This past weekend I had an opportunity to attend a retreat with the Board of Directors that oversee a regional mission that plants new churches. As part of one of the devotional thoughts we watched a clip of Wayne Cordeiro speaking to church leaders.
In the clip he spoke to them about the need to learn what things “fill your tank” and the things that will “drain your tank”. He was speaking about the things that fill you up spiritually, emotionally, and in terms of your energy. For example — personally preaching and being a speaker at conferences is a big lift for me. By the same token the sleeplessness and high energy demands of such weekend events can drain me physically.
Knowing that means I have to look for ways to get my rest on both ends of the event. Likewise conflict and “mediating” between conflicting parties is very spiritually and emotionally draining. When I enter into such times I have learned that I need to plan for some family play time and personal down time to get that energy back.
Likewise you need to learn what fills and drains your spouse’s tank. There are times when I know that in order for Connie to “fill up” I need to “get lost” — or a least give her some space to do what she needs to. Or in other cases I may need to spend an afternoon at the flea market / antique store and just “be there”. She also understands that watching a baseball game or going to a movie may be just what I need from her to stay full or refill.
Here is an exercise — borrowed from Wayne — that might be good for you to try:
List 5 things that fill you & 5 things that drain you. Have your spouse make the same lists. Exchange lists. Live life accordingly.
This relates to the concept of the Sabbath. We’ll look at that next time. Like Andy Stanley notes: “You have to love a God who commands you to take a day off.”