Last weekend, I learned three simple marriage rules from a preschooler when I picked up my four-year-old granddaughter for a much needed date. It was a standard date for us: getting some much-needed essentials from the toy store, catching up on the latest children’s literature at the bookstore, and topping it all off with some elegant dining at the local Chick-fil-A.
Among all the things she talked about (and she had a lot to talk about,) she filled me in on the latest news from her pre-K class. As she was catching me up on all the juicy Pre-K news, she told me her teacher expected everyone in her class to follow three rules:
- Be Prepared.
- Be Polite.
- Be Positive.
As my granddaughter continued to drone on about a million other things, my mind kept thinking about these three simple rules…that is until she noticed I wasn’t paying attention to her and called me out on it.
What if those three simple rules were a part of a couple’s marriage ceremony? What if a couple vowed to consistently be prepared, be polite, and be positive? How would that change a marriage?
Let’s look at each of these rules…
Now, let’s be honest. No one can be completely prepared for everything marriage will throw at us. But what if we were prepared to…
- Put our spouse’s needs ahead of your own?
- Help our spouse with the house and with the kids?
- Make our spouse feel special more often than not?
Just being prepared to do those three things could completely renovate many marriages.
It’s funny how we let ourselves go after we’re married. I’m not taking about our looks or our weight. I’m talking about our manners. We stop saying “please” and “thank you.” Husbands stop holding the door for their wives. Spouses stop waiting their turn to speak and instead start interrupting. In short, we stop being polite. If we expect our children to be polite, we should set the example by being polite to our spouse.
When when dating, we’re very careful about the things we say to our date. We encourage them and focus on the positive things about them. But after we’ve been married awhile, we stop measuring our words before we speak. We become better at pointing out negative things about them than positive things about them. We say things more flippantly and hurt their feelings more easily. You may say, “Well, I’m just a glass half empty kind of person.” That may be true, but it’s still no excuse for taking more out of your spouse’s glass. You’re responsible for putting more into their glass than you take out.
Now to my granddaughter’s credit, she admitted that she doesn’t always do a good job of following these rules. She said, “It’s hard to do all three at the same time.”
I have to agree with her. When it comes to marriage, it’s hard to always prepared, be polite, and be positive. And it’s especially hard to get all three right at the same time.
But if I can keep reminding myself of these three simple rules, I bet I can make a better grade in my marriage…and maybe keep myself out of detention. How about you?
What are some things you could do to improve in these three areas? Start by picking one small thing you could do in each of these areas, and see if you can bump up your grade over the next few weeks.
Copyright © 2018 Bret Legg