Considering Consideration

It’s amazing what you can tell about somebody from how they buy glasses.

My wife recently updated her glasses, and because she works for an optometrist, she has a certain “free” budget. Her coworkers were encouraging her to get some pretty, expensive ones, but she refused. She knew that we were on a tight budget, so it was free glasses or no glasses. But then, her coworkers suggested that she pay for the difference out of her paycheck at only a couple bucks each. That way, she could buy what she wanted, and her husband (me) would never know.

Wow. Even for eye glasses, we’ve been taught to lie to our spouses?

Fortunately, my wife is a good one and refused to lie to me like that, even for something so small.

What makes me sad is that someone, somewhere will read this and think, “What’s the deal? They were her glasses. Why couldn’t she spend whatever she wanted?” That’s the individualistic thinking of the modern world. Me, I, self. But my wife’s reasoning was simple: she considers me in everything she does. Every purchase, every action, everywhere, she thinks of me, as I do for her.

This is called MARRIAGE.

After hearing more stories from my wife’s coworkers, my guesses became fact: many (if not all) of the women in her office do not consider their husbands during half of their daily life. Several of them has separate bank accounts, separate religions, separate friends, separate lifestyles, and separate idea on how life should be lived.

This is called pending divorce.

Marriage is a miracle of unity. You can’t be two individuals who live together, because if that’s what you are, why did you marry? Marriage is building your life TOGETHER, as one unit, as an actual couple that lives, thinks, and breathes like a couple.

Now, this isn’t a woman issue, it’s a people issue. So many married people buy countless items without ever thinking of their spouse when they do it. You may say, “it’s just a little thing,” but I have two arguments to that. One, it very likely still affects them. Two, it teaches bad habits: its says do what you want, regardless of how your spouse feels.

No wonder the divorce rate is so high in this country! We’re living like we’re single while trying to be married, and guess what! It doesn’t work!

So, I want to encourage all my married readers to really consider their daily actions: purchases, trips, and general actions. What would your spouse think?

Imagine for a minute that you’re going to the store to buy milk. What kind of milk do you prefer? Whole, 2%, Skim, Soy, Chocolate? Now, what does your spouse prefer? The same thing? Something different? Do you even know?

What does it matter? It’s milk, right? It matters because your spouse has to drink it, too. So, what do they think?

Let’s try another example. You’re walking through the store and you see a $10 DVD you really want (or book or whatever). What do you do? Grab it and go? Consider its worth? Consider your spouse? What do they think of the movie and what do they think of you spending money on it?

I’ve been in that situation: I saw a movie that I really wanted to buy for only 5 bucks, but I thought of my wife, and what she might say. We’re on a budget, she wouldn’t be comfortable with me just buying random impulse purchases. We may need that 5 bucks down the road. So, I put it back and walked away.

Some guys I know would say, “Wow. You’re whipped.” No, I’m considerate. And thus far, it’s working, because every one of those women in my wife’s office envies our marriage. Not to to sound cocky, but many women at my wife’s work wishes their husband was like me. And I’ve known many men who would kill for a wife like mine. They want what we have, so apparently, we’re doing something right, and here’s our secret: we’re building our life together.

And we don’t do this because we’re better than other couples; we’ve become a better couple because we do it. My wife and I spoke long ago about our goal as a married couple: to set an example, so we had to do a lot of research to find what makes marriages work. One of the simplest answers was right there in the beginning of the Bible.

“Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife and they shall become one flesh.” -Genesis 2:24

One flesh, not two. Yes, you are still you and your spouse is still him or her, no you are not a copy of each other, no you shouldn’t blindly do whatever the other one says, but your must become unified if you want your marriage to last.

One of the biggest parts of unity is remembering that you are not alone anymore. Everything you do affects your spouse, and if you aren’t married but plan to be, you need to know this in advance. What you two do affects each other, no matter how small and seemingly insignificant.

If you really want peace, strength, and stability in your marriage, practice unity. Sit down and talk about your finances, your house, your cars, your interests, your goals, your ideals, and your dreams. If you’re not yet married, but seriously dating, do it with them, too. Go shopping together to practice unity, buying only what you both really like (special considerations aside, i.e. lactose intolerance). Get in the game together.

It takes time and effort to get to this point. After all, we’re innately selfish beings, but God can conquer that. And trust me, the rewards outweigh the costs. When your spouse knows that you consider them, they will respond lovingly, and when you’re on the same page in your finances, dreams, goals, and more, you will find a serious kind of peace and joy.

So, how can you consider your spouse today? Do you have any examples of this kind of consideration? Leave some comments!

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