“Ask God to open your eyes to what you most need to know about your spouse”
It is common in marriage to pray for wisdom and understanding – but when was the last time you prayed for knowledge?
It turns out: we need to. In the Bible – and in the research – it is clear that it is usually not the big-ticket issues (in-laws, money, sex) that cause the problems in a marriage – or which lead to mutual delight. It is how we handle those things. It is the daily unspoken beliefs, assumptions, and practices that make the difference regardless of the big issues.
The vast majority of people in our research – more than 99% -- deeply care about their mate. Even in difficult marriages! We are trying hard, but we simply don’t know some of the things that matter most to our mate. We don’t “get” some of their deepest needs. We honestly don’t recognize their hidden vulnerabilities, fears and insecurities. So we are trying hard in the wrong areas. Or worse, we hurt them without intending to.
So we get upset and demoralized that She doesn’t appreciate everything I do for her. Or he doesn’t care about me. We respond defensively, or out of our hurt – and the whole thing spirals down.
For example, a husband might be working sixty-hour weeks to provide for his wife and say “I love you” – but what if that makes her (like seven out of ten women) feel abandoned because what she most needs is his presence? Or a wife might be exhausting herself late into the night to make sure the house is clean and beautiful for him – but what if he most needs (like nine out of ten men) is their intimate time together?
We need to SEE those things that matter, so we try hard in the right areas and avoid tragically unnecessary hurt to the person we care about most.
Are the rooms of your house filled with joy and delight? Or with confusion and heartache? The bible says it is through the right knowledge that our life together will be filled with rare and precious treasures.
Ask God today to open your eyes to see the things that matter most, that you just didn’t see before. They are often small. But they are immensely powerful, and – for you and me – nearly priceless.
Lord, open my eyes to see those things that matter most to my spouse – and those things that hurt them. If I’m operating under the wrong assumptions, please change my mind. Help me to be the person my spouse needs, so that our home can be filled with those rare and precious treasures. Amen.