As I was running with my husband Travis recently, I kept finding myself a few steps behind him. For some reason, that afternoon, I was struggling to keep up. In order to compensate, I would wait to get a burst of energy, run faster and catch up, only to find myself lagging behind him just a few moments later. The frustration began to grow inside me knowing my motivation for completing this run was waning.
Something was wrong and I was determined to find a solution. I began to evaluate myself. Had I eaten enough that day to provide me with the energy I needed to complete this run? Was I hydrated adequately? Did I wear the correct shoes and clothing? Had I been getting plenty of sleep? After a thorough evaluation, I concluded that I was prepared for this run, but why then was I not able to catch up?
As we were rounding a corner I suddenly looked down and realized that our running pattern and stride were not in sync. His stride was full, consistent and steady. My stride was short, irregular and unstable. That was it, that was the problem. I knew just the remedy to this problem. I needed to adjust my running formation. I quickly adjusted my stride to match his and instantly my run became easier. Not only did it become easier, we were able to run faster and by the end we ran farther than our original goal.
This run made me think of my marriage. When we are not in sync with our spouse and we are running at a different pace and with a different stride, marriage can be very difficult. It can cause us to feel defeated, tired and leave us wanting to just give up. It makes us view things differently which causes us to argue over meaningless items. Our feelings of love turn to frustration and intimacy begins to dissipate. Not only is our stride off, but we are now traveling in opposite directions.
I have been there at times in my own marriage. Days and even weeks, where I felt like Travis and I were just not on the same page. Times when we bicker over goofy little things such as him leaving an empty 12 pack case in the refrigerator, squeezing the toothpaste from the middle of the tube after I had just neatly rolled it up, or somedays when he drinks his water way too loud. Of course, these are things that truly don’t matter in the big scope of life but annoy me to no end when we are out of sync. These small annoyances can quickly cause me to say things to him sarcastically which can lead to an argument, frustration and ultimately loss of feelings and affection. Things can quickly spiral out of control from here.
So, what can we do when we feel like our marriage is out of balance and out of step? The solution seems so easy, but in the midst of every day responsibilities, it can often be hard to recognize. That is why we need to put time in our schedule to stop and evaluate our marriages.
When your marriage is out of step, ask yourself the below questions to help you find your marital stride again. I have many times, and I continue to do so. It makes all the difference!
Are we spending enough time together?
Is my spouse my priority or does everyone and everything come before them?
Is my spouse getting the best of me throughout the day or are they getting the crumbs that I have left over at the end of my day?
Am I communicating by both listening and talking with them every day?
Am I serving my spouse or do I expect to be served?
Am I praying for and with my spouse?
Am I loving my spouse the way that I am supposed to love them?
Only you can answer these important questions about your marriage and your role within this vital relationship. Just like I evaluated my running stride, these questions helped me evaluate my heart and marriage.
Beyond our relationship with Jesus, marriage has the potential to be the greatest relationship that we can ever experience. Marriage has the potential to be the one relationship where you gain the deepest level of fulfillment in life. Marriage has the potential, but it takes work!
Are you running at the same pace and in sync with your spouse? Life is a marathon and it is much more enjoyable and easy when you have a lifetime running partner by your side. Time to get in sync! lovingthefight.com