Last week I talked about where you and your spouse are in regards to your marriage.  Take a minute and go back and scan over it. I suggested one of four modes. Growth, Even-keel, Over-confident or Trouble mode.   I ask you and your spouse to each find 1 word to define your marriage and then discuss it with each other.

Regardless of which one of the four modes your marriage is in or what your word is, the question is the same: What are you going to do? Moving forward, how will you look at your marriage?   What can you do to improve your marriage? If you are one of the lucky couples that have a perfect marriage and you both agree with that.  Well, then how can you keep it that way.

The starting point is taking responsibility. Not for your spouses’ marriage, not for the marriage, but for your marriage.   Three out of those four letters spell Y-O-U.

That takes us back to Jesus, the greatest leader of all time. And what kind of leader was he? Jesus was a servant leader. “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” (Ephesians 5:25)

To really love someone, you have to get into that person’s frame of reference. How does your spouse feel when you say certain things?

I figured out after about twenty years that my wife loves to be cooked for.  I think I knew that much earlier but I wrongly ignored it, and let her cook all the time. I had to decide: Do I delight her by serving her? Or do I take the selfish approach and let her cook all the time.

Genius me also figured out the quickest way to shut my wife down was to cut her down or correct her or question her actions in front of others. Usually, it’s a good-natured joke. But no matter how silly or immaterial I may think it is, I’m tearing down my wife and I’m tearing down my marriage. Taking responsibility says I stop.

How we respond to what our spouse says may be more important than what we initiate. A writer and Pastor, Mark Batterson says, “It’s easy to act like a Christian. It’s much harder to respond like one.” Taking responsibility means we throttle our emotions.  We don’t take things personally. We let things go without returning fire.

So, step up, take ownership, lead selflessly, and give your highest and best effort. Take responsibility for your marriage.  Guy’s, this one for you, because that is what real men do!

Have an amazing week!