May I offer a tangible piece of hope today instead of chocolate and flowers?
There’s no calories in this, but it might be the most rich piece of anything you get today.
And it applies to literally every relationship you are in, not just your marriage.
There’s a ton of talk right now online about the “Titus 2 Curse” being levied against women. For the record, YES, we cite that verse, but for us, it’s all about the “older women teaching the younger women how to love their husbands,” and modeling Christ to a new generation of women – to being more like Him, not better housekeepers. And yes, I recognize that like anything else in the bible, there are people who throw verses around to demean and control women (and men, for that matter). However, instead of glorifying lies, we deal with this the same way we deal with the enemy, acknowledging the existence of these things, but not paying a lot of attention to it, because as you’ve heard me say before, “Whatever we pay attention to grows.” God’s given me a mission on the practical side of things – starting with relationship with Him. You may have noticed that I don’t spend a ton of time getting wrapped up in man-made labels because I believe the whole bible is true. More on that here and here. I am not interested in growing dissension or giving voice for people to beat on Christians or malign the Word. I feel called to speak about what is true, and He asks me to call women to a higher standard – that of Christ’s.
Someone needs to acknowledge that the Christian life is submissive. It’s putting God’s will above our own.
A lot of people don’t like that.
But I digress.
Regarding the Titus 2 verses, as we talk about in The Respect Dare and in Daughters of Sarah, the word “love” expressed there is “phileo love” – FRIENDSHIP love. Honestly, I don’t understand all the hub-bub and conflict – I thought it was rather obvious in 1 Peter 3:1-7 that Peter leaves the details of who does what up to individual couples. And Sarah was a bold, brave woman, not someone consumed with washing dishes. NOWHERE in the bible are specific chores laid out or dictated as commands.
The part of the Titus 2 verse that has some riled up is the “busy at home” phrase – men are also told to not be lazy, so I guess I could take what Titus says personally, or I could know who I am in Christ and realize this verse is more about not being a lazy drunk and being a good influence, and that uber-spectacular verse about being friends with our husbands – it prevents divorce. So I’m going to focus on that, instead of getting my knickers in a knot about whose supposed to do the dishes. We, like the bible, leaves that up to individual couples to figure out, which IMHO is pretty smart.
On to what’s important… Here’s the skinny: research shows that the most important thing you can be with your spouse is his or her FRIEND. 70% of happily married couples say this is the most important part of their marriage.
If your marriage is an unhappy place, research also shows that happy couples have 5 positive interactions to each negative one.
What’s YOUR ratio?
Want to overhaul your marriage starting right now? CREATE positive interactions.
We spend a ton of time helping women do this in Daughters of Sarah, but here’s just a couple you can do today:
- Text “I’m so glad I married you!”
- Email, “I was thinking about your strengths today… my favorite is your ability to …”
- Do an act of service for your beloved – and let him/her know you did it by saying, “Hey, I was thinking of how much I love you today and so I (whatever you did) for you.”
- Put your arms around your beloved and say, “I am thankful we are together.”
- Spend TIME with your beloved today, doing anything you and s/he enjoy.
- Buy him or her a small thing that says, “I was thinking of you today.”
So your dare today, to START turning things around is to first CREATE positive interactions, 5/day-style for the quick-start version.
Do this for 3 months.
Because it takes a while to change habits and perceptions.
We’ll be sharing step 2 in upcoming blog posts – and be giving you tips on dealing with conflicts and differences of opinion in the meantime. Know also that he may not notice, and so you can’t wrap your identity up in his reactions. He’ll need your help moving on to step 2.
Want to REALLY be effective at this? Start doing The Respect Dare with us – it will unhook your perception of yourself from your husband’s behavior. Want to get a bigger bang for your buck with the 5 positives? Learn your beloved’s love language – and do things that speak to that. Here’s a great place to find out what it is.
And subscribe to the blog. Monday we start Dare #5 as we’re blogging our way through The Respect Dare.
And if you are a guy, here’s our list that you’ll find uber-helpful, just click on the below…
Hope you’ll subscribe to the blog over on the sidebar to the right and stick it out as we walk through The Respect Dare, remembering that perseverance grows mature faith. If you missed the three broadcasts a while back with Dennis Rainey and Bob Lepine of FamilyLife Today, you might listen to those here – they’re great as a foundation.
Monday, you can link up and we’ll pick some to share over the weekend. And Debbie will talk to parents of tweens and teens. Tuesday and Wednesday, we’ll talk about the same dare in different contexts with Leah and Debbie. You can also follow us on Facebook® where there’s tons of additional dialogue, daily tips, and other resources. Oh, and you can follow me on Twitter @NinaRoesner – there’s a button on the sidebar for that, too. And Pinterest, too.
At any rate, we’re interested in what you think, so please join us, share wildly (as a Titus 2 person of influence) and comment.
Love to you,