What does commitment look like to us? Our relationship is so good and definitely kicks ass, because we do such a fantastic job of making one another feel loved. We’re committed.
It’s fun to do things together that are fun for both of us. And sometimes, we certainly have the focus of wanting to say, “Hey, I’m just doing this for you”, or “I know this is important to you” or “I know this is going to make you happy. Why don’t you do this?” And lovingly not, “Hey, I’m doing this for you, but you owe me” or, “Hey, I’m doing this for you. But when it’s my turn, you’re going to have to really pay me back in spades”.
It’s it’s not quid pro quo. And that’s a great feeling. But when you have a quid pro quo relationship, it almost feels dirty. When someone says, “Hey, I did this for you. Now, you’ve got to do it for me.” If they have to say that to get you to do it, it almost feels dirty or like it’s not based on real commitment.
We’ve grown a lot over the last half of our marriage. We know that if we do something nice for the other, they’re not going to expect to have to do something nice in return the next day. We know that eventually that’s going to come back to us. We’ve grown a lot in that respect.
One of the most beautiful things about our relationship, the reason it works, is because we both have a strong faith and commitment to God first, before each other.
At one point we put little stickers all over the mirrors in our house. So when you looked in the mirror, you saw a sticker that says, I am third, because first it’s God. Second, it’s your spouse. And then it’s you and everybody else. Or someone may say, it’s your kids, then your community and your church. Because we both strive to put our heavenly father first, that we know that’s where our priorities lie.
It’s God first, then we look to each other, and then our children. We learned early on after having our first child, that our children are welcome additions to the home, not the center of the family, but a part of the family. So we’re not kid centric, but we love our kids immensely and do a lot for them.
We also do well in our relationship because of our similar belief in faith and moral code. We’re both Christian and are different denominations, but we’ve been able to distill successfully what the commonality is in our faith. And that’s what we focus on. We’ve had talks and theological discussions about what scripture means or doesn’t mean. We’ve discussed ideas about God and Jesus, and all those kinds of things, but it hasn’t hung us up. We don’t split hairs. It’s one of those 69% of things that we’re not going to change about each other, but it doesn’t get in our way. It really enriches us because we have trust. We have commitment, we have faith and we have a moral code that ties us together.
The challenge is to invest and keep it fresh. We make sure that we are each other’s number one. No matter what, this is the most important human relationship we have. Any good investment you have requires care and feeding. And if we want it to be fulfilling and rewarding, it requires work and work when you don’t feel like it.
The biggest challenge we’ve overcome is realizing that we can’t change each other into what we want the other one to be. We know we have to love and find the joy and beauty in what we each are now, and magnify that and lovingly support it. We can either choose to build each other up, or tear each other down. We’ve learned how to appreciate our differences. If we were both the same, that would be boring. What fun would that be?
Our philosophy is to pour into one another with love, support, affirmations and all the things that we know the other needs. And if all we do is look for opportunities to love each other and magnify the good, that good then overflows. Then everybody that you come into contact with is going to experience that love and that goodness.
Until next time. Remember, happily ever after doesn’t just happen. It’s on purpose.
Watch Matthew and Kim’s Podcast Here