Years ago David would silently plan his day and week. He knew exactly what he wanted to do and where he wanted to go and how he was going to take care of everything. He loved making lists and checking off his accomplishments. Well, of course, I had my own agenda which I didn’t bother to tell him about. I’m sure you can guess that things didn’t go well when our plans collided. David would puff and seem irritated when I threw a kink in his plans. I had no idea why he was upset. I just knew something was wrong. It took us awhile to figure this tangle out, but we finally did. Today, he will ask me, “What’s on your calendar for today or this week?” In other words we tell one another up front what our plans are and make adjustments so, most of the time, both our needs are met. Genius? Not hardly – just simple communication.
You have probably been asked the question, “What is the book that has most influenced your life?” Although this sounds like a Sunday School answer, the Bible for me has literally changed my life and changed my marriage. I’m so thankful when I cried out to the Lord, He was there. Another book and course that had a huge impact was Dale Carnegie’s classic, How to Win Friends and Influence People.
Something we tell many of the couples we work with is, “You need to become other-centered.” Humbly value others above yourself. Christ put our needs ahead of His. Like the Bible, Carnegie’s book encourages us to show genuine concern for others. It tells us to ask others about themselves – their hobbies, their vacations, their pets. Or, just say, “Tell me about yourself.”
It amazes me that so few people do this well. But like the Bible, it can make a huge difference in your and other’s lives.