I wasn’t planning to write about ‘reading’ – but when Melissa chose that as her topic – I didn’t want to let her beat me to the ‘you should be reading’ discussion, so here goes…
I think it’s safe to say that a forest worth of paper has been wasted over the years in the form of unopened instruction manuals, and unread assembly instructions. Assembly Instructions? ‘How To’ Manuals? Almost as a rite of passage into manhood we have been conditioned to figure it out, learn as we go, solve it ourselves. Asking for directions or reading the manual is like a show of weakness.
But I think it’s true for all of us that one area that we already ‘read’ or ‘study’ – is in our professions. Whether we’re a ditch digger, a farmer, or a doctor, if we’re not constantly learning, we aren’t going to get better at our career, and before long we’re going to be marginalized, stuck, or unemployed. And this learning takes the form of reading, study, and learning from others who are more knowledgeable.
But what about our Marriages? Are we ‘figuring it out’ as we go – like putting together a bike, or are we studying – like it’s super important and we can’t afford to screw it up?
We HAVE to treat our marriage as the most important thing in our lives after our own Spiritual life. It’s the foundation not only of our own success in life, but it impacts our children, our parish, and our whole country. The massive impact of good or bad marriages cannot be underestimated. We MUST become students of our own marriage and study, and learn, and READ.
There’s plenty of stupid reasons that we don’t read about how to better our marriages, but the two that sound the most valid are “I don’t have the time” and “I’m not a reader”.
“I don’t have the time” – Trust me – I’ve been here too. But if you really honestly look at your week you WILL find 10 to 15 minutes every day that you could easily start reading and studying about how to be a better husband and how to better love your wife. Unless we’re working 18 hours a day 7 days a week we have time to work on the most important JOB we have – having an incredible marriage! And if we are working that much – we still have to eat and use the bathroom – put the book on the table or behind the toilet and READ IT!
“I’m not a reader” – We have to STOP using this as an excuse. If our marriage is important, we will figure this out! We figure everything else out that’s important – we can figure this out too! We need to start reading, work through the difficulties – and make reading and studying about our marriage a regular habit – and in a short amount of time the benefits of what we’re reading will start showing through in how we love our wives.
The books that we listed at the Couple’s getaway are really good choices to start with – “Man of Steel and Velvet”, “For Men Only”, “His Needs Her Needs”, “Love and Respect” and others. And when you’ve finished them – either look for more or start over. We keep studying and reading if this is important – if it’s MOST important.
So, what are you reading…