I was fortunate in life in that about the time my wife and I married, I was associated with a number of great people who were willing to reach out and share with me what it takes to have a great marriage.
I recall vividly one warm summer evening, as I walked across a parking lot from a business meeting, being hailed down by a gentleman I had been working with, Dick, who was probably in his early seventies at the time. He wanted to congratulate me on my recent marriage and then asked point blank: “Do you two share a checkbook?”
I was a bit taken aback by the question but the truth was that both my wife and I worked and we each had our own bank accounts and had worked out an expense sharing arrangement for the bills. Dick proceeded to take about thirty minutes of his time talking about the importance of trust and what cleaving together as a couple really means, and how keeping finances separated ends up inserting an emotional separation into the marriage. I never found out why this issue was so important for Dick, my guess is that he came upon this bit of wisdom the hard way.
Shortly after Dick corned me, I sat down with my new wife and had a good conversation about how we wanted to manage our money going forward in life, and we have been sharing the checkbook ever since, which has been a great blessing in our lives.
Dick taught me a number of things that night. First of course, about the importance of sharing the checkbook, he also got my mind thinking about the cleaving together thing, about how a husband and wife need to really bond together to become one. But more importantly, Dick taught me that this kind of wisdom needs to be shared. It’s not easy being married and its not easy to be a good parent. In America today, many folks have had poor role models, or no role models at all in their lives that can serve as a guide. For these people, their parenting and marriage instincts have no basis for success. So it’s import to seek out this wisdom from folks that you respect but is is also important to call out across the parking lot to other young couples starting out on their journey and do a little sharing.
Over the course of my marriage, and as my family has grown, I’ve spent a lot of time seeking out this wisdom from as many people as possible and as I’ve grown I’m finding it’s time to start doing a little calling out across the parking lot myself.
Several years ago I put together a collection of some of the tips and tidbits of wisdom that I collected into a small booklet that I gave to several couples as a baby-shower gift – a way of sharing and giving back what so many others had given to me.
That booklet became the seed of Essence of Wisdom for Parents. It’s been designed to make it easy for anyone to do a little calling out across the parking lot. A way for you to share something special with people who are special to you.