Checkin’ In

“And so I am giving a new commandment to you now—love each other just as much as I love you. Your strong love for each other will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”            John 13:34-35

One of the tools I use in relationship counseling is the idea of “checking in” with a partner. I suggest that each partner periodically ask this question of the other. This is a very simple, yet often subtly profound exercise. The process is this- periodically, ask your partner, “Are you doing OK?” Or simply, “You OK?”

Sometimes it is simply a random question, for no reason other than wanting to know how your partner is. It might come at a time when there has been a little stress or tension, or maybe when there has been silence for a while. Or it may just come at any time, sort of “out of the blue”.

The point is, one partner has asked the other about their emotional place at that moment. It shows care and concern, and it speaks way more than the little phrase may say on the surface. This little technique is so simple as almost to not merit discussion. Yet, the simplest little acts of reaching out are often profound ways to demonstrate caring.

My wife is really good at this. It just comes naturally and honestly to her, yet it means a lot when she asks. So, it has become part of our routine- our thing, if you will. It is certainly not exclusively “our thing”, and I hope that this little check in becomes part of “your thing” in relationships. It means a lot.

Prayer: Lord, thank you for the simple things in life, which often are the profound things in life, Amen.

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