“Keep Score… of what your spouse is giving”
According to 1 Corinthians 13:5, love is not self-seeking and keeps no record of wrongs. But it turns out, it does keep record of rights!
The happiest couples do keep score: they just keep score very differently. In the research, the spouses who became the most happy in their marriages – including many who were once miserable – said that their relationships had turned around because they started keeping track of what their mate was giving.
Once these folks noticed how much their mates did for them, wanting to do something, anything, to give back came very naturally. After all, how could they not try to compensate when they realized how much they truly owed their spouse?
This pattern was particularly clear and important during seasons when one spouse was having a particularly difficult go of it at work, or with the kids, or whatnot. It was almost a feeling of “Wow, he has been working really long hours, and it’s causing him so much stress! How can I make things easier for him? Maybe I’ll bring him a dinner every few days so he doesn’t have to worry about getting home for dinner and can relax a bit.”
As a result of noticing what their spouse was giving, the person “keeping score” began to feel a great debt of gratitude. “He’s such a great provider, I really owe him my thanks.” So those “I’ll bring him dinner”-type actions were coming out of the heart instead of out of a sense of duty. And since there was such a sincere awareness of how much the other person was giving during that time, they also weren’t looking for praise in return. How are you doing in keeping score of what your partner is giving? In almost every marriage, even when there are real issues, each partner does wonderful things that are worth noticing and which will make you want to “give back.” But you have to notice those things first!
It may not come naturally at first, but keeping score in that way will be one skill you’ll be grateful you learned!
Dear Lord, open my eyes to what my spouse is giving, that I may simply not be seeing right now. Let me see them with your eyes. Give me great ideas of what I can do to give back, so I can show my spouse just how much I appreciate them. Amen