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For Your Marriage

Meet Sara and Justin. They married in June 2011, they welcomed their first child in August 2012.

Restaurant Nightmare

Sara: This weekend, for an extra-special treat, Justin and I decided to take Gus to a restaurant to watch the Alabama football game. It’s been several months since we’ve gone out to eat “just because” so I was super excited about the plan.

Justin: When we got to the restaurant, their satellite dish was out, which put a damper on our plans to watch the game. Thankfully, before too long, the TVs were back up. We settled Gus in a high chair, and ordered our meal. The restaurant was packed, so we knew we’d have a few minutes’ wait for our meal.

Sara: The whole evening was a train wreck. When our appetizer came out, it was the wrong one so Justin politely informed the server of the mistake.

Justin: After they brought us the correct wings, we had no appetizer plates and the dipping sauce we requested was missing. By the time they got it out to us, we were done with our wings.

Sara: My steak came out raw, and when I requested they cook it more, it was burnt to a crisp.

Throughout this process, Gus became antsy and I was just ready to leave. Actually, I wished I had never come!

Justin: The root of the problem was that the employees were more concerned with getting us in and out than with excellence and quality of our dining experience.

Poor service is easy to recognize in the restaurant business, but a lack of excellence also creeps into our own lives in much more deceptive ways. It flows from a philosophy of minimalism. Minimalism is the philosophy that asks, “What is the absolute least I can do in order to get the maximum reward?”

If we look around we see this philosophy everywhere. I saw it at the restaurant. I see it in my students. Unfortunately, I see it in myself at times.

Sara: So, too, it is with our family life. Sometimes, I find it easy to be busy with unimportant things, like reading articles on the internet instead of paying attention to Justin and Gus.

Justin: At times, it is easier to disengage by watching TV rather than to maximize our family time. After all, it’s often easier to watch back episodes of our favorite shows in the evenings instead of actually talking to one another.

Sara: These seemingly little choices, like whether to spend time plugged into technology or focus solely on my family impact how I am able to live out my vocation as wife to Justin and mother to Gus. When I am distracted, our family life suffers. It’s also easy to do this in my prayer life. It’s easy to be too busy or too distracted to concentrate on prayer. Then, too, my relationship with God suffers.

Each day, Justin and I need to determine how I can put my family and our quality of time together first. Limiting my computer time and outside commitments helps me have more energy and patience for Justin and Gus.