The Extra Mile: Marriage Blog

BARRINGER0039

My wife is the sweetest, gentlest, most compassionate woman I’ve ever met…

…but….(cue dramatic pause)

…she has a deceptive side to her.

Usually, it comes out when we go on a run.  She’ll ask how far I want to go. I’ll give my answer.  Then during the run, and with a suspicious smile on her face, she’ll signal to take specific routes through the neighborhood that add-on more than what I anticipated.  Tonight was no different.

She asked me how far I wanted to go. I said, “Lets go 6 miles.”

8.45 miles later, we come into our driveway. She had a smile on her face.   I did not.

This, obviously, wasn’t the first incident. But it got the marriage blogger in me thinking. “Thinking about what” you may ask?

The extra mile.

extra_mile

In marriage, we don’t always care about the same things.  Sometimes we have similar “cares” but we go after them with different amount of passion.

For example the wife who wants more quality time with her husband will find herself initiating dates more often.

The husband who wants more intimacy will put in extra effort to set the mood.

I think that we can simply say: Going the extra mile isn’t always easy.

We have so many excuses for not “going the extra mile” for our spouses.
– “I’m the only one going the extra mile.”
– “I will wait till my spouse does it first.”
– “We’re just different.  We don’t think that way.”
– “My love languages are different.”

The trouble that I find is we are so willing to go the extra mile when WE are the beneficiaries.  It’s easy to take the extra steps necessary when you know there’s a payoff that YOU get to profit from.

But what about the extra step, the additional effort, and going above and beyond what’s expected that has a result that benefits your spouse? Our flesh doesn’t always enjoy doing things for others.  It really takes 2 things to happen:

1 – A change of mindset. We’ve got to stop being self-driven. We have to move from the “I” mentality to the “we” mentality. I’ve always said, “selfishness is the cancer of marriage.” It is gangrene to the oneness of your marriage. You’re not single, You’re married. It’s time to reflect Christ to your spouse. I love what Matthew 20:28, says. “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.”  Your mindset has to be that of how Christ responded to us. He came to serve and he gave EVERYTHING.   That’s the change of mind you need to have regarding your spouse. That’s the help you need to go the extra mile.

2 – Intentional effort. Your actions must be intentional.  But actions follow vision. Do you have a vision for your marriage? Are there goals the two of you have talked about? What are you two going after? Even if you have no idea where your marriage is going, healthy, intentional actions will guide you and your attitude to health.  It’s amazing how feelings follow actions.  It doesn’t happen the other way around. Actions cannot follow feelings.  If that is the case, nothing would ever get done. In Luke 19, a man by he name Zacchaeus intentionally puts himself into position to encounter Jesus. He could’ve been discouraged by the crowd preventing him from getting to his goal. He could have been discouraged by the lack of effort people were putting into letting him attain his goal.  But he intentionally and strategically put himself out there to see the savior.  The result: Luke 19:9 Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house…” Your intentional efforts can have a transformational affect to your marriage.

I know it’s challenging.  But these two simple steps will bring transformational affects to your marriage.  Not because I said it. Because it’s what we see in the Word of God.

Be willing to take it to the next level.  Be willing to go the extra mile.

Thanks for letting me ramble…

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