A couple weeks ago we started talking about the journey that God has called us to this year by joining the one word club for 2015. We shared our one word for our family, Blair shared her word, and today I would like to share mine!
Matt’s Word: Selfless
When Blair and I asked God to lay a word on our hearts for 2015, I immediately knew that God wanted me to work on being more selfless. Specifically in our marriage…
It’s just one of those things that creeps in and will destroy the intimacy in your marriage if it is not addressed. If Blair and I want the marriage of our dreams, it will take hard work and intentionality. I have been learning that living selflessly simply means that I consider the impact on Blair for every decision and action I take. I am a very literal person and I do best when things are simple and measurable… So I have been working on this character trait specifically with the intention to demolish selfishness within our marriage.
Some of the ways I have set out to live a more selfless lifestyle is by these four actions that I am working on putting into practice daily. By setting up specific things I can do everyday it helps me keep my bigger goal of being selfless in perspective while making it measurable for me so I can gage how well I am doing at working towards this character trait with God.
- Considering Her Opinion.
Sometimes it is difficult to put my own needs or wants aside to focus solely on Blair’s. When I am selfish, it can come across as if I couldn’t care less about what she thinks or how she feels. Who wants that from their spouse? I don’t. If I want my wife to know that I love and care for her, then I will talk to her about decisions and actions before I do them. For example: I don’t take overtime at work without talking to Blair even though I know practically 10/10 times she will support me in the decision, but I still ask her anyway because I want her input, I want her to know that her opinion matters to me and I want her to know that she has a say in the decisions I over see for our family.
- Being Intentional with Communication.
When we got married, we did pre-martial counseling. We went over all the basics. You know, finances, expectations, sex, communication, etc. I’ll be the first to admit that I probably paid the least amount of attention to communication. That is probably because I struggle with listening fully. I’m also not the best talker. Meaning, I don’t talk much. I am a private person by nature and it’s hard for me to share a whole lot. I managed to get through 22 years with “good” as an acceptable answer to the question “How was your day?” whenever my mom or anyone else in my family asked. So, as a family, we decided early on in our marriage that every day when we got home from work we would spend a few minutes just talking about how our day was to help improve the communication between the two of us. This was difficult at first but it has been a wonderful exercise in communication for us that has exponentially improved the intimacy in our relationship. We feel more connected than ever and have become better communicators because this action helps us to really blend our separate lives into one and do life together.
- Being Her Safe Place.
I heard this on a christian podcast that Blair and I listen to regularly called Marriage Today a while ago and it has really taken root deep within me. I should be the one person on the planet that my wife can come to and share anything with. After hearing that I decided I was going to do whatever it takes to be Blairs safe place it changed the way I listened to her. Blair knows that I will not make her feel guilty, I won’t pass judgment, I will not get defensive and I won’t try to fix her when she comes to me with a thought or feeling or even just to complain. If there are distractions (usually a TV) I’ll shut it off because what she is saying matters more to me. I turn towards her and give my undivided attention. This was VERY hard at first and I still struggle with it, but when I show her that I can be trusted, when she KNOWS that she is safe with me, she feels secure in our marriage and I am freeing her up to be the woman God intended her to be.
- Finding Ways to Serve.
This might sound a little too simple, but the easiest way to practice being selfless is to do selfless things. Little things like taking the dogs out, scrubbing the crock-pot or scraping ice off her car when we have a cold winter morning, go a long way to break the bad habit of being selfish.
Blair and I desperately want our marriage to be the best it can be. We are equally committed to unselfish behavior and because of that, neither of us feel like other has the better deal. Each of us know that the other is genuinely interested in the other’s well-being, that we put the others needs over each others and is committed to fostering a relationship that brings glory to God, is shaping us into the people God created us to be and in turn brings joy into our lives.
Thanks for reading! Feel free to drop your email address into the slot on the side so you can watch our little family as well continue in the daily journey of growing to become a better reflection of Jesus and His love in our marriage.