Monday, October 12, 2009

Marriage Monday - 10/12/09

Wow - I can't believe I haven't posted since last Monday! Yeessh! We had a great weekend, it's finally cool enough here in Phoenix for the kids to play outside, so I think we spent the majority of the weekend in the fresh air. It was great! AND...my husband, Aaron, got his very first win in the 450 Beginner class in his Motocross race series! He's been finishing in the top 3 pretty much the whole series, but he finally got to take home the #1 trophy on Saturday night! YAY!

OK - now on to Marriage Monday. This week's chapter is titled "His Wife" (pages 25-47) - yep, ladies, it's talking about us.

The opening paragraph talks about how our prayers can be hindered if they come from a place of bitterness, resentment, unforgiveness, etc. And that one of the prayers that we most likely pray the most is "Change him, Lord." - instead of "Change me, Lord." I have to admit, the first time I read this chapter was several months ago, and it was during a time where we had a couple of weeks of what seemed like constant irritation with each other - so I got to this chapter and wanted to stop reading it as soon as I started. It's very hard to hear that we are the ones that have some changing to do when we are so sure it is our spouse that needs the changing. And not to say that they don't - but it doesn't help matters when we are unwilling to soften our hearts, be sensitive to the guiding of the Holy Spirit, and identify those places where we are contributing to the conflict. On page 27, the author says "The most effective tool in transforming him may be your own transformation." Uhh...whoa.

Page 29 introduces the concept of prayer being the ultimate love language, and how praying for another person can soften our hearts towards them because we receive God's spirit of love when we pray for others. I have found this to be true in my prayers for my husband - if I begin my prayers madder than a hornet because I feel like I've been wronged, by the time I finish praying, I feel closer to him and I almost forget what I was mad about in the first place. By confessing my anger to God, rather than blowing up at my husband, things usually always end up resolving themselves in a much nicer manner that doesn't involve arguing and saying the word "Fine" alot. ;) Stormie gives this scripture as a reference - Proverbs 21:19 "Better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and angry woman." hehe - I think my husband has probably felt like retreating to the wilderness on more than one occasion.

OK - just read page #35, and this line jumped out "There are times when we are just to listen and not offer advice, to support and not offer constructive criticism". Lord help me if I don't have a problem with that - my husband will try and tell me something, and just as I mentioned last week, I have that "be right" attitude problem sometimes - and all the guy really wanted me to do was listen - but I always have to provide feedback, or if he made some minor error in his telling of the story, I have to point it out - MAN that has to be irritating. Here's a scripture I'll be memorizing "Do not be rash with your mouth, and let not your heart utter anything hastily before God. For God is in heaven, and you on earth; therefore let your words be few." Ecclesiastes 5:2...again with the "whoa" - the Bible has all kinds of wisdom doesn't it?

Now I read this next part a couple nights ago, starting at page 37 - and I found myself rising up on the inside with an argument - because it starts to talk about our "role". And I am totally not June Cleaver - but I kept reading, and I'm going to have to let God help me to let some of this stuff sink in. Very first sentence of this section says "I don't care how liberated you are, when you are married there will always be two areas that will ultimately be your responsibility: home and children." Say what??!! Yeah, that's what I said too. OK, hang in there. We know that God's order is that the man is the head of the household - but what many people misinterpret is that somehow that puts the woman in a lesser position. Not so - we are the heart of the family, this is a position of great power - because you know that saying "If mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy?" - that's so true - our demeanor and the way we run our household, sets the tone for the WHOLE house. As much as I may not like to admit it - I know that I personally feel a lot better when the house is in order (not necessarily perfect, but tidy), when I'm showered, dressed in something that makes me look good and I have my hair and makeup done. Ummm...do you think this is internal hard-wiring? Because I know my husband feels good when his household chores are done as well. We are equal in the fact that we have become one flesh when we got married - but, just as everything else in the world has an order - gulp, I can't believe I'm going to say this - looks like God has an order for men and women and what our roles and responsibilities are in the household. OK - phew - next section please!!

Pages 39-41 talk about letting go of expectations - this is another area where I am guilty. Do you know sometimes my husband would say to me "I just don't feel like I can do anything right for ya" - OUCH! Can you imagine what it feels like to hear something like that? Especially when you don't think you're doing it on purpose? But seriously - I would ask him to do something - and he would do it in HIS way, which was obviously not MY way - and I would get SO frustrated. But you know what? The task got done. And I started to let go of expectations that he would do things the way I wanted him to do them - that might mean I would have to leave the house so that I wouldn't sit there and scrutinize (hehe) but I would no longer criticize and butt in when I didn't think things were going the way they should go. And...we can't change our husbands and their personalities anyway! It just sets us up to be more frustrated the harder we try to make them conform to our expectations! We fell in love with them for a reason - and guess what happens sometimes? Sometimes those things we fell in love with become the things that bug us the most! I loved the fact that my husband was a "man's man" - he knew how to fix stuff, and he was strong, and he loves the outdoors - and I would find myself saying to him in frustration "Gosh - you're such a DUDE!" Ummm...yeah...he is...that's kinda why you loved him because he wasn't a big wussy-pants. :)

I'm going to end with the paraphrasing that Stormie gives of Proverbs 31: 10-31 - she says to remember this model when we are praying for ourselves:

"She takes care of her home and runs it well. She knows how to buy and sell and make wise investments. She keeps herself healthy and strong and dresses attractively. She works diligently and has skills which are marketable. She is giving and conscientiously prepares for the future. She contributes to her husband's good reputation. She is strong, solid, honorable, and not afraid of growing older. She speaks wisely and kindly. She doesn't sit around doing nothing, but carefully watches what goes on in her home. Her children and her husband praise her. She doesn't rely on charm and beauty but knows that the fear of the Lord is what is most attractive. She supports her husband and still has a fruitful life of her own which speaks loudly for itself."

Now that sounds like the kind of woman I want to be (and she doesn't sound like June Cleaver)!!

See you next week when we talk about "His Work"

1 comment:

CHRISTINE said...

I enjoyed reading your blog! I have an award for you over at my place!!!!