The dictionary defines diligence as “careful and persistent work or effort.” I get this in the work place. If I am going to be successful there, the way I approach my work and the energy I put forward will give me the results that I want. As a counselor, I spend time with people. I think about what would help them. I pray for and with them. I encourage them and I teach them things that can change their lives. I love what I do and work hard each day. I am diligent.
I am a runner. I ran track and cross country in high school. I like to run and have done many races. When I am in training, I train hard. I carefully plan out my running schedule. I am very precise in how I train in order to be ready for the race. It takes careful and persistent work/effort to reach my goal. I am diligent.
Actually, anytime I commit to do something, I am going to give it my all. I like the process and am diligent. Usually when I am diligent, the results are good. I like that. I like the feeling of accomplishment. I like success.
Now what about marriage? I think it is very easy for men to have success all around them and not in their marriage. We get our priorities out of sync. We spend all this time and energy on work, or a project, or in training and we have nothing left for our marriage. We make excuses like: “she will understand,” “our life will be so much better when this project is successful,” “she is always busy with the kids anyway.” Our marriages need the same diligence that we put into other things in our lives. No. That is wrong. Our marriages need MORE, MUCH MORE diligence that the other things in our lives. If you asked me the top three most important things in my life, I would say (in this order) God, Nancy, and the rest of my family. That sounds nice and has things in what I believe is the correct order but if my effort, my diligence, is not in that same order, my list is worthless.
Diligence. Where are you applying yourself? Do your priorities and your diligence match up? If they do, great. Keep it up. If they do not, what is your first step in turning this around?