This time of year is amazing and fun, but it also can be busy and overwhelming, right? Busy schedules, extra commitments, and things to do can be prime opportunities for miscommunication and conflict within a marriage.
As we head into the busy holiday season, let’s decide now how we will respond to some of the mishaps that may occur. Let’s choose to give our spouse meaningful gifts we can’t buy at the store: grace, help, and presence.
Grace is unmerited favor or goodwill, a perfect gift for this time of year. Grace is choosing to respond with love and kindness, even when it isn’t deserved. Choose to let the insignificant things go and offer grace instead.
- When you spouse is running late to the Christmas party, instead of blaming and arguing, give the gift of grace.
- When your spouse forgets to do something, give the gift of grace.
- When we’re the one who makes a mistake or we’re just having a bad day, we need the gift of grace as well.
May our own neediness be motivation for us to give generous amounts of grace to our spouse.
We can also give our spouse the gift of our help. This month, let’s ask our spouse this question regularly, “What can I do to help you?”
Helping each other with shipping packages, dropping off or picking up kids, or making dinner not only makes the load less stressful, but we both feel loved and supported. Sometimes we need these reminders that we’re both on the same team. Tackling the busyness of the season together can strengthen our marriages.
- When your family to-do list is longer than the time you have available, give each other the gift of help.
- When you see your spouse overwhelmed with all there is to do, give the gift of help.
- When you are feeling stressed, give yourself the gift of help by asking your spouse to come alongside you and take some things off your plate.
Smart phones and working from home mean that we’re never really unplugged from work or the outside world. It’s easy for us to “check one more thing” and before we know it, we’ve spent another 45 minutes scrolling or looking at work.
This month let’s give each other the gift of presence. Let’s be dedicated to creating boundaries with our technology: put your phone in the other room when it’s family time, turn off notifications after a certain hour, or leave it in the car when you’re headed to a gathering.
Let’s listen with intention when our spouse is speaking. We feel greater connection to each other when we’re communicating and feel heard.
- When your spouse asks you to be at his work Christmas party, give him the gift of your presence.
- When your wife starts sharing about the Christmas shopping left to do, give her the gift of your presence by putting your phone down to listen.
- When we need time and connection with our spouse, let’s ask for the gift of presence.
May these gifts bless you and your marriage this December!