Dr. Kim’s new book “14 Keys to Lasting Love: How to Have the Marriage You’ve Always Wanted” comes out on January 8, 2019. This book will change your marriage, and it will most certainly change you. Over the next few weeks, Dr. Kim will highlight some of the principles from the book in his weekly “Insights.”
Do you have this list of friendship qualities you want from your spouse? I discovered that I have probably had a checklist for our entire relationship, though I think over time it has definitely changed some. Some things that were once a priority are still on the list but in a different position.
There is nothing wrong with a checklist. What I have learned is that when it comes to a friendship checklist in marriage or any checklist in marriage, I have to make sure I am doing well the things that I want Nancy to do well. Think about that for a minute -- it’s not the way we usually look at checklists. If I have a checklist for someone, I write the list, and when they do what’s on my list, I check off the box. That never has and never will work in marriage. Never!
Think through this with me. It has always been important to me that Nancy is trustworthy and honest, probably because I saw these qualities in her and came to value them so much. Yet is it ever fair for me to expect her to be these while not doing them for her? If you are even wavering in your answer, it is no! Not only is it not fair, it’s not who God wants me to be as her husband. Here is my point. My checklist for friendship in marriage has to have two rows of boxes to check. Mine and hers. In fact, my checklist really needs to have only one row of boxes—they are for me, not for her. If I consistently do the things in my marriage to build, maintain and grow our friendship, that’s what I am supposed to do. And, in our marriage, when I am consistent with these, so is she.
You may be wondering what is on our list. What do Kim and Nancy value in their friendship in marriage? What are their priorities? What do they focus on? I really debated whether to list them or not because I don’t want our list to become your list. You need to make a list that fits your marriage together. But here is our list:
Always be honest with each other, even when it might mean hurt feelings.
Trust each other and be trustworthy always.
Be loyal to each other and never let anyone or anything take that away.
Support each other.
Encourage each other.
Empathize with each other.
Pray for each other.
Accept each other’s differences.
That’s about it. We may add something in the future, but today that fits us well.