It was grade nine. There was one minute left in the game, and I was standing there holding the ball. Pivoting on one foot, I had a decision to make, do I go for the basket myself in hopes of winning the game for our team? Or do I throw it to Stacy who was frantically waving to get my attention? I threw it to Stacy, who dribbled her way to the hoop, and with one final swoop it was over. The victory was ours, and the limelight was hers.
I could dribble, steal, pass and pivot alright, but when it came to shooting hoops I was lacking the height and the skill. That’s where my teammates came in.
Teamwork was essential to playing basketball–I knew that. What I know now is that it’s also essential to marriage.
But there’s something else that’s important. It’s a highly effective habit, and it’s one that will strengthen any marriage when put into practice.
What is it? It’s pivoting. The right way, at the right time.
We all have needs, husbands and wives alike, but we don’t always spell those needs out. Sometimes they’re nothing more than a gesture, a question or a light-hearted suggestion. A good spouse not only listens to the needs of the other, they also turn their attention toward them instead of away.
Michael called home the other day to ask what we were having for dinner. I was polite, but I wasn’t my usual keep-him-on-the-line self. I just wasn’t having the best day and it was getting to me.
About five minutes after hanging up the phone he called back, “Is everything okay?” he asked. “I got the feeling that something is bothering you.”
He could have waited until he got home to ask me, but instead he turned his attention toward me right then and there.
Here’s another example of the way that we pivot.
The other night, I was in bed beside Michael. While he was asleep, I was on the iPad absorbed in my new eBook. Let me just say that I love that quiet time when everyone in the house is tucked in and I get to read alone–without puppies, phone calls, noise from the TV, or people knocking at the door. It’s awesome.
Two pages in, I felt Michael’s hand reach out for mine. Truth is that I wanted to pat his hand and get back to reading my book. It was a new eBook and I had been waiting all day to dig in, but I decided to pivot instead. Closing the book, I turned my attention to Michael, because that’s what love does. Love seeks to serve, not to be served.
Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. – Philippians 2:2-4
Marriages are strengthened when we give our attention to each other. Romance deepens when we take the time to listen. And hearts are softened when we give more than we get.
Pivoting–it’s nothing complicated really, but it’s an effective habit nonetheless!
The Time-Warp Wife
Check out my book, available in both print and digital format:
The Virtuous Life of a Christ-Centered Wife: 18 Powerful Lessons for Personal Growth.