A lot of people make new years’ resolutions to lose weight, work-out more often, read more, etc… But, what about some resolutions that might bring about some relational change? Those resolutions are rarely discussed, but may be more vital to a healthy relational environment.
Today I ran into a friend/acquaintance filled me in on some distance/frustration/angst within his home and marriage. After his transparent sharing he went practical, “Do you have ideas on what I should do?”
Mending wounded relationships is NOT simple and bandaides are rarely effective, but there are some simple, practical, and transforming actions that can be taken to change a tone/vibe/environment within your home and marriage.
Try these 5 actions for a week and see if the temperature in your home doesn’t change a little. Plus, even if your relational temperature is “fine,” these ideas may make it even better.
1. Leave the phone in the car: when you come home from work it’s too simple to get lost in texting, checking, and reading from the phone. You won’t be distracted when the phone left in the car. More time to focus on real people.
2. Shut the laptop: It’s too easy to come home and “get lost” in the computer that’s always on and calling your attention (blogs, email, Quicken, etc…). Turn it off and see if you can turn on some dialogue and/or focus on others.
3. Show up on time: If you tell your spouse that you’ll be home by 6pm… get home. Not 6:30…not even 6:05. If you make a commitment to a loved one, honor it. It’s amazing what simple actions will communicate about love and respect.
4. Turn it off ½ the time: I’m not asking you to become Amish and ditch all TV, I’m suggesting you cut your viewing time in half. Instead of the easy default of turning on the TV, cut it in half and spend that extra time engaged with others.
5. Leave a short note: Emphasis on “short”… I’m not suggesting 2 pages, typed out, double-spaced. What if you left your spouse and/or child a short note every day for a week? Short words of affection and encouragement can be powerful. And, if it’s not a regular practice, these notes will become treasures.
Yes, some relationships need BIG changes (intervention, counseling, accountability, etc…), but some relationships can be dramatically altered by some very SMALL and doable actions.
Don’t wait for the spouse/child to start… you start.
Question: What else requires a small effort that communicates a big deal? Share it here.