Friday, January 27, 2017

Five Thrifty Ways to Invest in Your Marriage

There's such Pinterest-type pressure that the only investment you can make in your marriage costs money, a whole lot of money.  

Buy a new set of books on marriage.  
Take a weekend getaway.  (Cha-ching!)
Buy him that super special once in a lifetime gift.  (Cha-ching, cha-ching!)

While I do believe that financial investments in your marriage are worthwhile, the real daily grind of serving each other is truly a daily exercise that is free.  Well, mostly free.  It will cost you, but not cash.  It will be a sacrifice of self.  A sacrifice of what YOU feel like doing.  

If we turn our attention more toward the daily sacrifice, 
we will see greater long-term investments in marriage.  

It's been a while, but here's five more thrifty things you can do to bless your husband.

#1 - Help him brain dump.
The Rugged Mountain Man is not naturally a list maker.  Rather, he has an incredible analytical memory.  Occasionally, he'll verbalize that he's overwhelmed.  One simple way I've found to serve him is to grab a sheet of paper and help him brain dump.  "Just tell me what needs to be done." Brain dumping frees up brain space for finding solutions.  Inevitably, we also find ways that I can help him and things we can delegate to the Blossoms.  Helping him brain dump turned out to be such a truly practical way to bear his burdens.

#2 - Make a date of the Yucky.
They say that misery loves company but I've found that the grubbiest, grossest, hardest jobs just don't seem as bad when you're working with good company.  I discovered I can bless my husband when I help him with those things.  Chicken butchering.  Sausage making.  Hole digging.  Wood gathering.  Nothing fun... But we did it together.  There's some great side effects when you work with your husband doing something you don't like or enjoy.  We learn about each other's character.  We get grittier together.  We joke through mistakes.  We share ideas. We grow!  We come into unity.  Because we decide to do the dirty work of life together.  I've also noticed it cuts back on the nagging.  I'm way less apt to be all, "You need to get this done or you should do this," when I know what kind of sweat it entails.  When I'm invested in the home chores, we're in it together.  It isn't man vs. woman.  This was very clear to me last September.  In preparation for putting the roof over the back deck, we rented a two-man post hole digger.  We ran it together.  It was brutal.  Then, we hit rock.  We dug that and lots of other rocks out.  Together.  By hand.  Now you know why I think he's a Rugged Mountain Man.  #giterdun

#3 - Get him a drink.
Water's free, yo!  He's working and I'm working, but he's in and out of my thoughts.  For as long as we've been married, I've flagged him down with a glass of ice water.  It ain't fancy but he knows I'm thinking of him and he appreciates the gesture.  Sometimes I fancy it up with a sprig of mint.  Sometimes I'm super busy, but I round up a Blossom and send them out with one.  Or, I might notice he's super tired at the end of the night and make him a hot cup of tea.  A drink is a really easy way to bless him.

#4 - Say no when he wants you to say no.
Ugh, boy have I learned this the hard way.  I love to help and give and volunteer and share and do, but he helps me keep my vision on our family's needs first.  I only have so many hours in the day to do what God wants me to do.  The Rugged Mountain Man helps me keep that in perspective. There are lots of great-but-not-God opportunities out there and I'm way too prone to jump in with both feet.   Sometimes I know he wants me to say no and yet I don't.  The surest way to bless him and ultimately help our family, is for me to say no.  It usually saves so much stress and headache.  He was right... So when that's what he'd want me to say, I bless him by saying no to others and taking care of our family first.

#4 - Use technology to bless him.
I love to shoot my husband short emails.  Sometimes I send a pic of something cute going on here at home.  Sometimes I send him a silly thing the girls have said.  Sometimes I tag affectionate words on the end of "household business" or reminders.  I was super late to the texting game, but now I'm experimenting with blessing my husband that way.  Rather than nagging, I bless him by helping him stay on top of things we need to remember this week, or something I need to ask him about.  I am literally his helpmate, walking this out by making graceful logistics and gentle organization my specialty, so he can focus on more important things, like making money to keep us fed and under a dry roof.  

#5 - Write him a thank you card.

On the flip side of using technology to bless your husband is to do something old-fashioned.  A thank you card is a lost art, my friends.  Writing a thank you card for one thing or a plethora of things he has done just shows that you sat down and thought through what you're grateful for.  You can hide it some place he's sure to notice it or just hand it to him with a hug.  He might not save it and he may only read it once, but now he knows.  You appreciate him.  As a bonus, you'll find yourself dwelling more on what you're thankful for and less on where he falls short.  Somehow blessing others always comes right back around and blesses you.  

I've been challenged to daily make small investments of servant-hood.  
In the end they pay the largest dividends.

For more thrifty ways to bless your husband, try these posts: