Passing on Things That Matter (Part One of Four)

coffee6.jpgSuppose for a moment that you were asked to pass on some of the most important truths or lessons about life to four people whom you deeply cared about.

 
To one person you will pass on some of the most important things you have learned about being a husband or wife.  To a second person, you will pass on some of the most important truths you have learned about being a mom or dad.  To a third person, you will pass on some of the most valuable lessons you have learned about being a Christ-follower.  Finally, to a fourth person, you will pass on some of the most important things you have learned about being a minister (preacher, pastor, church leader, etc.).

 
As you look back, perhaps you wish you had known much earlier a few things that you now realize to be true or important.  Maybe you have learned these things in the last few years.  Have you learned some important truths through experience, through success, or through failure?  Have you learned important lessons by watching others?  Perhaps you gained an important insight through Scripture or through reading the thoughts of others.

 
Anyway, what would you want to pass on to someone you cared about? 

 
I will mention a few things I would want to pass on.  I invite you to continue this list in your comments.  (This might be a series that you will want to share with friends.  Please invite them to make comments as well.)  This series will have four parts:

 

  • What I would want to pass on about being a husband or wife.
  • What I would want to pass on about being a father or mother.
  • What I would want to pass on about being a Christ-follower.
  • What I would want to pass on about being a Christian minister.

 
So I will begin this partial list of what I would want to pass on to someone about being a husband or wife:
 

  • Laugh.  Laugh often!  Laugh at yourself — your blunders, your goofs, your silliness.  Far too many married people become defensive about their own mistakes and goofs while they laugh (in a humiliating fashion) at the mistakes of their spouse.
  • Pray for your spouse and for your marriage.  Marriage can be challenging and difficult and needs much prayer.
  • Quickly apologize and quickly ask for forgiveness.  Far too often, I allowed my pride to delay my apology.  Not good.
  • Enjoy your friendship with your spouse.  That friendship will sustain you in many difficult moments.
  • Beware of the "weeds" the evil one is planting in your heart that war against your marriage.  Pay attention to what is   happening in your thought world.

 
This list is only a beginning.  What will you add? 

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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16 thoughts on “Passing on Things That Matter (Part One of Four)

  1. Great idea. I look forward to reading what people have to say. – Listen and understand before you make assumptions. – Don’t attack. It looks silly when you talk to yourself that way (Eph 5:28).

  2. 1. Take time with friends, away from your spouse.  It’s great to spend time together, but spending time apart often brings perspective, appreciation, and longing for your spouse in an extremely healthy way. 2. Your spouse is not meant to fill your every need.  Keep a healthy support network around you so that you don’t exert unnecessary and harmful pressure on your spouse to meet you in ways that are beyond expectation.3. Expect that there will be seasons (of varying length) where you don’t feel as passionate about your spouse.  This doesn’t mean you don’t love him/her, just that we all go through times of ebb and flow.  Ride it out, and the passion will return.4. As a wife, affirm your husband many times a day.  There are so many little things to affirm or say thanks for!  It raises his spirits, and produces a grateful heart in you.5. As a wife, learn how to pray and talk honestly about your feelings rather than nag.  It’s better to be a vulnerable, open wife than a condescending bitter parent.6. As a wife I don’t ever want to identify my husband as an additional kid.  He’s not mine to care for as I care for and raise my children, and putting him in this place seems to undermine his parenting/partnering ability.  My husband will be my partner, not referred to as another child. These are alot of things I have passed on to many who have asked us about marriage in the last few years.  Thanks for opening this up!  I am excited to read what others write, I have a lot to learn in the marriage department!   

  3. Be on each other’s team.  You know your spouses vulnerable areas.  NEVER…not once…use those to hurt your spouse.  This is something you told us in pre-marital couseling, and it stuck with me.  There is such joy in having your spouse be the safest person in the world to you.

  4. Don’t be surprised if your husband isn’t as sensitive about some things as your female friends.  He isn’t a woman, so don’t expect him to act like one.  (Remember the whole Mars-Venus thing.)
     
     

  5. Connie,Great! 🙂  I like the way you said this.  All of us men and women could learn from this one.  "She" is not one of my guy friends nor vice versa.  Good to remember instead of having the expectations frustrated. 

  6. Lauren,I like what you said and the way you said it!  You speak well of the importance of creating a safe place where we do not try to hurt one another or take advantage of knowing those vulnerable areas.Thanks. 

  7. I don’t read often enough Jim.  This is awesome stuff!!  Thanks for the advice and the insight.  God bless you brother.

  8. Hi Jennifer,I really like your six points!  They are full of realism and grace.  What you said is important.  The importance of affirming a spouse.  The importance of having realistic expectations regarding passion (which as you said may not be as strong during some seasons).I like what you said regarding not expecting a spouse to meet your every need.  Wow is that ever important!  In fact, doing what you suggest almost immediately takes some of the pressure off the marriage.Thank you Jennifer. 

  9. Take care of the little things. The things that have come up in conversation more than once in a week. It stops a potential cycle of nagging and, on the positive side, shows our spouses we care about their small concerns.

  10. Remember that the personality to which you were first attracted is the same one that can be most frustrating.
    Many times the harder I pull in one direction, the harder she will pull in another direction. Likely unbeknownst to both of us, we are simply trying to maintain a balance. Take the risk taking a step towards instead of pulling away. 

  11. L.L.Very good.  As I read your comment, I immediately thought of a "little thing" that I have neglected for a few–a number–of days.  Hmm. Need to take care of this today.  Thanks.