Married? Miss THIS and you miss a LOT…
Maybe you’ve got this little secret-to-helping-your-marriage gem down solid-style, but if you don’t, if you miss this, you miss a LOT.
Kids running through the house, chasing each other, squealing like pigs.
Dog barking. Phone ringing. Pot boiling.
And he’ll be home in an hour.
To this chaos.
The messy Now you are in.
“Strength and dignity woman” (Wonder Woman-style) emerges to rescue “Crazy Mom.”
She doesn’t scream or yell at her young kids, because she wants them to listen to her without teaching them the only time to do that is when mom yells.
She steps in front of the racing little people, squats down to where they are (joining their Now), grabs one.
She falls over, giggling with them.
“I have a snack for you, but you have to super-stealth-style clean up all the toys on the floor. You have to do this without the bad guys hearing you – and you only have 14 minutes before the bomb goes off! Ready… super stealth quiet guys… go! 🙂 ”
Mother of boys, she’s got them inspired.
They lead the pack of 4 kids, two girls whispering excitedly behind the boys, gathering toys, putting away the pony castle with a sense of urgency.
“Good job!” she whispers as she sets the timer in the kitchen and finishes assembling the snack.
Oops. The pot on the stove.
Knowing one day she’ll miss this Now she’s in, she chooses to see the blessing in the midst of the moment. She learns about happiness. And joy.
Floor picked up, kids in the family room doing “book time” and loving it (because mom and dad resisted “easy” and “quick” by with-holding the screens), she finishes dinner.
His car hits the driveway an hour later, the snacked kids no longer “hangry,” the dogs start to bark with glee and she commands them, “Bed!” and they go lie down. Her husband walks in, the kids rally around him, shouting, “Daddy! Daddy!”
She smiles at him, steps out of the kitchen, wraps her arms around his neck and kisses him.
“I’m so glad you’re back!” she says, smiling again. “All done!” she tells the dogs.
Kids out of the way, the golden retrievers do their version of the “happy dance.”
Husband smiles. Kisses and hugs her back.
He sits down at the couch, takes off his shoes and socks. One of the dogs buries her nose in a sock, looking lovingly at him.
She knows he needs a few minutes of quiet, so she calls the kids to the kitchen and distributes the chores for setting the table.
They get busy.
The timer goes.
Dinner is ready. On the table.
“Come and eat, baby. How was your day?” she asks.
And so it goes…
small things = big things
when done consistently over time.
In the decade + years we’ve been ministering to wives, we come into contact with many husbands. I’ve personally asked more than a few how much the “greeting at the end of the day” matters. Regardless of who is walking in the door, literally 100% of the men say it matters.
Most of them give me this LOOK and say something like, “Oh. Yeah, that matters. A lot.”
One pastor gave me the LOOK, and said, “It’s a HUGE deal – for most men. Like it counts for about 20% of how a man feels about his wife and his marriage.”
When I was little, we used to cheer when my dad would come home from work – he liked everyone riled up, including the dogs. I’ve heard a bazillion variations on the theme, but it usually boils down to just a few similar things:
- Enthusiastically & intentionally notice him upon at the end of the day (whatever that looks like to him)
- Have things “under control” as much as possibly by planning ahead
- Give him a few moments to mentally shift gears and be in the Now with family
- Don’t dump a laundry list of complaints on him (or the kids! LOL) but be part of the peaceful environment
- Know it matters to him
What about you? What do you do? What does your husband like? Did you grow up with that? If you’re the one coming home, what do you do to connect?
Can’t wait to hear from you today! 🙂
Love to you,
PS… I haven’t forgotten – if you want my response to the “submission = obey” post from last week, check the comments section on the post. 🙂 MANY thank you’s to the wise and well thought-out responses from you! 🙂
If you are interested, here’s a few of my favorites on the whole “submission” topic:
The secret of submission (my favorite)
We’ll have more of the new dare journey this week, too. 🙂
If you’ve received this via email from a friend who cares about you and your marriage, know you can sign up on the sidebar. You’ll get a copy of the ebook, “101 Ways to Respect Your Husband” and tips for marriage from our Daughters of Sarah course.
Want more? Do the Respect Dare experience with an online group in the eCourse. 🙂
If you’re the one coming home, what do you do to connect? . . . . . .My husband is almost always already at home from his job, but I am usually coming home from the airport. Before I get in that taxi, after getting my bags, I find a peaceful place in the airport (—no matter how far I have to walk) to pray and read my notes (—I keep a running note list of marriage reminders specific to my situation.) These are items I am working on and things I am experimenting with. . . .ha, ha, ha. . . . —Why not experiment on him? . . .ha, ha, ha. —Anyway, I get my heart in the right place (counting all my blessings, etc.) and when I get home, he has basically done the same. . . .So, before we do anything else (except pray) we talk (—just talk) for about 25 min. —I could, obviously, talk for hours but I have learned the hard way (. . . ha, ha, ha, ha) that does not work well. . . . ha, ha, ha, ha. . . oh my. He keeps notes during his days on the stuff he knows I am interested in and he does a good job with content (—that was NOT always the case and it used to be maddening but he is now dialed-in and so am I.) —My biggest challenge is listening when I am just bursting with stuff to say. —Oh, how I so need to listen more, talk less and ask more questions. . . . Anyway, none of this happens without serious structuring, planning and prayer. The easiest thing in the world is to be over-committed and under-connected, just drifting.
Love what you have to say, Rebecca. Oh my, those are lessons I am still working on… but we are ALL works in progress! I think the best thing to do when we are the ones coming home is to not have any expectation of our husbands… as soon as we think “He’ll have dinner made,” or “He will greet me by giving me a great big hug and telling me how much he missed me,” etc we lead ourselves into potentially disappointment. If we approach our time coming home as how we can control ourselves, and greet him with how HE would like to be greeted (some time to figure that out perhaps!), we are in a better, more God honoring position. Greeting him and sharing the positives of the day is most critical. I like to think about Phil 4:8 – and may that ring in our homes first. Then we can share the tough stuff about the day – but if we start off with all of the negative, it may shut our husbands down. Traveling is draining – I’ve done that too – and getting home from the airport, unpacking, etc. is challenging… I would greet him and depending on how he is, take off the work clothes and put on comfy clothes quickly, and then worry about unpacking later. Quality time is key, especially as we have been gone and we both want to connect as a couple. Ah – leading our lives with patience, grace, humility, and joy – it can be a challenge, but in the midst of the craziness, find the still, quiet place to retreat to each day. Your soul depends on it. God will fill us up so we can then be the wives God calls us to be. It all goes back to how we are tending our relationship with the Lord first and foremost. LOVE your realization of over-committed and under-connected in our society – isn’t that the truth! Hugs, Sister!
You say: “It all goes back to how we are tending our relationship with the Lord first and foremost.” —Exactly! —Exactly!! —Exactly!!! I never have had any expectations —and I mean zero(0)— like “He’ll have dinner made,” or “He will greet me by giving me a great big hug and tell me how much he missed me,” —absolutely not. No way. I have always put first things, first: I just want him to have been cleaning and guarding his heart (like all of us should be) and walking with Christ in prayer and Bible study —and I want him to be able to articulate content related to that. —That is all. I never cared if dinner, the lawn, the laundry had been done, etc. I have always just focused on that one thing and amazingly it has ensured all the rest. Your mileage may vary, but for me, when I focused just on that, all the rest of it auto-corrected! I so trust what Jesus said “. . . .seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness….” It would take me about a year of blog posts to begin to describe and explore the mystery and depth of just those words.
Phil 4:8 is GREAT and I do need to add that to my biggest challenges list: listen more, talk less, ask more questions and when I do talk be more positive. I hate to say this but constant air travel is just so frustrating. I need to not bring as much of those travel negatives home. To know Christ and to have ANY part (—no matter how small) in His kingdom is just overwhelming.
Christ’s love to you Robin. I’m praying for you.
I think when we suggest that the husband who gets home first, cannot greet his wife with a hug and love, we are missing the whole point of marriage.
I thought that is what all husbands did for their wives. I also think there are some husbands who bring a lot of chatter into the room. Some men can get rather loud. Our best friend runs his mouth and laughs continually. His wife is quiet and is slow to speak out.
I think it’s good for the husband to show his wife admiration too, especially when they both are sinners.
I don’t disagree. I added “kisses and hugs her back” to make something I assumed more clear. Thanks for your thoughts!
Love to you,
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