What things do you value the most in your marriage relationship?
I read this great article on the Harvard Business Review Blogs, entitled Four Steps to Measuring What Matters. The point of the article was that business executives often rely on the wrong things to measure their company’s performance. The suggestion is that trying to gain insight from analyzing things like, sales & earnings per share doesn’t leave room for understanding important factors like the causes behind the numbers. All that numbers can give us is – numbers. They don’t remind us that there was a storm last quarter which effects the numbers we are analyzing. So the article gives 4 alternative considerations in measuring what is important to their company.
I really appreciate the thought of that article because, so often in marriage the things that ought to matter the least are the things that are over valued and are made to matter the most. It can sometimes be hard to step back and remember why we are where we are in our marriage. It could be, that the feelings or valuation of our spouse should consider some other factors.
Matters of our heart are different from dealing with a company or business entity. There are not any spreadsheets or balance sheets that tell us to feel a certain way. We each value things differently. The very things that lead one couple to divorce or counseling, never even register a concern in another relationship. So here are a few things to consider when determining what matters most in your marriage.
1. Study your spouse’s spiritual walk.
Develop a meaningful spiritual relationship in your marriage. Nothing else will give life to our marriage like both of you being spiritually satisfied. I will never forget, a man sharing with me that the biggest mistake in his recently failed marriage was his neglect of studying his wife’s spiritual walk (with Christ). The epitome of sexy is seeing my wife worshiping the Lord. Yeah I like other stuff too, but watching her spiritual walk is what matters most to me.
2. Identify what intimacy looks like to you.
There are so many ways to measure the health of a marriage. But how close I am to my wife is what is important to me. The ability to be intimate matters so much that it becomes a key indicator of marital health in every aspect of the relationship. If intimacy is strained, communication, financial discussions, and time spent together all becomes strained. Of course there are times when a couple is closer than other times. But it is the time and energy spent seeking to keep fresh and maintain our points of connection that matters to me.
3. Identify how much and the quality of time spent together.
That we are busy is a forgone conclusion. Everybody is busy. But it matters that we set aside time to spend together. You have heard that old axiom that people make time for what is important. Schedule the time, make the time, even if it means cutting something else out. Then plan how the time can be best spent. But don’t just spend time, make sure it is fruitful time.
4. Talk routinely.
The only way to know what matters most is to talk about it. Undoubtedly, most husbands and wives will disagree a little on what matters the most to them.It is not as important that we agree as it is that we respect each other’s desires. The idea is to talk it out, come to compromises and enjoy each other. The second part of talking, is the realization that things change. As every business has a growth cycle and goes in and out of different phases of growth. We too, in our marriages, go in and out of different phases. But as we consistently evaluate what is important to our relationship we keep each other informed of where we are and what matters.
BMWK – These are the four core areas that govern what is really important to me. It does not mean that other things are not that important, it means that these are the four that matter the most. In your evaluation of your marriage, what matters the most, to you? Have you told your spouse?