Seventh Key of Marriage Growth: Responsibilities

In The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry: How to Stay Emotionally Healthy and Spiritually Alive in the Chaos of the Modern World, John Mark Comer writes that “hurry is a form of violence on the soul.” Lately, I’ve been interested in the term “hurry sickness”, which Psychology Today defines as “a behavior pattern characterized by continual rushing and anxiousness; an overwhelming and continual sense of urgency.”

Do you or your spouse suffer from hurry sickness? I know I do, even now during the pandemic. So what does hurry have to do with responsibilities?

Something I’ve been learning recently is that much of the responsibilities that I feel are urgent and important really aren’t. I have a tendency to cram my to-do list full of errands, cleaning, chores, and other responsibilities, feeling frustrated when my spouse does not feel the same urgency I do to get everything done. Though I’m not a parent, I know it gets even more difficult to hurry through the day trying to keep track of schedules and taking care of your kids, which can also lead to resentment if you feel like your spouse isn’t doing their share.

Instead of focusing on who is doing what and what is and isn’t fair, pause for a moment.

What if instead of hurrying to accomplish all of your responsibilities, you let some things go? What if you gave your spouse and yourself grace for not getting everything done? What if you could prioritize what’s important and be content with focusing on those things?

Yes, it’s important to be a responsible adult, but it’s also important to work as a team, which means flexibility and compromise. Your responsibilities and sense of urgency may not be the same as your spouse’s, and that’s OK. If you suffer from hurry sickness, I encourage you to listen to Naming What Matters in 2021 from the Lazy Genius podcast. Figure out what your real priorities are, share them with your spouse, and let go of your responsibilities that really don’t matter or find a way to outsource them. That way, you can get what you need to done while still focusing on your marriage and your family.

Journal Question: What is one responsibility you have right now that you can stop doing or delegate?

Additional Resource: The Best Yes: Making Wise Decisions in the Midst of Endless Demands by Lysa TerKeurst

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