By Kermit Rowe
(Kermit is a relationship facilitator with Encompass)
There’s no denying it … the holiday rush has kicked into high gear. Finishing the shopping and baking, the decoration hanging and last-second plan-making. Lots of “-ings” but not lots of time left to be “finish-ing” them.
What’s a person to do? Or for the purposes of this post, what’s a couple to do?
While checking our list twice, we do well to ask ourselves who should be at the top of that list.
For Christians, that is God, of course. Sending His Son into this world for us is ultimately why we should be celebrating Christmas. But as a follower, we should also be thankful for all the gifts He has given us. When we survey our lives, our spouse should be at the top of our gift inventory. We must make sure our spouse is well-loved. And the best way to do that is to make them a priority, right above family … and behind only the God who gave them to you.
Still looking for that perfect gift? Look no further than your mirror. The best Christmas gift a husband can give is himself, and the best gift a father can give his children is a well-loved mother. The same for a wife’s best gift-giving strategy. Set aside dedicated alone time with your partner this holiday season. We know it is a challenge, but it is integral to diffusing the emotional overload that usually attaches itself to this time of year.
Review the year you’ve been blessed to live, and then plan how to be best stewards of all the gifts you’ve been given or will be given in the year to come. “Seeing 2020” together before it arrives is both proactive and productive – keeping you on the same page, and keeping your hearts connected regardless of what challenges may lay ahead.
So while celebrating and being grateful for all the gifts we have been given, shower your gratefulness on the greatest of those gifts besides Jesus, which is your life partner - given to you only, created for you especially and for God specifically.
Focus not on the gift-giving, but the greatest gifts we’ve been given by the Great Gift Giver! Then always look for ways to continue giving to them. When both partners are focused on giving to each other, there is no need to worry about what we get.
Lavern & Ronda Nissley are co-directors of Encompass. Married since 1978, both enjoy coffee, riding their tandem bicycle and working together to build strong relationships.