Jill: Friday was my birthday and it was a perfect birthday! Mark did a wonderful job celebrating it the way I wanted to celebrate it!
Mark: It’s only taken me 32 years to figure this one out but I think I finally got it!
Jill: We’ve been slowly remodeling our kitchen. It’s taking forever because we’re doing it nights and weekends and as we have the money. We had recently removed all the cabinet doors and drawer faces to paint them. Then we needed to antique glaze them so they would be finished and we could get them hung again.
Mark: When I asked Jill what she wanted to do for her birthday, I wasn’t surprised when she said that she wanted to glaze the cabinets and get the cabinet doors and drawer faces back in place so the kitchen would have some sense of being finished.
Jill: This is really what I WANTED for my birthday. I wanted us to work together and get the job done. I’ve asked for these kinds of gifts in the past and Mark has often argued, “That’s not a birthday present. What do you really want?” He would then try to talk me into celebrating MY birthday the way he would want to celebrate HIS birthday.
Mark: Doing a project would definitely not be a birthday gift I would EVER want.
Jill: My two top Love Languages are Quality Time and Acts of Service and finishing those cabinets was truly a gift to me!
Mark: I prepared my heart and mind to do what Jill wanted. We worked several hours on Friday evening and most of the day on Saturday to get the cabinets finished. Jill was beaming!
Jill: I felt very honored by Mark this weekend. You see, we honor our spouse when we place value on what he/she finds valuable even if it isn’t something that’s important to us. You and I don’t get to decide what matters to our spouse; we get to discover what matters to them.
Mark: Too often we minimize things that really are important to our spouse. When we do that we build a wall instead of a bridge in our marriage.
Jill: Mark built a bridge, walked across it, and visited my priorities this past weekend and I love him for it.
Mark: I’m glad I did because it really did mean a lot to my girl (and the kitchen really looks great!). I will tell you, however, when my birthday rolls around in July, we won’t be painting cabinets. We’ll probably be playing a couple rounds of golf.
Jill: And I’ll be driving the golf cart!
What about you? Where do you need to build a bridge in your marriage? What is important to your spouse that you have minimized in the past? How can you step into his/her world and make that important to you because it’s important to him/her?