A few weeks ago I posted this picture on Instagram. It is a picture of Trisha mowing the yard and me cooking dinner. I tagged it with the phrase,
“This is how we roll.”
The picture sparked all kinds of comments. Most of them making fun of me for making my wife mow the yard. It was funny and I have no problem admitting my failure at man stuff. I get made fun of all the time for being a better cook than I am a mechanic.
But here is the deal: This is a picture of our marriage working well.
Trisha and I spent the first ten years of our marriage trying to change each other into the person we thought the other should be; rather than celebrating who we each were created to be. Our attempt to change one another only left us frustrated and defeated.
So often in marriage relationships we place expectations on our spouse that even on their best day, they can’t live up to. For me, that was cooking. I had this preconceived notion that when we got married, Trisha would love to cook and would have dinner waiting for me when I got home from work. Trish doesn’t like to cook and always felt the pressure to live up to my expectations. She never felt joy and she was never celebrated.
I’m not too fond of yard work. It isn’t that I don’t like being outside, I just really don’t enjoy mowing. I would consistently wait until our yard needed bailed like hay before I would mow. Trish was constantly frustrated with me because she likes our yard taken care of and didn’t understand why I would put it off so long. I resented every time I mowed. I hated it.
We went out one night for dinner and the question was asked, “What area of our marriage brings you the most stress?” We each started listing things that we either weren’t good at but felt the pressure to do; or things we didn’t like but felt like it was expected of us. Mowing for me; cooking for her. So we switched. She likes to mow; I enjoy cooking. Amazing!
It may seem like a little thing, but I bet there are things in your marriage that suck the life out of your spouse. There are probably tasks that you do in your marriage that you can’t stand doing. What if you stopped expecting each other to be something you’re not? What if you stopped trying to change your spouse and started celebrating who they are? It was a game changer for us.
Maybe the best question you can ask your spouse is, “What area of our marriage brings you the most stress?”
Two things happen when you start talking about this: you set your spouse free to be who they are and in the process you are set free from your need to change them.
(P.S. You don’t have the power to change them anyway; only God does.)
Just for kicks, what is one chore you do, but you can’t stand?
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