[Today I’m writing at Start Marriage Right about how the little things all stack up in our relationships, and how that impacts our dynamics for good and bad.]

I was already going to be late, and I knew it. Skimming through the house, I tried to piece together all my essential parts before running out the door: purse, phone, coffee…

And then I saw them. The dishes, stacked carefully in the sink, looking aged and forlorn, waiting patiently.

I glanced at the time, remembering I promised my husband I would clean them the night before.

I briefly argued with myself. Something about the priorities of being on time, or keeping my word to my husband.

Within moments, I set down my belongings and opened the dishwasher. He’s my husband. My word to him matters more, I encouraged myself, as cups and plates landed in place along the racks.

It Will Cost You
I wish I could say I always choose my reputation with my husband over my reputation with others. But I don’t. Too often I take him for granted, assuming I can keep my word or make a marriage-centered choice later.

So this moment was a win for me. I chose my word, my character in my marriage, over a few seconds of being in another place. Keeping my word cost me something that morning, and it costs me something every time.

This scenario poses the obvious problem: if I were better organized, perhaps I wouldn’t have to make this particular choice. And I can’t argue with that. But that wouldn’t prevent me from making a hundred other choices, all day, every day.

Read the rest at Start Marriage Right.