(It was not my original intention but I ended up taking off the whole month while my older sister was in town. It was a good and needed break but I apologize for not letting anyone know in advance.)

It may sound incredibly cliched but I’ve slowly been realizing that my marriage works the best when I put Bryan ahead of myself.

Wait, wait, don’t let me loose you just yet. And don’t roll your eyes, hear me out.

I am fully aware that what I’m saying goes against what I, myself, want to hear, what some in the church teach, and what modern psychology even advocates. But that doesn’t change the fact that it’s truth.

Putting Bryan ahead of myself means putting his needs ahead of mine. Thinking of what he would like, what would be best for his schedule, and what his personality enjoys. Sometimes it’s as simple as thinking what he’d like for dinner as opposed to what I’d like to make, or what he’d like to do in the evening as opposed to what I’d like to do. At other times it’s realizing he needs down time or he needs the house a bit more organized than I’m currently keeping it.

Yep, it’s hard. And it can be frustrating, and it completely goes against what I sometimes feel like doing or being. And nope, I don’t have this down perfectly and nope, I don’t do this all the time. But I have noticed the times when I do try to put his needs ahead of my own, I win.

One simple reason – those are usually the times I realize how often he’s putting my needs ahead of his. The times he’s pitching in to finish cleaning the kitchen because he realizes how tired I am. The times he’s taking the kids to the library so I can have some down time. The times he’s asking what I feel like doing in the evenings or what needs to be cleaned so I can sit and rest.

But even when he doesn’t do those things – I still win. Because I’m obeying God, I’m loving my husband, I’m showing my kids what a godly wife looks like, and I’m learning to serve my family. And there are definite benefits to each of those and, honestly, sometimes it just feels good and makes my house a bit happier because my husband is more settled and feels loved.

I can already hear some honest arguments, ‘But my husband would NEVER put my needs first. If I don’t look after myself NO ONE will.’

What about God? Honestly.

Can He look after your needs? Doesn’t He see when you’re exhausted and needing a break or discouraged and needing encouragement, or lonely and needing a friend? Trust me, as well as my husband does looking after my needs, God does an even better job. Maybe your husband is selfish, self-centered, or simply a human being who doesn’t think outside his own box. That doesn’t mean you get to return the favor. It simply means you get the benefit of trusting God to make sure you are taken care of. And honestly, who better in the universe to take care of your needs then the Lord of the universe???

I’d say the same goes for single moms and single women. You get to trust the Lord on a whole different level. And yes, that’s easy to say and hard to do. And yes, that sounds incredibly “church-y” and “simple” but does that mean it’s not true?

“Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6 in the context of Jesus talking about not worrying about food or clothes because if God can take care of bird food and clothe flowers “will He not much more feed you…. or clothe you…” God knows our needs. Can we trust Him to provide for them? Can we serve others and let God take care of us?

It’s not easy, and it’s a not a “fix-all” answer but when I put Bryan first I can see a difference in my marriage and my home. And it’s a good difference. And I think I’d even say it just might be one that brings God glory…