Leave them better than you found them


leave them better


I had A Moment yesterday.

You know, one those times when someone shares a bit of insight that absolutely rocks you back on your heels.

Mine came as I was listening to our pastor preaching on the mystery of marriage.

He shared about a bit of advice he received when he introduced his (hopefully) future wife to his grandfather.

The message from his revered relative was short, sweet, and simple:

Leave her better than you found her.

Let that soak in for a moment:


Leave her better than you found her. 


The implications of that left my mind working overtime.

Rather than seeing myself as a wife who does her best to give her best, my perspective shifted and the gears started turning:

How can I leave my husband a better person than I found him after a poor night’s sleep or longing for a more meaningful career?

How can I leave my children to be better than I found them as they struggle with the challenges of growing up?

How can I leave my extended family, friends, and others with whom I come into contact better than I found them at work, school, or behind the counter of the local coffee house?


Let that soak in for a moment:


Leave them better than you found them.


What does that look like?

For some launching off points, I return to Brad’s message:

Do you saturate your marriage and family with grace and forgiveness?

Do your children feel the safe embrace of your love?

If you were on the receiving end of your behavior, would you feel cherished and treasured?

Would you flourish and blossom under your hope and encouragement?

Would you know and believe in your beauty and worth even at your worst moments?

Would you be joyful in your very presence?

If the answer to any of these is anything but a resounding “Yes!” I would start looking for ways to lavish your loved ones with love, to leave them better in the mornings, evenings, and every waking moment in between.

A heartfelt recommendation: Watch the original message in Brad’s sermon yourself, as it is tremendously powerful and full of hope whether you are single or you’ve been married for years. It is well worth your 38 minutes: What is the mystery of a great marriage?

Comment: How do you leave them better? I look forward to your thoughts!

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  1. Well, that is certainly a challenging thought! Sort of knocks the passive/aggressive option out, doesn’t it:) It’s a call to constant servanthood… which is the ultimate call. Sometimes just a word of understanding is the most helpful, I think. The danger is to avoid constant “fixing” or “improving”… which I find usually backfires, especially as children become adults.
    Seana turner recently posted…HELP! The School Year’s ComingMy Profile

    • Kim Hall says:

      Yup, it does knock that right out of the park. Good thing, too. As appealing as it is sometimes, it just never works the way we’d like.
      Well put-it is a constant call to servanthood! Thanks for the insight, Seana.

  2. I think you covered this topic well. I am going to ponder upon the whole thought and see what I think too. Thanks for simulating my thinking today and blessings for this one!
    Living Waters by LeAnn recently posted…Our 24th of July Celebration To Commemorate The Mormon Pioneers Entering The Salt Lake Valley On July 24th, 1847My Profile

  3. Wow Kim, that really is mind blowing. And such perfect timing too. I’ve been absolutely swamped with work lately. My career is starting to take off just when my husband’s is hitting a lull (a good, calculated one, but a lull nevertheless). It’s difficult to think that while I’ve been most definitely leaving my agency and job “better than I found them” (that sounds really egotistical, but I don’t mean it to be), that I am uncertain I’ve afforded the same care and concern to the absolute love of my life!
    EJ Smith recently posted…Beauty Pageants and Rape Culture: Miss Nevada’s Q&A Sparks DebateMy Profile

    • Kim Hall says:

      I don’t think that is egotistical, EJ. I think it’s important that we not only do what we can to leave others better than we found them by offering hope, encouragement, resources and information, but also to be grateful for and recognize the positive impact we have on others. I think sometimes we find it easier to place blame on ourselves than to admit we’ve done good things. :-)
      Thanks so much for coming over, and glad to be of service with the message and timing.

  4. Phew, powerful stuff to contemplate before I’ve finished my morning coffee! I love this post – love it. There would certainly be far less divorces if people would go into a marriage with that attitude. I’ve seen more, “What can you do for ME” than I have “What can I do for YOU.” This is something so deep, it hit me and I knew two things – one I am going to blog about it (referencing you & this post if I have your permission, of course darlink!) and I am going to mull and meditate on it for a long time. It is something Alpha Hubby and I ask a lot of one another, “What can I do to love you better?” And we work to be honest in our answers without being confrontational. Most of the time we end up saying, “I can do better” when the other says, “Nothing. I feel the love!” MAN, this popped me right in the heart – so much is being said in that one short sentence.
    nan recently posted…Stockings and Garters and Rope, Oh My!My Profile

    • Kim Hall says:

      Wow, Nan. I am so incredibly humbled by your response. There is nothing that makes me more gratified than knowing I’ve provided insight to help bring more joy to relationships and life!

      I would love to take credit for this, but it came from the sermon I heard this week.
      It was probably the most amazing sermon I’ve ever heard on marriage roles and how to live and love one another best, like Jesus lived and loved. I’ve put the link to the original sermon at the bottom of the post. I highly recommend taking the time to watch and listen. Pastor Brad really hit the nail on the head, and he delivers his message with humor, love and grace.

      Yes, yes, please spread the word on your blog! I think that would be wonderful!

  5. Hi Kim,

    I love the message your pastor shared. That will get people to thinking indeed.

    Although I’m not married I do hope that when I meet people or am around them that they walk away having been glad that we met or had that conversation. I like to think that they are better off from that experience although I’m sure it’s not the case each time.

    Really does give you something to think about though. Thanks for this message today, I appreciate you sharing it with us.

    Hope you’re enjoying your week now.

    Adrienne recently posted…Revealed: Why You Need Blog Commenting RulesMy Profile

    • Kim Hall says:

      Speaking for myself, I would definitely say you have a knack for leaving folks better than you found them. You are encouraging and generous with your knowledge and your support. Thank you!

  6. I love the thought; leave them better than you found them. What great advice. Blessings for this one~
    Living Waters by LeAnn recently posted…Baby Haven’s Story of Adoption, Temple Sealing, Name and Blessing~My Profile

  7. Love this, Kim! And I SO agree! Always leave them better than you found them!
    Diane recently posted…My Short Ranching Career. Part OneMy Profile

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