I’ve had a lot on my mind lately, but I feel like most men do. We think about our bills, the check engine light, school loans (if you don’t have any you’d better be thanking God daily!) or projects at work. Some men are really great at not bringing those things home with them when they’re with their wives. I am not…I thought I was but either my skills disappeared or I was delusional all along.
It’s to the point where I’m taking all that baggage home with me.
Let me paint the picture for you: We’ll be together watching Alias on Netflix and she’ll make a comment about some plot twist poor Sydney has to endure and I’ll respond with, “Hmm….” or “Yeah…..” or “Mhmmm….” which are all indications that I’m not paying attention. Even worse this will happen when she’s having a conversation with me. You know those people who you can tell are zoned out and not focused on what you’re saying as you two are having a conversation? Yeah… I turned into that guy.
That truth hit me pretty hard. I turned into that guy with my wife. My best friend. That’s not something I take lightly. Whenever I realize I’m doing it I have to correct it immediately and apologize so she knows I’m aware and am working on it. She understands I have responsibilities that I’m trying to juggle but the most important thing I can do for her is to be present with her.
Wherever you are – be all there.
– Jim Elliot
Here are 3 things I try to do to be fully present with my wife.
- Pay Attention
The first thing that came to mind when I came to this realization was that I need to pay more attention to her. I know how I feel when people don’t listen to me or pretend like they listen to me, so I have to apply the Golden Rule. Treat her as I want to be treated. I don’t know about you, but I want to treat my wife better than I want to be treated.There’s an episode of the Cosby show, “The Dead End Kids Meet Dr. Lotus” when Theo is given great advice from his father. He’s told to repeat these words: “I will pay more attention to my woman.” I don’t think I’m alone in needing to repeat that promise.
- Remember Tomorrow Isn’t Promised
The second thing I do is remember that our time together is limited. What is your mental distraction when you’re with your wife? Is it your responsibilities? Social media? Your smartphone? ESPN? Worries? Whatever it may be remember James 4 which discusses how fleeting life is and that tomorrow isn’t a guarantee for anyone. Make the most of the time you have with your wife by being present.
Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. – James 4:13-14
- Love Sacrificially
love your wife as Christ loved the church. That Christ-like love that’s being discussed in Ephesians is sacrificial. Whatever is in the way of you two has to be dropped whether your distracting thoughts are positive (work) or fleeting (The Lakers).
Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. – Ephesians 5:25-27
I leave you with the words of one of my favorite artists, Propaganda.