Thursday, February 3, 2011

~ Excellent Wife?! WHAT~EVER!!

A few years ago we had just moved to Indiana and I joined a Ladies Bible Study... They said that we would be doing The Excellent Wife study...

I am thinking: WHAT?!?! What~ever! and "When is He going to take something on being an Excellent Husband??? Why is it always me trying to get better.. I go to Bible Study, Church, listen to Christian Radio {Pharisee!}, do devotions with the kids, pick up after him, feed him, when is HE going to try?".. I do everything I am suppose to do!{I know, it is so obvious that he is the one that needs the help.. ;-) }

Of course I would have never said anything like that out loud, but it had crossed my mind a time or two..

Anyway~ that was a little over three years ago, and we were in a really bad place and HE needed to do A LOT of changing or so I thought...

I was laying in bed this morning and thinking about a conversation I had with a friend of mine a couple days ago regarding her marriage... And then I was thinking about what all the Lord had done in my own marriage, and what I have learned {so far in 14years} along the way...

I have either said some of these things or heard some of these things:
~ he does not lift a finger to help me.
~ he works all the time.
~ he cares more about sports than he does me.
~ we are like roommates.
~ he is a slob.
~ he doesn't go to church with us.
~ he is not the spiritual leader of our home.
~ he never plans a night out for just us.
~ he doesn't know me.
~ he has no idea about my hopes and dreams.
~ all he does is joke around, he can never be serious.
~ he will spend a whole day playing golf with his brother, but wont set aside time for me.

These are just some examples, but I know that there are soooo many more...

We both did not know if our marriage was going to make it, and we knew how the Lord felt about divorce.. {By the way: been there (with him), done that, bought the t~shirt, the hat and the foam finger~ that says: "I'm #1!"} So, no condemnation to anyone from me. The Lord restored our marriage. Praise God! {but that does not mean it has been easy} {we still had so much healing to do from our pasts}... With all that in mind, I just started praying "Lord, give us Your heart for each other, and make our marriage one that glorifies You." {Ouch! that prayer hurts. But I have to say, IT IS SO WORTH IT!}

I realized that I was doing everything I was "suppose" to do, but had the wrong heart attitude about it... I was not doing it in love.. 1 Corinthians 13

I realized that I {me, myself & I}, was actually in the Lord's way... And trying to be Lord, and Holy Spirit in my husband's life.. And it was backfiring... I felt like I was going about things the right way, but underneath it all, I was really just trying to control the situation, or trying to make my husband fill a place in me, that was not his to fill... So, the Lord thwarted my efforts.. {He is so awesome, His ways are so much better! However, I was NOT singing that tune initially!}

When I gave everything over to the Lord {again, and again, and again..}i.e.:my marriage, my husband, me, my expectations of what a husband should do and be, control, etc., THEN things started to change... I prayed for my husband, but I said to the Lord, "he's Your kid, You do something with him.".. And that is the thing, the Lord loves him so much more then I ever could, HE cares about how my husband's life turns out, AND HE SEES all that my husband is going to be... And knows just how to get him there...

The Lord helped {is helping ;-) } me to get over myself, and focus on the wonderful things about my husband. Philippians 4:8: Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

So I did, and at first all I got was:
~ he is the most amazing father.
~ he is hilarious.
~ and when I like him, he is cute...

Instead of giving him the cold~shoulder when he couldn't "READ MY MIND!" I tried something like: "shared what I was feeling"! without making him think that he was responsible for those feelings. {something else I had to learn.} And I had to TELL HIM what I needed. {"well, he should know what I need, I shouldn't have to tell him."} Well, they don't know ladies.. And we don't always know either... I just point blank told him {without tears, or condemnation} what I needed. AND HE HEARD ME! I couldn't believe it, because this was someone that you just couldn't talk to... {Or so I thought..} The other thing I let him know was, that I was on his team... I think sometimes we think we are on opposite teams, and need to let each other know that we are fighting "for" not "against" each other...

Now: {because of the Lord.. and b/c I got out of the way.}
~ my husband is the spiritual leader of our home.
~ I have chilled out and learned so much from him.
~ there is laughter in our home.
~ we still fight sometimes, but for each other and we get over it faster..
~ the level of respect has shot straight up..
~ we pray together.
~ we do devotions (sometimes) as a family..
~ there is more intimacy and I can truly say he is my best friend.

It has been so hard at times, so good and amazing at times, and STILL a work in progress, BUT SO WORTH IT!!! I am thankful for God's grace and patience... He will do what we cannot do and then some!

~ pray
~ get out of the way.
~ read great books that are out there regarding marriage.
~ go to counseling.. {God can make a way.. My husband said he would never go either, but he did.
~ find 1 or 2 people who will speak the truth in love and not tell you what you want to hear and are committed to pray and stand with you in your marriage.
~ ask the Lord to bring godly men into his life.
~ let him come up with things to do at church.. {and if he doesn't, don't get frustrated... the Lord will move.}

*On a serious note: I had to (chose to) give up some things at church, so I could spend more time with my family. Our families are our FIRST ministry, you do not have to get over involved, or feel guilty b/c you feel like you "should be doing more"...{Get rid of your "should" and "ought" list. Be led by the Lord..} *Learn how to say "NO"... If someone has to {continually} help you do what the Lord has given you to do {i.e. like with your kiddos or family, or you are so tired and cranky and have no patience with your family {because} you have over committed yourself for the Lord, then I would get alone with the Lord and ask Him if it really is Him that has you doing all this.} {They can all be good things and EVEN God things, but not necessarily what He has for you to do..} The Lord will show you what He wants you to do... If you feel guilty for saying no, then that is not from the Lord.. Ask the Lord what irons He wants in the fire...

~ praise God in the big and little steps that are taken!

Oh and as it turns out, I needed a whole lotta changin' myself!! {who knew? I know your shocked too..}

The Lord is amazing!

Blessings to you and your marriage! NEVER GIVE UP!!

P.S.: I did not cover abuse of any sort or habitual adultery.. I would never tell anyone to stay in that situation nor am I saying that the Lord would want you in that situation either. If you or your children are being verbally or physically abused, seek out help as soon as possible.

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