In our homeschool co-op the moms are reading Becoming The Woman of His Dreams and I had brought the book to work with me the other night and that sparked a conversation with one of my co-workers. She asked me if they made books like that for husbands because she said her husband really needed it. I said that I was sure there were books like that out there. We got to talking about how in God's Word, wives are commanded to respect their husbands. This means even if they don't "deserve" it and probably especially when we don't feel like giving or showing respect. You could tell this really bugged my co-worker and she made a remark about not giving respect if her husband wasn't going to treat her right! That's the part that frustrates me. Now don't get me wrong, I am FAR FAR FAR from the good and respectful wife that I long to be BUT I'm constantly working on it. I grew up basically with a single mother that had been abused by previous husbands and even her current husband and she was very open about telling my sisters and I never to rely on a man to support us, never to need anything from a man and I was never shown how to show/give respect to man. I'm learning as I'm going along in my own marriage and it's tough! I honestly had to look up in the dictionary what respect was. I mean I knew that you were supposed to show some kind of politeness to people in higher positions or elderly but I didn't know exactly what respect was. For those that are curious, here's what I found. I took out the stuff that didn't fit what I was looking for and this is what was left that helped me:
*esteem for or a sense of the worth or excellence of a person, a personal quality or ability, or something considered as a manifestation of a personal quality or ability
*deference to a right, privilege, privileged position, or someone or something considered to have certain rights or privileges; proper acceptance or courtesy; acknowledgment
*a formal expression or gesture of greeting, esteem, or friendship
*to hold in esteem or honor
*to refrain from intruding upon or interfering with
In Ephesians 5:33 it says:
However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
In the Amplified bible, this is what Ephesians 5:33 says:
However, let each man of you [without exception] love his wife as [being in a sense] his very own self; and let the wife see that she respects and reverences her husband [that she notices him, regards him, honors him, prefers him, venerates, and esteems him; and that she defers to him, praises him, and loves and admires him exceedingly].
That was a huge eye-opener for me and I'm really working on doing all of those things but sadly, I fail more than I succeed! But at least I'm trying! I'm not digging my heels in and saying that I'm not going to do those things unless hubby does these things! It totally goes along with the Love & Respect seminars (they have a book and workbook too along with DVD's of the seminar...I HIGHLY recommend that every couple do this at least once a year)! The whole cycle of a woman feeling unloved so she reacts with disrespect, the husband feels disrespect so he reacts unlovingly and on and on and on! It takes a mature person to step back and say WHOA, we're not going to do this anymore! It takes work to have a happy marriage and it makes me soooooo sad that the world is telling us that we need to do what makes us feel good, what makes us happy and if something isn't making us happy then we should just drop it and seek out those things that do make us happy! We get so caught up in the sugary sweet goosebumps, butterflies in the stomach, etc. that we get when we first start dating someone and when the newness is gone and we don't have all the "warm fuzzies" then we go out seeking it in other places! Hello people, isn't there something awesome about growing old with someone and knowing that person is going to be by your side through thick and thin and no one will know you better than your spouse and on and on?
I'll have to save my marriage testimony for the next blog posting because it's long and I have to make sure that my hubby will be ok with me sharing it. I was making HUGE mistakes and heading the wrong way but I just praise and thank the Lord that He not only pulled my head out of my selfish butt, but He gave Josh a forgiving heart! The biggest reason I want to share my marriage story is to give people hope! I was at my wits end and was so done that I was ready to sign divorce papers and walk away. I want people to know that life is sooooo much better if you can just stick it out and WORK AT IT instead of giving up! My marriage is so much richer and more wonderful now then I ever could have imagined! The Lord will bless you for trying and for sticking it out! Life isn't always going to be rainbows and butterflies and your spouse is probably the one person on earth that can really push your buttons and get on your nerves but please know that divorce is never the answer (unless abuse is involved), marriages can be repaired!
Here are some things that helped me:
Jon Coursin's study on marriage
The Bible (of course)
Love & Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs
The movie Fireproof is great too!
A Woman After God's Own Heart by Elizabeth George
A Wife After God's Own Heart by Elizabeth George
Created To Be His Help Meet by Debi Pearl
The 5 Love Languages by Dr. Gary Chapman
Love Dare book
Those are just some to name a few! LOL I'm telling you, please, please, please don't give up on your marriage! You can never regret putting your all into saving your marriage!
To be continued...