Tears clouded my eyes as I lay in bed staring at the ceiling.
I wondered if this was all there was to marriage. To life.
Nearly a decade into the relationship, I felt lost. Bitter. Resentful.
What I didn’t know was the ache in my soul that I desperately sought to fill with the guy I married was misplaced.
I had a busted heart. And I blamed my husband for breaking it. But I was the one who had the misconstrued perceptions and the world’s inaccurate perception of how things were supposed to go…
What I didn’t know at the time was that I yearned for a relationship with the Creator, that He had wired me to seek Him. But I didn’t know that, and so I sought fulfillment from humans.
And was met with disappointment, discouragement, and feelings of emptiness and failure.
I’m well on the other side of that now, but at the time, it nearly destroyed our marriage.
I want this for you, too, and today, I’m challenging you wives, to obey God. Tell Him you want fulfillment. You want to be caught, to be wooed….ask Him to help you SEE how He’s already pursuing you…
Joy awaits…will you try?
Ephesians 5:33b says, “And the wife shall respect her husband.” And men, yes, the first part of that verse is addressed to you. It says to LOVE your wives.
For both genders, the relationship you seek comes into reality when you will allow Him to be your Lord (Romans 10:9) and you do what He asks of you. So Respect. So Love. And keep doing it until you get it. And stop worrying if you are doing it “right” – BOTH the secular AND the Christian cultures will prescribe “correct” things to do, roles to play, ways to behave… just get to know God and you’ll see He’ll create His vision for you if you’ll let Him.
I speak primarily to wives, so ladies, here’s the list of “Don’ts” from yesterday’s Facebook list. I tossed this up on the community page for the Respect Dare:
Just 15 quick ways to show disrespect to your husband…
Ask questions that you really don’t want the answer to, but are just pointing out how stupid you think he is, like, “How could you possibly…??”
Purse lips and scowl as he contributes his thoughts.
Argue without acknowledging his idea.
Don’t ask questions about what he thinks.
Start all questions with “Why did you…?” because that’s a “challenge” word for men.
With-hold compliments instead of looking for opportunities to build him up.
Leave him with a list of things to accomplish when you go somewhere – then criticize him for not getting all of it done.
Correct him when he’s interacting with the kids – especially if it’s his first time doing something. That will stop him from feeling like you think he is a good parent, so he’ll stop trying.
Criticize him instead of praising him first when you have something constructive to let him know.
Expect him to read your mind like your sisters, girlfriends, and mother can.
Say really helpful things like, “If you don’t know, I’m not going to tell you.”
Answer for him when he’s asked a question.
Don’t pursue him. And make sure you say, “Not tonight.”
I also received the following to add to the list that are “positives” to do from others on the page:
- If he shares a challenge or shortcoming, do not offer an unsolicited solution.
- If he makes a mistake, allow that experience to be the only teacher. No “I told you so.”
- If you want to see your husband excel, show him respect especially in front of others. It’s a way of recharging his batteries.
So ladies, here’s today’s dare…
It’s not for the faint of heart…
Dare you to print these, and give them to your husband with an envelope. Tell him you are trying to grow as a wife and mom, and in your relationship with God. Tell him you are looking for specific things to ask God to help you with and you need his help. Ask him to just put a check by each one you do frequently, put the list back in the envelope and place it back on your dresser. Promise him you won’t talk to him about it later at all, but that you need the info by tomorrow morning. If you don’t have enough guts to do it with him, dare you to give the list to one of your kids, preferably your oldest, and have her/him make the check marks and put the list on your dresser.
If no one does this for you, triple-dog-dare you to send the following email to whoever you asked:
I noticed the list isn’t back yet. Can you let me know right now if I’m asking you to do something scary? I might be wrong about this, but I am wondering if you haven’t responded yet because you think I’m going to be angry if you do. I promise I won’t say anything to you about what you check off. I just want the information so I can pray about it.
And then, keep your word. NOT EVEN ONE WORD about the list. Take it to God. Ask Him to reveal to you when you are doing these things. Ask Him to help you stop. This stuff is beyond self-control (I should know – been there, done that) and is the work of the Holy Spirit.
Happy to be on the journey with you…