Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.
Jamie and I read a fantastic book called The Three Questions for the Frantic Family by Patrick Lencioni last year right around our anniversary. Lencioni suggests married couples should ask themselves what is the most important thing to focus on over the next 3-9 months. Jamie and I chose to focus on building a marriage that glorifies God.
Lencioni then suggests we should list out the activities we think will help us get there. We cleverly called these: “How do we get there?” After that Lincioni suggests we should list out things that will always be important so that we do not lose sight of the basics and remain balanced. For example, listing out finances in this area would keep us from spending too much money on an activity that would help us achieve what is most important. A check and balance of sorts.
Once you have your three questions answered the idea is to review the bottom two sections regularly with each other. We set aside regular time to each give them a green, yellow, or red. Green meaning it going good and red meaning it is not going so good. Following this routine has lead to some fantastic conversations and understandings and learnings. God is good.
One of our activities or “How do we get there?”‘s is companionship. For us companionship was tricky. We were used to ‘taking turns’ as it were. For example when we were dating in college, if I had a big exam coming up, Jamie would not bring up things that were bothering her. On the surface this seemed like the right thing to do. I can tell you, at least for Jamie and I, it was not. Things would build up. It was not good. This was a habit we needed to break.
It helps us to consider our thinking when we are trying to break a habit. Our beliefs surrounding the issue. Again the approach seemed to make sense. Sacrifice for the other person by not bringing anything controversial up, asking for help, etc. while it was their ‘turn’.
I have come to believe that this is not God’s design for companionship. When we lay something like that on our spouse we are asking them to give. Give us time, attention, priority. When asking someone to give to us they will often be in one of two states. 1.) A position of abundance. 2.) A position of lack. When we give from a position of lack I believe this is one of the most pleasing things to God. (Mark 12:44) So the conclusion Jamie and I have reached is this: by not asking for help when the other is busy, we are actually robbing them of an opportunity to please God.
The end result. We ask for help. No matter what. It works. For us.
-A takeaway from The Three Questions for the Frantic Family by Patrick Lincioni
As always good books, takeaways, stories, and/or lessons learned on the subject would be the coolest.