1 Thousand Little Choices

1 Thousand ChoicesBrad says…

Every day we make choices. It might not feel like it, because we can get so used to life “as is” that we float through it without much thought. Even so, in the mindless moments there are a million tiny choices that we make every day.

It Starts With A Choice

Call it romance,

Call it love

Call it wooing or even

Call it respect

No matter what you call it, it starts with a choice.

Here is the tricky part, you already made this choice. You made the choice to love your wife, that’s why you asked her to marry you. That is not the problem. The problem comes in the mindlessness of life. When we go through every day without much thought, we are not prepared to make the choices that matter.

Which Do You Choose?

When your wife is running late

Do you choose to wait lovingly and patiently or pace the floor wearing a chip on each shoulder?

When you taking a break at work

Do you choose to send your wife a text or check the sports scores?

When you come home

Do you choose to plop on the couch and check out, or jump in and take part in the evening with your family?

This doesn’t only apply to husbands!

When your husband works those extra hours at his job

Do you choose to complain that he is never around, or thank him for working hard for the family?

When your husband gives one of those kisses

Do you welcome the advances, even though there is tons to do or do you push him away until the list is finished?

One Choice More

The choices don’t end there. When you’ve had a disagreement there is a choice that each of you makes that is very critical. You might not be seeing eye-to-eye, you might not feel like your spouse even gets you, but you have a choice to act in love and grace or not.

Every disagreement has a moment and a choice. The problem is that this choice is crowed out by emotions. There is hurt, frustration, anger…. all cheering you on to continue the fight. All of your emotions come together to push you toward the wrong choice. They scream “he’s trying to hurt me” or “she just doesn’t care at all”. It is easy to follow that emotion right down the road and keep the conflict growing.

If you can make the choice, the small shift to recognize your spouse as someone who loves you and wants the best for you, then you can all the sudden choose to see this disagreement as a misunderstanding between two loving people rather than an attack.

Today you will have dozens of choices, choices that will move you closer or further from your spouse.

Which will you choose?

Share in the comments how you have seen this in your marriage and how you have worked to make the grace choice!

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13 Responses to 1 Thousand Little Choices

  1. This is so true. For my husband and I, it is sometimes hard to make the “right” choice in the heat of the moment (we are both diagnosed with adult ADHD), so sometimes we have to separate temporarily (like in separate rooms). After a short time apart, we can calm down enough to realize that what we were fighting about wasn’t really worth the argument. Then we can come back together in a peaceful way. That is a choice we choose to make because we don’t want emotions to allow us to hurt one another. Marriage is work, there’s no doubt, and this is one of those hard things you have to train yourself to learn! Thanks for the reminder!

    • Bonnie,
      One of the hurdles every couple has to overcome is recognizing that marriage is WORK! I think most get married thinking that the high of love will power them through. I know I did! Once you recognize that it takes work, doing something, anything to keep you growing together is such a key!

      Thanks for sharing!

    • Both my wife and I are ADHD also. I am dyslexic as well and have a really hard time communicating my feelings, so it makes coming to an agreement all the harder. I have been making an effort in making positive choices though, and that has made a big difference.

  2. What about when he corners you, shoves you, and tells you (on more than one occasion) that he hates being married and wants a divorce? Even after 14 years of marriage. Ugh! I hate being married sometimes, too! If we didn’t have kids, a divorce would sound like more of an option.

    • S,
      thank you for your comment. I know I’ve said this elsewhere on this blog, but it needs to be repeated often. There is NO place for physical violence in a marriage. It shouldn’t belong at all! If your husband shoves you and threatens you (corners) then you need to seek the refuge of a safe place first. You don’t have to run to divorce, but you do have to say that something needs to change. Hopefully both of you will take a long hard look at how the past 14 years led you to this place, and with help find the steps to take you back out of this darkness. It is not an easy journey, but where you are now, is not healthy for either of you! If you have questions or need suggestions please feel free to email Kate.
      God Bless,

  3. A few things that come to mind: 1) Yeah, when your wife comes in for a kiss, or steps toward you to receive a hug, don’t sigh, and hold her halfheartedly while looking the other way, 2) don’t turn your cheek when she wants to kiss you, 3) don’t keep the TV on the in bedroom when she’s in the mood (get the TV out of the bedroom if you’re serious about being her lover), 4) don’t think rolling over on her is foreplay. 5) don’t spend all your time and money with your son/or buddies having fun, and have no time or money to spend on your wife having grown up fun. 6) when it comes to gifts, don’t buy what you think she should have (a Vitamix), buy her what she wants (lingerie)- listen to her. It is a thousand little choices, but heck, we’d let you pass on most if you just did a few. It’s the little things, they add up. A little smile, a pat, a hand held, a compliment, a warm hug upon greeting, encouragement in areas of weakness (cooking), and praise in areas of success (work, art)….all these little quick thoughtful things warm our hearts and make us keep falling in love with you. Wow, date night covers just about all of this… DATE NIGHT the key to your marriage. My anecdotal evidence suggests couples without date nights,are divorced or miserable.

    • Sadly,
      I’m sorry to hear your story, but more sad that you only thought about the thousand little choices that he was making. Along the way you had thousands too! It is so very easy to see all the places he is missing, but what about you? I’d encourage you to go back through this post and think about the thousand choices that you’ve been making too! I’m not looking to shift blame, only to get you to recognize that when the blame totally rests on him, you become powerless to make any changes at all!

      I hope that you can find a way forward, to look at yourself and try again!

  4. Great advice Brad! It reminds me of a movie I watched yesterday, ‘Gifted Hands.’ It’s the Ben Carson story. His wife had just miscarried a set of twins and when she woke up she told him he wasn’t were he needed to be and encouraged him to go to work. (she was an amazing wife) Whether it’s a small choice or a big one, we always have to choose for our spouse and not ourselves. Isn’t that kind of the crux of the message of Christ.

  5. My husband talks about choosing to react or to respond. Reacting often is emotional. Responding is a more thought out decision. I try to remember to respond in a respectable manner in different situations!