents me from entering my office with energy and excitement to start my day. I will have to buckle down and do what I don’t want to do so I can have what I want to have in the end: a space that is inviting, encouraging, and brings out the best in me and my work.
Many marriages today are treated a lot like my home office. They are in last place. Couples know they have issues that they need to work on. They know they would benefit from talking to a counselor, a leader at their church or using a marriage coach. But they never get around to it. It’s easy to slip into apathy . . . being too busy, too tired, and sometimes just not knowing where to start. So they end up putting careers, children, TV programs and activities ahead of the needs of their spouse.
Do you want a better marriage? One that is inviting, encouraging, and that brings out the best in you? Then make a decision today to give apathy no place in your marriage. Refuse to procrastinate when it comes to the needs of your spouse.
Here are some questions to help you get started clearing out the clutter in your marriage:
- Are there activities that I need to let go of that would free up time for my spouse?
- Are there patterns or routines that aren’t serving us that we need to change?
- Where does my spouse/marriage fall on my list of priorities?
- Does the way I spend my time agree with that?
- Is there something that my spouse has asked me to do that I have just been putting off? Get started on it today!
Although we all can’t attend a marriage summit this week, we can make a profound impact on our own marriage. We can choose to do what needs to be done now so that we can build a stronger marriage going forward. Improve the state of your own marriage and you will affect the future of generations to come.
“I am only me, but I am me: I can’t do everything, but I can do something; what I can do, I ought to do, and by the grace of God, I will do.”–Lou Holtz