Today feels like a great day for a quick tip. When it comes to relationships and marriage, it seems there is plenty of advice everywhere. Right after my husband and I got married, it seemed everyone had the best marriage tip to offer us. All of it was great advice and has helped us over the years. The greatest lessons learned, though, are the ones a couple learns for themselves as they hold on tight, fight for their marriage, and give it the best they possibly have.
Based on what I have learned with my sweet hubby over the past 15 yrs, I would like to share the best marriage tip I ever received. This 1 tip alone could probably save so many marriages if it were just followed every day. It’s actually more than just a tip, it’s a HABIT. I know it works because I have learned the hard way what happens when this habit is absent from a marriage.
I am a little bit of a control freak sometimes. My husband might reply,
“A little bit??”
Ok, maybe a lot. I like to find things that aren’t working and fix them.
The kids aren’t listening….so let’s find a solution!
The baby won’t sleep…let’s find out why!
The stove is broken…you tube to the rescue!
I just love to find solutions to problems, and this can be a great thing. Here’s the problem….
Because I love to find solutions, I also tend to LOOK for problems and I’m critical of others more than I should be. Not such a great thing for building lasting relationships! So, when I say I had to learn this 1 habit for myself the hard way, I meant it.
Here is the best marriage tip I ever received:
“FEED THE PLANTS, NOT THE WEEDS”
Don’t you just hate it when you feel like you’re trying the best you can and someone comes along and points out all the things you are doing wrong?
I am really good at that…pointing out all the things my husband is doing wrong (or feeding the WEEDS.) Problem is, when you feed the weeds, the weeds take over all the healthy plants. Why would someone want to keep trying if they felt like it never made a difference…EVER?
I used this advice first with my kids. I noticed whenever I focused on all their positive traits and the little things they were doing right (or fed the PLANTS) that eventually the bad habits became less and less as they tried even harder to be the best they could be. It hit me,
“WHY am I not doing this with my husband??”
Why do I belittle and pick apart every little thing he is doing wrong when he is absolutely AMAZING in so many ways??
The results of following this BEST marriage tip were astounding but not in the way I originally expected. Instead of changing my husband, it changed ME. By focusing on the positive I came to appreciate all the wonderful things about him that I had been blinded to before. As I watered the plants, the weeds were less noticeable. The weeds I noticed were the ones in myself and how I needed to change to be the person my husband deserved to be married to.
I just love this principle. You may have even read a previous post I wrote: “Feed the Plants, not the Weeds!” and how it changed the outlook in our home.
So, if you feel like your spouse is driving you nuts, make this tip the best marriage tip YOU ever received and Feed those plants!
What other ways have you found for strengthening your relationships with others? Please share!!