I have been married for two and a half years and, although I definitely don’t have all the answers, I believe we have learned something that will completely change the way you relate to your spouse for the better. Interested? Perfect.
It’s your values! Living according to our values allows us to be the best version of ourselves. The photo above is of a board made for us to display our values. Lately, I’ve been surrounding myself with dialogue around envisioning the best version of myself and making intentional choices to create good habits. I can only be the best version of myself (and the best wife I can be) when I know and understand my values and how to live according to those values.
What are values?
Values are the things that make up who we are at the core of our being. They are God-given qualities that are unique to us. We function out of our values and they are how we wish to be perceived by others. Our premarital counsellor described them like this: these three things help us make decisions: our mind, emotions, and will (values). In every situation, our mind and emotions are the first to show up to the scene and are quick to interpret what has happened and how to respond. Our will, or common sense, tends to take a little longer to show up which is why we so often react based solely on what our mind and emotions tell us. But when we take a second to acknowledge what our mind and emotions are telling us and then address the situation based on our values, we will be more authentically ourselves.
What’s so important about values?
As I said, our values make up the core of who we are. They are characteristics we hope that other people see in us. We function out of our values whether we realize it or not. When we are hurt, it’s our values that get hurt. Until we know what our values are, it can be difficult to figure out why some things affect us the way they do or why we react a certain way. In order to be our best selves, we need to know what our values are.
How do you know what your values are?
Think about how the best version of yourself would respond to any given situation. What qualities do you love about yourself? What drives you? Maybe ask a close friend or your spouse what strong qualities they see in you. Sometimes it helps to work off of a list of qualities. Here is a list that will help get the juices flowing. I recommend picking your top five to six values – because the list could go on forever otherwise, am I right? Psalm 139:13-14 says, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” You can also ask God which of these best describes you – He is the one who knows you best.
Write them out
Take some time to write out each of your six values and what they mean specifically to you. Get to know your spouse’s values. I believe it is crucial that you know what your spouse’s values are and what they mean to your spouse because it will help you both so much. The whole idea of becoming one when you get married doesn’t happen the moment you say “I do”. That’s just where it starts. It is followed by a lifetime of getting to know your spouse, what they value, and taking on those values as your own. You become one through sharing each other’s values and learning and growing together. In my next post, I have shared how to put those values into action so that we can live from the inside out.