Procrastination is a silent poison. It seeps into marriages, impacting husbands and wives seeking to live God-directed, meaningful lives. It stops us in our tracks – paralyzed and ineffectual. Sometimes we can identify procrastination and deal with it, and sometimes it’s lurking in the background without a name, but still a poison.
Procrastination drains our ability to take action, regardless of our good intentions.
As my husband reads through Proverbs – it’s his 11th time through – we talk about the tidbits and nuggets he finds. And because I’ve been researching and writing a book on procrastination in marriage, he shared the first part of Proverbs 13:4:
The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing…
A sluggard. Wow. Not exactly the label anyone would want to own, is it? What is a sluggard, anyhow?
A sluggard is a person who is habitually inactive.
A habit of no action = procrastination.
We are all tasked with important responsibilities. We all have good intentions. Unfortunately, we also are all familiar with the poison of procrastination.
There are nine reasons we procrastinate – can you relate with any of these?
- We’re afraid of the outcome – it might turn out to be a disaster. So we don’t take action.
- We don’t know how to start – or finish. So we don’t take action.
- We’re bored. Taking action isn’t exciting. So we don’t take action.
- We’re determined to be perfect at “this”. Our desire to be perfect becomes no action.
- We’re waiting. So we get lazy, and don’t take action.
- We’re exhausted… we need to rest so we don’t take action.
- We’re fed up. Procrastination showcases our resentment. We deliberately don’t take action.
- We’re lacking motivation. We don’t take action. So, who cares if it gets done, anyway?
- We’ve got a million things on our to-do list. We’re in a perpetual mode of distraction. We end up accomplishing nothing.
As husband and wife, we have the opportunity to make a positive impact – on each other, in our circle of loved ones, in our community and even in our country! We can live a worshipful life filled with meaning.
Let’s not let procrastination paralyze us. Let’s not become “sluggards”…
One way we can begin to defeat procrastination is with the power of prayer. Praying for our self – praying for our spouse – praying for each other.
We can encourage our spouse with prayer and defeat procrastination!
Prayer changes circumstances.
How often have we needed help, and reached out to our Heavenly Father in prayer, asking for His intervention? More times than we can ever count. And He has been faithful, hasn’t He?
Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him! (Matthew 7:7-11 ESV)
If your marriage and your meaningful life is being poisoned by procrastination, then use the power of prayer to ask, seek and knock!
Join with your spouse – pray together.
Pray – ask for direction – and take action.
- If you’re paralyzed because you don’t know in which direction to turn, then ask for God’s direction. He’ll show you the action to take.
- If you don’t know where to start, then ask for the starting point, and go!
- If you can’t move because you can’t see the “perfect” solution, then pray for His direction, because He has all the perfect answers!
Pray – seek to know what should be a priority – and take action.
- If you’re stuck in the quick-sand of boredom, seek focus. With a focus on what’s needed, you’ll be able to take action.
- If you’re handcuffed by resentment, seek to love with selflessness. With the healing power of a Christ-like love, you’ll be able to free yourself, and take action.
- If you’re too tired, then seek rest. Take action to find rest. Solitude and prayer is an action Jesus took – why can’t you?
Pray – knock for doors to be opened, so you can become motivated to take action.
- If you’re lacking motivation, then knock to open the door for a change. Everything changes. Change is our only constant. Take action in a God-honoring change.
- If you’re afraid your outcome will be bad – or good – knock to learn how to fail forward. Let the doors open, and walk through, without fear.
- If you’re mixed up, walking around without your head screwed on, then knock! Let God open doors to a direction without distraction, which will bring honor and glory to Him.
What happens when we defeat procrastination?
What’s the outcome from taking action? Take a look at the other side of Proverbs 13:4
…the soul of the diligent is richly supplied.
We will be richly supplied if we’re diligent – if we take action regularly – if we defeat procrastination.
I’m not referring to a worldly supply, but rather the good supply that God provides to those He loves, those who love Him and those who are called for His purpose. (Romans 8:28)
Is that you?
What action will you take today – to stop poisoning your marriage, and life with procrastination?
Lori Ferguson follows Christ. Along with her husband of 32 years, she writes about faith, family, food and fun in marriage at EncourageYourSpouse.com. After lots of prayer, and encouragement from Robert, she’s moved past procrastination (at least in this area) to complete a book, “Moving Past Procrastination to a Great Marriage”, available on Amazon.