Three bricklayers were laboring in the hot sun on the same job. A passerby stopped and asked them one simple question, “What are you doing?”
The first one still hunched over said, “I’m laying bricks.”
The second one looked up and said, “I’m building a church.”
And the third one stood up, hands on hips, eyes cast upward and replied, “I’m building a house of God.”
How can the message in this story help strengthen our own marriages?
It’s all in the framing.
How you think about about everything you do really does matters.
In her book, Grit, Angela Duckworth shares a version of this parable.
It shows us how when we attach our actions to our deepest, strongest, most purposeful visions, we inspire and empower ourselves to perform at our highest level.
Are you merely laying bricks or are you building something much more meaningful?
Ask yourself at what level do you engage in your marriage. Are you more like the first, second or third bricklayer?
- Going through the motions of performing your duties and responsibilities without the motivation of a higher vision?
- Building your relationship with some degree of a heightened sense of intent and direction?
- Imaginatively designing and creating a connection and intimacy that, more often than not, feels sustaining and nourishing?
You get to decide how you “frame” your role in creating the marriage you want.
Your framing determines your level of satisfaction.
Your thoughts create your feelings which drive your actions and determines your results.
Using the parable of the three bricklayers, it’s easy to see how much personal reward and satisfaction can increase depending on how you see your job as wife, partner, lover and friend..
You can up level your intentionality in your relationship by elevating your view of it.
Wrap your marriage in a frame of gratitude and appreciation.
Here’s a little exercise to help you tune into the power of your imagination to jump start your “framing” of your relationship.
When you think about your husband, remember how you first met.
- Think about the ways in which you might have never met. If you had never moved to this city, gone to this school, worked at this job, signed up for this dating app.
- Jot down all of the possible events and decisions, both significant and insignificant that could have unfolded differently and prevented you from meeting each other.
- Imagine what your life would be like now had events unfolded differently and you had never met. Think of many of the joys and benefits you’ve enjoyed as a result of this relationship. Consider how youy might feel if you were denied all of them.
- Now shift your attention to the remind yourself that you did actually meet and reflect on the benefits this marriage has brought you.
Now that you’ve considered how things might have turned out differently, allow yourself to appreciate that these benefits you now enjoy were not inevitable.
Allow yourself to feel grateful that things happened as they did.
Decide, on purpose, to feel gratitude for your marriage, for this husband.
Choose to see your chance meeting this wide and wonderful world as meant to be. Worthy of your highest regard. Worth “framing” as building a house of God.
To further explore how to up level your relationship, let me know right here.
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