Once upon a time … happily ever after.
What happened during the span of those three little dots?
More importantly, HOW do you get your hands on some of that happily ever after fairy dust?
I have no idea.
The beginning of our happily ever after.
But, as this is a Works for Me Wednesday, I’m here for you all. Let’s talk about marriage.
Our church purchased the Small Group DVD set featuring 5 DVDS (the seven hour Love & Respect Conference on DVD) and 10 Small Group Discussion Guides.
This conference is amazing! Drop whatever you are doing and head out to get a copy of the series. Go the website and see if there is a conference coming to your area. Don’t delay! Don’t waste time reading other boring marriage books. Get some friends together and go in one the cost of the dvd set. Beg your church staff to buy it. Hound the library and get funding for the DVDs.
The lessons were challenging, motivating, and insightful. Dr. Eggerichs is a compelling and animated speaker. He has a passion for helping people in their marriage and the unique ability to understand the needs of both women and men. Tim and I would both say that out of all the marriage resources we’ve studied, this course has had the most impact in relating to each other in godliness.
In case you hadn’t noticed, I liked this course just a bit.
When we first began the course, we handed this Marriage Questionnaire out to all the couples in our group. We encouraged them to answer as honestly as possible. We didn’t share the responses, they were sealed in an envelope and put aside.
I’ve been working on this blog for several weeks — mainly setting it aside. My plan was to write a Works for Me Wednesday post on 3 ways you can show respect to your husband. Doesn’t that sound great. I’d love to read something like that. In fact, why doesn’t someone else post on marriage and I’ll visit YOUR blog.
Hmmm, that’s the problem. When it comes down to actually writing on this topic, I feel incredibly inadequate and unqualified. No matter how I hard I try and how much I study, I continue to struggle in this area. Nonetheless, my husband is relentless and won’t let me pick another WFMW topic. Either he thinks I have some wisdom to share or he hopes I’ll learn something in the writing. Ha!
Of course, you can always try to arm wrestle your way into a happy marriage.
The key verse for Eggerichs’ material is found in Ephesians 5:33:
However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
The husband is to love his wife and the wife respect her husband. It’s not a choice. It’s not conditional on merit or worth but by obedience to the Lord. Eggerichs says when people are not fulfilling these commands in their marriage, they step onto the crazy cycle. Husband acts unloving and Wife responds by being disrespectful. Or Wifey Poo acts disrespectful and Darling Husband reacts by being unloving.
Love and Respect – simple, yet powerful words.
Most of the wives in our group had a difficult time understanding how respect could be that important. Not a good sign for the poor husbands. The men would nod vigorously during the DVD while the women would look puzzled and mumble something like, “Really? Respect? Maybe if he was (insert virtue) I could respect him. Mumble. Mumble.”
One of the foundational principles of Love and Respect, is that a wife owes her husband unconditional respect in the same way that a husband owes his wife unconditional love.
I’ve been brainstorming the last few weeks, trying to come up with 3 concrete ways a wife could show respect to her husband. The fact that it’s taking me so long is an indicator of the difficulty of this issue and the challenge we women face.
I finally came up with 3 concrete ideas. God bless you if you’re still here after that “short” intro.
Works for Me Wednesday – Respecting Your Husband
- Say “Thank You” — be creative. It doesn’t have to be expressed verbally. Slip a note in his lunch box. Leave a Post-It on the dashboard of his car. Have the children write cards and mail them to his place of business or put them on his favorite chair at home. Give him a special plate for dinner. Include treats in his lunch, something that says “you are special”. For my husband that means cashews and Nutella. Nothing makes him feel loved like some chocolate hazelnut.
Tim’s lunch bag and back-up lunch box in case one isn’t enough.
Thank him for sacrificing for the family.
Thank him for getting up and going off to work.
Thank him for being a hard worker and provider.
Thank him for taking out the trash or caring for the automobiles.
Thank him for helping out with the kids, dishes, lawn work, bills.
Thank him for doing the disgusting jobs that no one else wants to do (in our house that means overflowing toilets, cleaning up after sick kids and squishing spiders).
Find an area where you can sincerely thank him, don’t use this as a manipulative tool to thank him for the things he doesn’t do in hopes he will change. Think of something you respect about him (his ambition, discipline, driving skills, fill-in-the-blank) and TELL HIM.
- Listening Ear or Problem Solver — which one do you want? Identifying this and being clear about it, is a HUGE sign of respect in my marriage. If I can let Tim know before we begin a discussion or conversation that I simply want a listening ear, it impacts our entire day.
Tim has shared with me repeatedly (and one of these days I’ll actually get it) that he feels disrespected when I share a problem or difficult situation with him and then don’t heed his advice. If I tell him ahead of time that I just need to talk, he is able to set aside his incredible Problem Solving Super Powers and enjoy the conversation.
- No Interruptions — this tip is primarily for moms. I know you can multi-task with the best of them. Talk about Super Powers. Believe me, I’m sure, that most of you are able to make dinner, write out a grocery list, talk to your husband and answer questions about homework at the same time.
I have found, however, that this is an incredible source of frustration for my sweet husband. If at all possible (barring emergencies), try to minimize distractions and interruptions while conversing with your man. Train your children to use the interrupt rule.
Be honest with yourself, if you know this isn’t going to be a good time for a lengthy conversation — Don’t Start One. The sad fact is, most husbands don’t really want to talk. They are already giving of themselves (their time and energy) and when you turn your attention elsewhere in the middle of a conversation, it sends them the message that their offering is worth nothing to you.
How long before I can interrupt?
Please hear my heart on this subject, I am in a constant battle against my lazy, sinful nature. I long for a godly, passionate marriage but more often I want to put myself first and have things “my way.” I am not an expert. I fail all the time in respecting and honoring my husband.
I’m trying, though, and these are a few areas that bless my husband.
Some other Duckabush WFMW Posts
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