When we think about marriage, especially in a blended family, we think about sustainability.
When times are good how can we sustain it?
When things are tough, how do we sustain ourselves through it?
Kristy and I have been together (as of this article) for almost 12 years. This has come with many ups and downs. We have had to find ways to make things work. We have had to find ways to sustain the good and sustain ourselves through the bad.
I want to briefly share with you a few ways we have filled our cup so we have something to pour out. Nothing is more frustrating than trying to pour into your marriage, kids, step-kids, job, church, and community when your cup is empty.
How to fill that cup of yours so you are useful to your family:
Lean into Jesus
Nothing else matters if you don’t do this. The next couple of points is a complete waste of time without making this one happen first.
Your top priority in making yourself useable in your marriage, family, and life, is leaning into Jesus for everything.
What does this look like?
First, you need to talk to Him.
Are you praying? Are you praying before every decision? Are you talking to Him about your struggles and about how He can help you? If you desire to hear from Him, you need to gets to talkin’ to Him. Do this first.
Second, you need to hear from Him.
Are you reading His Word? Are you meditating on what you read? You can’t expect God to float down and speak to you through images on toast or by hearing Him in obscure voices. He will speak to you through His Word and through the convictions of the Holy Spirit, which if you are a believer, lives inside of you.
Read your Bible. Then shut your mouth and mind off so you can hear what He is saying.
Lean into growing
If you are not growing, you are shrinking. So, how are you growing?
Are you reading books that help your mind? What about eating foods that fuel your body the way it needs it? How about exercising your physical body so it’s the temple God deserves?
I get it. This is typically the last part of us that gets poured into. Why? Because it’s hard to do and we can convince ourselves we don’t have time and that it’s selfish time away from our family.
Here is the simple solution to growing, 60 minutes a day of growth: [if you can’t carve out 60 minutes a day, you have a much bigger problem on your hands…(ehem – disguised as excuses)]
20 minutes reading/listening to something encouraging, motivating, and developing. [this includes your Bible time]
20 minutes of planning for healthy meals. Sit down, Google search “healthy meals” and write a grocery list. Done.
20 minutes of moving your body. Look, you don’t need to do P90X. You can walk. Walk the dog. Do a fitness workout video free from YouTube, jog, lift soup cans, or whatever works for you. Just do it every day for 20 minutes.
No excuses. I planned it all basically for you. Just put it into action. Now go… well after you finish reading this of course.
Lean into community
This one is always the hardest for the dudes. Us guys do not like to lean on other people. It makes us feel weak. Ladies if you are reading this I will give you a text message to send to your husbands, and if you are a guy reading this, read it again!!!
“Vulnerability is not winning or losing; it’s having the courage to show up and be seen when we have no control over the outcome. Vulnerability is not weakness; it’s our greatest measure of courage.” Brené Brown
Vulnerability is a gift we give ourselves to bond with others in a way that helps us grow. You can’t do this without community. Trust me, Kristy and I tried for years. It can’t be done. God’s word tells us we need each other.
If we want our marriage and family to succeed, we need to start doing the things that fill our cup so we can continue to pour into the ones that need and deserve us the most.
Are you doing the things or are making the excuses? You can’t pour from an empty cup.
Remember, we love you and God loves you.