There is a great book written by Jeff Olson called The Slight Edge. I try to read it at least once a month.
If you haven’t already read it, I urge you go to pick up a copy.
Jeff talks about how our future successes and failures are quite simply determined by the tiniest, seemingly insignificant actions that we take (or neglect to take) on a regular basis.
Things like eating an apple a day … saving ten percent of your income … exercising on a consistent basis …
We either do these things or we don’t … and not just every once in a while. I’m talking about engraining these actions into your lifestyle, through habit.
He calls it the Slight Edge … and in every area of your life, it’s either working for you or it’s working against you; but it’s completely up to you to decide.
The Slight Edge Of Honor: You Either Do It Or You Don’t
The first couple of times I read The Slight Edge, my focus was on money and health. It never occurred to me how I might apply this simple, yet profound truth to my relationship. (I’ve always been somewhat of a slow learner.)
One day I realized that my marital issues didn’t just arise out of thin air. And I started to understand that I wasn’t using the Slight Edge to my advantage in my marriage.
Whatever honor I did uphold toward my wife was second hand at best — as if I had purchased it on consignment from the local pawnbroker.
Even to this day, consistently taking action in expressing honor toward my wife is a bit of a challenge. But at least now the Slight Edge is somewhat in my favor.
If you find it difficult or an Alien Concept to honor your wife on a consistent basis, know this: marriages don’t just end “all of the sudden.”
They atrophy over the course of time, through neglect and indifference. That’s the Slight Edge working against you and your wife.
You either honor your wife or you don’t, it’s that simple.
Oh yeah … some of you might be saying to yourselves, “Well I honor my wife every day when I go to work” …
Fair enough, but that’s something you do anyway. It’s second hand honor purchased on consignment from the local pawnbroker, exactly how I did it.
I’m talking about explicit honor, open, and vulnerable.
So how can you guarantee that you are always honoring your wife, on a consistent basis, and in a non-mechanical way that doesn’t make you feel like a robot?
Here are five quick and easy ways to start honoring your wife, forever:
Watch your speech. It’s common when we become familiar with people to be more lax with our words. What have you found yourself saying to your wife lately that’s negatively influencing her? Pay attention to the words your using and the tone that you are using. Words are powerful, so mind them.
Keep your word. When you say you are going to do something, do it. This is a matter of one thing and one thing only … character.
Mind your household. Help your wife maintain an orderly household. That can include anything from cleaning the dishes to balancing the personal budget. Whatever it is, your household is your own business, run it together like a team.
Protect her position. Don’t steam roll her with your opinions and certainly don’t let anybody else get away with it – including, your close personal friends, in-laws or your parents. Value what she has to say and fight to make sure that others do as well.
Understand first, be understood second. St. Francis of Assisi is responsible for this valuable insight into genuine understanding. If you really want to understand your wife, shut up and listen.
If these sounds archaic to you or are too “simple minded” to actually put to use, consider how the Slight Edge works.
It never stops, every day it advances in one direction or the other.
There is a zero-sum game between action and a lack of action, and there are long-term consequences to both, no matter how small they seem at that given moment.
A lifetime of NOT taking these simple steps only sets the stage for a marriage of quiet desperation and most likely utter destruction.
That’s how powerful the Slight Edge is.
Failing to do these things today won’t cost you your marriage right now, but compounded over time they might.
I can personally tell you that I have lot of work to do when it comes to giving my wife the honor she deserves (I’m sure she could write volumes on the subject).
But I’m aware and willing to do what I know I should … and you are too.
Let’s take conscious action today to give our wives the honor they deserve.
From one husband to another,