Between the Bookends
I have been capturing ideas on writing topics for some time now. I went through my “ideas” folder and found this, “Between the Bookends.” What could I learn from bookends? What would they share? As I pondered these questions, the following themes began to surface:
- LOVE: Working Together Creates Strength
- LISTEN: See a Gap, Fill it Before Things Collapse
- LEAD: Don’t Squeeze Too Much In
Working Together Creates Strength
Bookends are pillars of strength for the items between them. The bookends represent the husband and wife. The books (items) in the middle include children, financials, decisions, trials, and much more. Place all this on one person, and the weight becomes too much for that individual to bear. Bookends are a team and so are you. The proper distribution of household activities, investing in each other through listening, conversations, and encouragement will strengthen your marriage.
Take away one of those bookends and things will begin to lose stability. Arguments may begin, and frustration can set in. Regardless of what maybe going on, find out why. Work together. Straighten things up and reorganize as needed. Do what it takes. Communicate early and often. Lean in on one another. Love.
See a Gap, Fill it Before Things Collapse
Gaps in life can be an opening to something new and exciting, but it can equally be an opening to something you would not welcome. In marriage, this is often identified as gaps in understanding, love, and affection. Marriages that experience these gaps and leave them unresolved, invite in unwanted visitors. If your marriage is lacking in love, pour into it. If it’s lacking in communication, speak into it. If it’s lacking time with one another, put time in.
My wife and I have been married for over 20 years. One thing I recently began doing (wish I would have started this earlier on) is asking her every morning, “What can I do to help your day be amazing?” Often her response is something simple like: Coffee at Starbucks, Hugs, or Date night. The unfortunate truth is, if I am not asking, loving, and being affectionate to her, somebody else may and that would be devastating. Love. Listen. Lead. These are the highest priorities. Every minute of every day. Period. Love your wife as she wants to be loved, not how you “think” she wants to be loved. Listen, not to the words, but to her heart. Hear what she is saying. Lead. You are the Spiritual leader of your home. Don’t Lord over her or your children, do things in such a way that when you turn they follow. Leaders don’t push people into a direction, they lead the way. If you Love, Listen, and Lead, you will not have gaps.
Don’t Squeeze Too Much In
Many relationships begin with a lot of free time, so couples fill it. They fill it with children, then children’s activities, job goals, friends, you name it. Children are the kind of "books" you want to add, some of their activities, maybe not so much. Watchout for areas that push you apart. The more you add in the middle, the further you are from one another. Carefully examine what is in the middle, what value it brings you and your family, and whether you have the margin to bring in anything new. New stories cannot be added, written, or shared if there is no margin. Focus. Be intentional. Lead. Don’t add to collect, add to impact. Impact for knowledge. Impact for adventure. Impact for love.
A Strong Foundation
Unwavering relationships are built on a strong foundation. Some bookends are made of plastic, thin gauge metal, or cheap wood. On the other hand, others are made of iron, oak, and rock. Choose wisely. What are you made of? Men who respond with Humility, Lead with Integrity, offer Truth, display obedience, and our in daily prayer, strengthen the foundation of their marriage. Uneven, off balanced items on the other hand, create instability and things collapse. Be rooted in Love. Listen. Lead with wisdom.
Watch this unconditional example of LOVE. Love Between the Bookends.
Video: 10 minutes (worth every minute)
Be Sure to Share
Please take the opportunity now to share with others. Post it on Facebook, Twitter, or other social media channels. If you value it, others may as well.
Until next time,
The WOE Writer
“To attain knowledge, add things every day. To attain wisdom, remove things every day.”
― Lao Tzu