Today’s devotional is written by Lori Steinkamp Lassen. She is our only daughter, who has been married to her husband, Scott for 27 years. Lori is the mother of four children, and has worked with the ministry for many years. May her devotional deepen your spiritual walk with the Lord. – Charlyne
I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
We are in one of those seasons that you get warned about when you do premarital counseling. You know, the hectic season that seems out of control. That is us right now.
We have been here before. Family emergencies, sick kids, broken cars, fill in the blank with the chaos-starter in your life. We are guaranteed hardships in this life, so we can’t be surprised when they come.
Your marriage will have seasons where one spouse may have different needs. If your wife just buried her dad, she will be grieving differently than you. If one of you goes through a job loss, there will be varying levels of insecurity and grief.
It is okay that we are different than our spouses. My husband is quiet and reserved. I can be loud and have been known to be identified in restaurants for my cackle (thanks, Mom!). How boring would life be if Scott and I were the same? Our house would either be very quiet or very loud on any given day.
I once shared with my husband how I felt pressure mounting in my life. He was unaware of my feelings. I had a choice. I could have become angry that he didn’t read my mind and know my struggle, or I could appreciate the fact that he genuinely cared and wanted to hear more about ways he could help.
At that moment, Scott took the time to listen and then to the best of his ability to give me the things I couldn’t give myself right away. He shared his perspective, which helped me see that the other shoe wasn’t going to drop. (That’s a saying we old folks use.) There have been days it felt like the shoe not only dropped, but it had flattened me.
If your spouse has good character, I believe they genuinely want to help carry the burdens you face. Today, that may be folding the pile of laundry that looks taller than Mount Rushmore. Or, it may be protecting you from a friendship that has become toxic. Your spouse isn’t going to know how to give you what you need unless you open up with them.
It may be hard for you to articulate your needs, desires, or even dreams, but it is vital in your relationship. When you share your needs with your spouse, you aren’t being a taker. In fact, I think you are giving. You are giving the person who loves you most the opportunity to go deeper in your life and help carry a physical or emotional burden you have.
Do you feel seen?
Do you feel loved?
Do you feel heard?
When was the last time you asked your spouse those questions? It is easy to zip through life and never really see another person, especially our spouses. We live in close physical proximity, but do you really know how the other is doing? How is their soul doing?
When was the last time you asked, “How are you doing?”
I want to challenge you to slow down and ask your spouse this essential question and then listen for their answer. You may find needs they have that you can help meet.
Our marriages get stronger when we stop and listen to one another and do life as one flesh the way the Lord designed it to be.
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. Philippians 2:3-4