Truer words have never been spoken! Kim and I were married by two pastors, Rev Joye Jones and Pastor Frank Robinson (not THE Frank Robinson). Mr. Rob, as I called him because he was also one of my High School teachers, was to give a little sermon during the ceremony. At one point he addressed us personally… “Kim” he said “I don’t know you that well, but I’m pretty sure you will be better with Chas”. Then turning to me he said, “and Chas… I’ve known you for a while, and I KNOW you will be better because of Kim”.
Kim and I have a good marriage. We have, of course, had our ups and downs. Our disagreements, fights, going to bed slightly angry. (Which is a cardinal sin, right?) We have also had moments of completely being on the same page. With a look she and I can transfer everything we are thinking and know exactly what the other needs. This has been intentional, and it’s because of a couple of things.
1. We OVER communicate.
It took me years to figure this out, but for some reason, Kim and I will tell one another when we are getting in the shower. When we are going downstairs. When we are leaving in the morning. I’ll bore her with some techie thing that is happening in the world. She’ll tell me about some frustrations with the girls that have no real meaning now because they were resolved hours ago. This has the added benefit of us being on the same page in the parenting realm. Because we over communicate, we know how the other will communicate to our girls. Even with that being said we should communicate more. All the time. The funny thing about this, is that I want to hear the struggles of her day. Even more amazing than that she wants to hear mine! This is about trust and love.
2. We are ALWAYS faithful.
Even when Kim and I have not been on the same page with our girls, we ALWAYS support one another. If something is said like “If you can’t finish ALL of your dinner then a treat for the whole family isn’t going to happen.” I did this the other night and that’s what I said. Kim didn’t agree with holding the whole family accountable for one persons actions. I wanted to. She kept quiet and told me afterward. She knew as a sign of respect, not to under cut me in front of the girls. Then later, like after the girls were in bed later, she comes to me, very lovingly, and tells me she didn’t agree with that. I understood, her point made sense. I shared my position, she shared hers. There was no fighting. Even in the middle of the discussion I appreciate her even more because of the respect she had shown me.
3. We want the BEST for each other.
Kim and I have, in the past maybe 2 years, started using the phrase “Setting you up for success”. We use it in a bunch of scenario’s. I set her up with success by getting the dishes done, emptying the trash, taking care of finances, etc. She sets me up with success by respecting me, keeping our home stocked, and (praise the Lord!) keeping all our details straight. That is truly one of my greatest weaknesses and one of her greatest strengths. So at the beginning of every week, we will talk about the week. What’s going on every evening and about how much money will be needed. We set one another up for success by setting our expectations of each other every single week. It also makes for a great, “What can I do for you” question. When I don’t know what to say, I can always ask “How can I set you up for success?” It elicits compassionate, I have an action to perform for the benefit of you.
These are things that work for us. They’re aren’t the cornerstone of our relationship. But they mirror what our relationship with Christ does for us. He wants to be in constant communication, being always faithful for his good will for our lives. This is a cycle of building up and strengthening a relationship. Never underestimate the power of a small purposeful change with your spouse. It’s better than the greatest intention.