When asked, “What would you be willing to do for your spouse?” most of us are quick to profess how we would lay down our life for our spouse. We would step in front of a gunman’s bullet. We would shield them from the blast of a terrorist’s pipe bomb. We would put ourselves between them and an angry herd of parent eating toddlers. (Ok, maybe not that last one.)
But being willing to lay down your life in such dramatic and final ways is a pretty safe thing to profess, since the odds of such things happening are nil to none.
There are more practical and daily ways to lay down your life for your spouse that don’t include taking a bullet, being riddle with shrapnel, or eaten alive by ravenous toddlers. Here are some examples of how you can lay down your life for your spouse without rquiring medical attention:
- Go shopping with your spouse, even though you’d rather take a sharp stick in the eye.
- Do that chore they’ve repeatedly asked you to do without doing some escape maneuver worthy of Harry Houdini.
- Feed, bathe, play with, read to, tuck in and generally coral kids so your spouse can do other things…like catch their breath.
- Initiate sex, even though you would just as soon cuddle up with your bottle of Ambien.
- Watch their favorite show with them, even if you have to fake interest. (I confess I’m lousy at this.)
- Say “I’d be glad to,” when you would rather say, “Are you kidding?!”
- Listen to them with interest, even when it’s something you don’t want to hear.
- Make time together a priority, even when there are dozens of other priorities screaming at you.
- Slow down to give them a kiss and tell them you love them, even though you have other things on your mind.
- Fill up their car with gas when you see it’s running low. (Yes, I know they can see the gas gauge just as well as you can. Just do it.)
- Take their plate and clear the table when you don’t usually do it. (Just make sure they’re finished first.)
These are just a few of the ways to lay down your life for your spouse without leaving a chalk outline on the pavement. I’m sure you can think of many more, including some that would be more specific to your marriage. The nice thing is that none of these require loss of life. They don’t even require loss of blood or limbs. They’re everyday ways of honoring the marriage vows you made to love, honor and cherish till death do you part. (Yeah, we all made those vows.)
It’s ironic isn’t it? We say we would take a bullet for our spouse, but we won’t take out the trash. We say we would lay down our life for our spouse, but we have trouble laying down our convenience for them. And yes, I’m hanging myself on that same hook. I’m just as guilty.
Laying down your life for your spouse doesn’t have to mean a mortal wound or a trip to the ER. Instead of standing between your spouse and a bullet, start by standing between them and their difficulty. Do something that will help to lighten their load. Do something that will encourage them and brighten their day. Do something that lifts them up, even if it puts you out. You will have a lot more opportunity to lay down your life for your spouse in these ways than to take a bullet for them. (And aren’t you glad.)
What are some ways you have found to lay down your life for your spouse? Over the next few weeks, be more intentional to practice these. Also, leave a comment sharing some of the ways you lay down your life for your spouse. We all need the help.
Copyright © 2017 Bret Legg