Today, we have Craig Ferguson. My husband. Can I just say there were tears?
|Don't poke the bear (i.e. Jen)!|
There is a saying that familiarity breeds contempt. It's the idea that once you get to know someone, you'll fully see their faults, their shortcomings, and their annoyances. Further, it is the knowledge of these that will keep you from loving, or respecting the other person. When I look at my marriage, nothing could be further from the truth. For those of you who don't know, Jen and I have been together over 14 years; twelve of those have been in marriage. I can safely say that we have become familiar with one another and I respect and love Jen more today than I ever have. Not to brag, but Jen is an amazing woman. She will often say or do something that gives me yet another reason to thank God for putting her into my life. But, for me, this familiarity presents a challenge. A challenge not to become complacent. Not to become lazy. Not to become satisfied and settled with the status quo. For me at least, familiarity breeds both comfort and complacency.
So, how does this comfort and complacency manifest itself? A prime example was last weekend. Jen had spent a couple of days cleaning the house. Now when Jen cleans the house, she cleans the house. Like art museum clean. In addition, she did all of the laundry (a task that I normally assume). I had some friends over for a game night and she cleaned up after us, twice. The proper thing for me to do would have been to thank her as soon as I noticed each of these acts of service. But, comfortable and complacent Craig missed that opportunity. Naturally, Jen was hurt by my lack of response and her hurt was communicated by her attitude and demeanor towards me. Does any of this sound familiar, guys? Well, after about a day of this, I finally asked her what was going on. Jen responded truthfully, that I had hurt her feelings by not vocalizing that I had noticed her efforts and thanked her. Now, I had an opportunity at that point to respond properly. However, this was my response, "Did you do all of those things in hopes of receiving praise?" It should be noted here that this was the absolute wrong thing to say. A serious discussion ensued which ended with me putting myself in time out.
After thinking on the error of my ways and how I was to rectify the situation, I reengaged my conversation with Jen in a much more humble fashion. First of all, I apologized for my reaction to her honesty, and secondly, I thanked her for all that she had done. During the course of the conversation, it had occurred to me that what Jen wanted was so simple and so easy to give. Yet, it required that I pay attention and look for opportunities to surprise and delight her. And therein lies the lesson, guys. Our wives want to be appreciated. They wanted to feel loved. Translation: they wanted to be wooed!
Do you remember the days of agonizing over how you were going to surprise your girlfriend? How you were going to show her how "romantic" you were? Well, if you were like me, that girlfriend is now your wife and those days have been too far gone. Jen deserves to be cherished. She is beautiful and should be honored as such. And unfortunately, I have failed, again and again. But like the love of God, she showers me with grace. Each day is a new day. It's up to me to be glad and rejoice in it and in her.
So, as I challenge myself, I'm challenging you. How are you going to show your wife TODAY that she is a beautiful and precious gift? A gift that God picked out just for you. What will you do to say that she is more rewarding than that promotion you've been chasing. That she is more deserving of your time than that project you've been trying to finish. It doesn't have to be complicated. It's doesn't have to be expensive. It can be a simple as turning off your attention on your life and turning on your attention to her. Whatever you decide to do, make it intentional. Make it meaningful to her and to you. And, flowers never hurt either.
Craig Ferguson is...
a procrastinating writer, musician, carpenter, and artist. So, I basically only do those things when I have to and/or under duress. I'm married to an amazing woman who smiles at my dreams and challenges me constantly to be the man that God has called me to be. I'm a father of two wonderful girls who are the perfect combination of my wife's good looks and my mischievous charm. And, I'm blessed to have Hank, our German Shorthaired Pointer, who is my morning walking companion and ball wrangling champion extraordinaire.
Linking today with Tracy, Jennifer, Emily, and Duane.