Finding the Right Person

to know

finding the right personFinding is Being

Finding the right person is not just about looking, but also about being. Whether you’re looking for an employer, employee, spouse, or friend, there are some things to consider. Granted, these are  not all in the same playing field. Yet, there is a similarity. When we job-seek, we have ideas for what we want to do, where we want to work, and what we hope our employer will be like. When we’re looking for an employee, we are searching for the right person for the job.

The same is true for finding a spouse. We have ideas of what we want in the person we are going to marry. Interesting, isn’t it, that often we try to figure out who  and what we want our spouse or employer to be like. We fail to consider the type of person that we are.

The secret to finding the right person is to be the right person. It’s simple.

Your list

Make your list of character qualities (forget the looks because they change over time). Yep.

  • If you’re looking for a spouse, do you want a man who leads you spiritually?
  • Do you want a man who is financially stable, who knows who he is, and where he’s going?
  • Does it matter if your spouse is devoted to his family and treats his mother with respect?
  • Do you care if he is a gentleman and cares tenderly for animals?
  • Do you want an employer who treats you fairly, is honest, and shows care to the concerns of his employees?
  • Does it matter to you if he is honest with customers and clients, if he does not overcharge his clients or overburden his employees?
  • Do you hope to find an employee who is punctual, trust-worthy, and committed to doing his work well?

Once you’ve made your list, take a look at yourself.  Ask yourself: how do you fare in the availability department? Do you fit the criteria for the person you are searching?

finding the right personBeing leads to finding the right person

Are you the kind of person the man you desire is looking for  in a spouse?

If an employer looked at your character traits, would he want to hire you?

Is it not often a problem that we know what we want but never consider that the kind of person we are seeking must also be attracted to the kind of person we are?

If you want a spouse who is honest with you, are you willing to be honest with him? You want a spouse who loves you without condition. Are you willing and able to do the same? You want a spouse who will commit himself to you for life. Are you willing to commit yourself to someone for life?

If you want an employer who is kind, fair, and honest, are you willing to be the kind of employee this boss would want to hire? If you’re looking for an employee who is dependable, loyal, and conscientious, are you willing to be that same type of person?

Finding means you must fit the bill

Many years ago, someone told me that finding the right spouse is more about being than finding. I wondered about that. Now, after 37 years of marriage, I don’t wonder anymore. I know this is true.

Instead of focusing on finding the right person, place your focus on yourself. Become the right person so that the right person can find you!

Pinterest Finding the Right Person

 

 

My Spouse Built Me Up When He Could Have Torn Me Down

built me up

built me upThe fateful day – built up or torn down?

My friend thought Dave might tear me down; instead he built me up. The day I backed the car out of the “garage” was a recipe for embarrassment. My friend was visiting me and she and I were heading to town. I hopped into the car and turned around to put some items into the back seat. Putting the car into reverse, I glanced toward my friend as the car moved backwards.

I heard the impact, felt the car shudder and braked to a sudden stop. The door of the car bent completely forward! Obviously, I forgot to close the car door before I backed out of the garage. Now the door did not close correctly; it could not even latch.

And the response is . . .

I knew I did not need to fear Dave’s anger, but I was so embarrassed in front of my friend. Understandably, she and I were anxiously wondering what Dave’s reaction would be. Is he going to tease me or show his frustration? Will he tear me down or build me up?

I called Dave at work to tell him about my debacle. To my relief, once Dave was assured that my friend and I were not injured, he told me to not  worry about the car door, that things can be fixed!

I anxiously waited for him to arrive home after work. Expectedly, he methodically examined the door, now hopelessly sprung on its hinges. After forcibly closing the door and latching it, he turned toward me.

Our friend nervously stood in the background as we waited for his response. My husband gave me a smile and a hug as he took me in his arms. “You are the cutest door-bender in Halifax County”, he said with a smile. When he could have torn me down, he built me up. I blushed, and I felt loved.

built me upHe was right

That was all. The car went to the shop, and he paid the bill.  I never heard a word about my mistake again, except when I mentioned it. He always told me to forget about the door. Sometimes I still remember, and sometimes we still talk about what happened.

The car is long gone. The place we lived was torn down years ago. The money spent on that bill is a distant memory. Yet, I will never forget how I could have been shamed – and wasn’t. How he could have teased me or humiliated me – and he didn’t. I will never forget how he made a conscious choice: when he could have torn me down, he chose to build me up.

Pinterest Built Me Up

The Different Ways of Families

marriage rebuilding

different ways

It starts with different families.

Our friends grew up in different communities and, of course, different families. Naturally, they had different experiences growing up, as each family created a harmony of its own.

Mealtimes around her family’s dinner table included conversation, tasty food in pretty dishes, and homemade bread served in a basket with a dainty, linen napkin. Always homemade bread, and always served in a tidy basket with a clean, linen napkin. At his home, table talk was nil. The family of boys were intent on filling their bottomless pits. Bread (store-bought if there was any) was served in its plastic bag. Imagine her surprise when she visited the home of her boyfriend for the first time and tried to engage in conversation while everyone was eating – when that long row of boys lifted their faces long enough to look at her and then continued eating without any comment in response. Imagine her disdain at the bread served in its plastic bag and plopped on the table!

The differences become his and hers

different ways

They married and disagreed about mealtimes, among other things. His notes grated on her. Her melody didn’t fit into his family’s music. She wanted to talk as they ate. His purpose for coming to the table was for physical nourishment and not conversation. He didn’t much care if the bread was served in a basket or if the dishes were pretty. As long as tableware was functional and the food was good, he was fine. He didn’t need a symphony of notes surrounding his mealtimes, but she wanted to experience more than just a few simple chords.

You know what they discovered as they sorted out the reasons for their disagreement? It had to do with the way they were raised. You know what else they discovered? Character and relationships supercede the way we did it. 

Perhaps the most amazing fact they discovered about their different childhoods was the end result. Both his parents and her parents raised children who were responsible and committed to Christ. Yet their way of raising kids were so opposite each other. At the end of the day, both sets of parents arrived at the same destination even though they took a different route in setting the table and serving bread.

What Matters with Different Ways

So does it matter? It matters in a marriage if each spouse thinks his way is the right way. It matters if we can’t see beyond the tradition and the instance to consider that these things aren’t important in the long run.

different waysThis couple talked about the different ways they were brought up and decided together what was going to be important in their home. They didn’t need to copy what was done in either of their  homes. What fun they had finding their own way of doing things. They chose what they felt was “best” from each of their homes and made it their own. And they reckoned with the fact that their own kids would one day see idiosyncroncies in their upbringing and then hopefully, choose the “best” of their upbringing and incorporate it with their new spouse.

Whether a person has good memories or bad memories of their growing up years, he has an idea of what he thinks matters in his marriage. He has opinions of what is important and what isn’t. Many times, what is important is only important because that’s what is familiar or comfortable to him.

Look beyond the table setting and consider what matters most at the table. Look beyond the yard and the trim-work and consider what matters most in yard upkeep.

Families do things differently – whether it has to do with folding laundry, doing dishes, or mowing the lawn. It’s time we recognize that difference and quit thinking my way is the best way.

True Harmony Comes from a Distinct Blend

different waysA blending of different ways can lead to authenticity in creating one’s own family. The cresendo of different notes can lead to a harmony of sound more pronounced than those from which the singers hailed. It will be beautiful, because the song that is written is truly their own.

different ways

Marriage: Being or Doing?

marriage advice

being

Being or Doing?

When it comes to marriage, is it more important to be, or to do? The answer is both. Yet it’s easier to focus on doing rather than on being. That’s because we can more easily measure what we do than who we are.

Doing

Daily tasks (making your bed, tidying the house, running an errand for your spouse, shopping for groceries) are easily measured. They are things we can put on our to do list and then check them off once completed.

Even refusing to do something we know our spouse would like is something that is tangible. [“No, I didn’t pick that up for you in town today; it wasn’t my fault you forgot it.”] There are many other examples you could name. You know what the things are that you avoid doing or that you delight in doing for your spouse.

beingBeing

While the lists of things we do can be verified by their completion, the part about being is something only God can measure. This part is the hardest to do.

It’s hard, because it strikes at the core of our human nature and calls forth the best – and supernatural – in us. Natural is easy to do – because it comes naturally! We don’t even have to think about it because natural is who we are.

There’s a reason the Word gives us direction. We need direction to do things that are not natural. The next time you wonder what you should do, consider this: it’s more important to be than to do. 

The verses in Ephesians are not just written for married folk; they’re pertinent to anyone. Yet, if we practice these verses in our marriage and in relating to our spouse, we will find that being changes our doing.

Three Things to Be

There are three areas we need to focus on being.  Ephesians tells us to be kind, to be tender, and to be forgiving.

Even when trust has been broken, we are called to be these three. Being kind, tender, and forgiving does not mean our trust is restored. It doesn’t mean there are no consequences for wrong actions, nor does it mean betrayal must be swept under the rug.

We are simply commanded to be these things to our spouse. It’s not natural; it’s not easy, and it can be hard. 

We can’t put it on a to do list and check it off, because we never completely arrive. Plus, how does one check off an attitude or “being” anyhow? It’s constant work, and it is worth every ounce of energy spent. Living by being is a way of life. This way guarantees peace and harmony in the midst of chaos and strife. We can’t guarantee the response of our spouse, but we can govern what happens in our hearts – and that’s what matters most.

being

 

 

 

 

 

Why Marriage is Hard – And the 3-C Antidote

marriage is hard

marriage is hardMarriage is hard. It can be fun and delightful, but it’s hard work. The question is this: How badly do we want our marriage to be good? How hard are we willing to work to make it fun?

Whether we’re striving for a degree, pursuing proficiency in learning an instrument, or saving money for a car, there are things we are willing to do and things we are willing to sacrifice to reach the goal we have in mind. If we’d work at marriage the way we work at these other things, we’d find that even though marriage is hard, it can be more fun than work. What are you willing to sacrifice to make your marriage great?

Somehow we think that we can do all the right things before marriage and everything will turn out right. We can marry with the blessing of our parents, be pure before the wedding day, and find the man of our dreams. You  know, the fairy-tale “and they lived  happily every after” scenario, where no one dares to suggest that marriage is hard.

Or perhaps we go into marriage having made our share of mistakes and then, finding forgiveness and peace for our past, we somehow think “happily ever after” will come without any work on our part – because we don’t want to reckon with the fact that marriage is hard.

Or, even if we messed up big time and never quite got things straight before we walked to the marriage altar, we somehow think that love will cover our (or his) multitude of sins. We can kiss and make up and go on our merry way without any holes in our good ship lollipop – and all will be peaches and cream! We have finally found Mr. Right and our Prince Charming and we never hear the words, “Marriage is hard.”

Oh my. I have yet to meet one married couple who has found it just that way. That’s because there are some key components often missing in our relationship. 

These components all begin with C, so this should be easy to remember (although not as easy to do, I know.)  Every single one of these takes work.  Our problem is our selfishness; we don’t want to sacrifice to reach these goals. We come by it honestly because we were born with it. 

  • Commitment. That’s right. We’ve got to be committed to the US in marriage, and not to the Me. You nix that selfish me, and you’ll be on the right path. It’s not just about his commitment. It’s about yours. Your commitment to the marriage, to respect him and to honor him. You’re on the same team. In marriage there is just one team, and both of you are on that team. If you remain on the same team, your marriage will not suffer from disloyalty, unfaithfulness,  lukewarmness, or cold feelings. This doesn’t mean emotions will always be hot. It does mean you will stay on that team and not consider checking out players on other teams, even though marriage is hard work. This also means you will look for a way through difficulties in marriage, and not for a way out of marriage.
  • Communication. Don’t expect him to know what you’re thinking and feeling. Don’t think you know exactly what he’s thinking or what he wants. If you nix his emotions and down-play his feelings, he certainly isn’t going to share them with you. Communication isn’t just telling each other what’s on your mind; it’s encouraging the other to share what’s in his heart because that is important. Communication is working together so your ship can sail smoothly. You’re on the same team and the goal is to traverse any waters together.  We must be able to really hear the other person out, and we must be willing to share so our spouse can hear us out. There’s an art in communication and it needs to be honed. How much time do we spend honing that art, especially when marriage is hard?
  • Consideration. The Bible calls that “esteeming others better than yourself.” This is actually a word that means the opposite of selfishness. You want a good marriage? Stop being selfish. Give up the selfishness and pouting when you don’t get your way. Give it up for good and quit trying to use pouting or hurt feelings to get your way. There are many forms of selfishness. Pouting, stubbornness, manipulation, and dishonesty are some of them. Consideration of your spouse means you recognize that the world doesn’t revolve around you. In marriage, it revolves around the team. Sometimes it means taking one for the team; sometimes it means giving in for the team; sometimes it means giving up for the team. We know what this means, and we know what we can do to show consideration. However, it’s a lot easier said than done. How considerate are you of your spouse, even when marriage is hard?

One of the worst things we can do for our marriage is look around and think all the other couples have it great. After all, social media would have us believing that lie. We don’t see inside those marriage walls when nobody else is watching. Stop comparing your marriage to others. Instead, focus on these three C-words. Stay on the same team. It will be work, hard work, but worth every drop of sweat when you come out on the winning team. You’ll acknowledge that marriage is hard, but a great marriage makes it all the more sweet.

Marriage is Hard