- Barbara Johnson
Today is Week 5 of Courtney's Completing Him Summer Challenge and we're talking about prioritizing.
My mom has always been my example in homemaking. She has managed to fully run our home while holding a full-time job. She always made home-cooked meals. Our house was always clean. And as a new wife I had expected to face the same obligations. My hectic ministry schedule put a lot of pressure on me to have everything under control. I was stressed and despite all my effort it did not look like my husband was impressed by my efforts. Thus I learned early in our marriage life that things that I consider important are not so crucial to my dear husband. And I am trying to be careful to be mindful of them.
This week's challenge reminded me of my early marriage days: Make a list of 5 things you currently do and ask your husband to prioritize them for you of what is important to him.
I have opted to go a different route. Instead of making a list for him, I have simply given him a blank sheet of paper and a pen. After agonizing over it for 2 days (who would've thought it would take that long) he gave me back the result.
I was shocked.
Only one of the things on the list had something to do with homemaking - and that was dinner (hey the way to a man's heart truly does lie through his stomach). The other four had nothing to do with the requirements, chores, or obligations. They can all be summed up into one phrase: SHARE LIFE.
As we were discussing his list, Bryan looked at me and smiled. "Helen," he said, "all I want you to understand is that I am more important than anything you're doing for me".
That made perfect sense.
It does not matter how clean my living room is if it comes at a cost of being happy to see him come home. It does not matter how neat everything is put away when the smile on my face is missing. It does not matter how hard I try to manage his life if in the process I forget the very person I am doing it for.
I want to encourage you with the opening quote for my post. We cannot allow the problems we're trying to solve to become more important than the people we love and do them for.
On a side note - this applies to ministry life as well. How often do we allow ourselves to become so consumed with the ministry activities that we do that we are no longer enjoying it? We are no longer serving out of the overflow of our hearts. We are so consumed with the preparations, and schedules, and programs that we run ourselves into the ground - not even finding half an hour to spend with the Lord.
If you're getting frustrated with your marriage or your ministry - maybe it is the time to look at what you do and who you're doing it for and reset your priorities.
What is important to the one you love?