Responsibility has snuck up on me like a prowling lioness. One day I was just a single man enjoying a new job with a couple of roommates. And today, I am a husband learning all about leading a marriage. Really it wasn’t an overnight sort of thing, but it sure can feel like it sometimes.
Some folks are born with a natural tendency to be responsible. Others may not be. And I wonder if that has anything to do with the growing number of 20-somethings that are still parent supported. But that is a whole different topic.
- You take psychological ownership for anything you commit to, and whether large or small, you feel emotionally bound to follow it through to completion.
- If for some reason you cannot deliver, you automatically start to look for ways to make it up to the other person.
- This conscientiousness, this near obsession for doing things right, and your impeccable ethics, combine to create your reputation: utterly dependable.
These are great things to think about. But what about the rest of us? Those who may not carry this Responsibility trait in a naturally strong way? I’m a responsable adult, but I fall very short of things all the time! What do we do when this is true?
I have come up with a few things to work on carrying the load of responsibility that I have now. These things are in the working stages, but I think that it will help me to grow into being a better and more responsible husband.
- Trust God with it. I know that I cannot do everything on my own. And especially because I am weak in this area the only way I can really grow strong is through God’s grace. I pray about it. My wife will ask me when we come to a decision or topic if I have prayed about it. If I haven’t, I know I haven’t been trusting God to help me.
- Think of how it should be. I try to envision what something should look like. For example our budget. I imagine how our perfect situation would look like if we did this well. If we were responsible with our spending/savings/planning. I ask, “What would be true of the perfect way we do this?”
- Start an Action Plan. After I think of the ideal in the situation. I start making action steps that build on each other. This is the part that takes a little work for me. I don’t always know how to put things in the right order or communicate to my wife why I think these are the best steps. If this is the case for you, read step one, and come back to it.
- Take the first step. Now that you have a plan in order. You can take the first action in your plan. For your budget: track your expenses for two months. For your health: Throw away all the junk food in the kitchen and pantry. I think you get the idea.
As you start to work through those action steps you get the satisfaction of checking them off and moving closer to the ideal. But what helps us be more responsable is that we actually do these things. We need to be held accountable. When you are married, you have an easy accountability partner. Because if you are dropping the ball, it directly affects you spouse. If you are single, consider getting a couple of close friends or a sibling to help you take some steps in the right direction.
Once last thought. Responsibility isn’t just taking steps toward goals. It is how we live day-in and day-out. The truth is we can get so far on our own. Everyone will hit a wall sooner or later. We need to rely completely on God for the grace and power to fulfill the responsibility placed before us.
Are you naturally a responsible person? What are somethings that help you to fulfill the responsibilities that you have?