You want to feel loved in your marriage, right? Like more-than-anything-style, it’s the thing you want most, right? If you’re like most of the women we help, this is true for you, too. Yes, respect, but mostly love for us girls. And no, I’m not up for discussing the gender differences today. I AM going to take you on a bit of a journey to help you learn some KEYS to creating the loving marriage that you want. It will feel a bit like rabbit trailing (all over the place) but if you stick with me til the end, you’ll see where we’re going here.
And of course God gave me a timely example to share with you…
7am-ish the other morning, after I dropped my husband off at work on the other side of town, I was presented with a choice.
“Prepared” would be the LAST word I’d use to describe my heart when it happened. The moment snuck up on me as I drove in the dark, making my way through morning rush-hour traffic.
Maybe you’ve had a few of those? You know, those TEENY tiny split-second-not-even-sure-that-just-happened-then-its-over-so-fast-you-forget-style moments… and most of the time, we don’t even notice them at all because they happen so quickly.
They are the MOST IMPORTANT MOMENTS EVER.
And most of us (myself included) aren’t even aware they happen.
Over the last week, God’s been revealing to me MY “minutia moments” – and they leave me drowning in the awareness of the deep depravity of my spirit without Jesus Christ.
Dear God, save me from myself, before I inflict myself on others. More of you, less of me, more often, please.
So what happened? As I was merging onto I-75 North, I realized I needed to be in a different lane or I’d end up in God Only Knows Where. It terrifies me to drive in city traffic – I’m just a small town girl from the Northwest – traffic to me used to mean passing a hay baler on the two lane road from my house to work.
My heart pounds, I get short of breath, my shoulders tighten, and I am close to panic when I drive in traffic.
But we’re down a vehicle at the moment, and so I volunteered to drive my DH to work as driving the college student was more difficult, more traffic, and more often.
Stick with me, this all applies to marriage in just a moment…and it’s REALLY IMPORTANT.
So I drove. Heart racing, at 7am-ish, I prayed, “God, please – someone let me in…” And someone in a mini-van flashed lights and let me cut in front of them. I sighed with relief. (some of you now think I’m really pathetic – you’ve been driving in traffic all your life and you realize what a complete wuss I am… sorry, it’s just all true – even the wuss part)
As I sped along with the other drivers, a few miles down the road, I noticed someone trying to get over into my lane ahead of me. Blame it on not enough caffeine, the fact I’d been awake half the night, or just my sinful nature, I literally thought, “Someone else will let you in, I need to get home,” and I kept driving. Instead of paying it forward, I let my flesh rule the day.
And God reminded me of this:
So here’s the thing – I’m currently in a state of “conscious incompetence.”
There were two guys, one named, “Harry,” the other, “Joe,” and they were studying human behavior. Here’s a link to give you more info about it if you are interested. At any rate, they discovered that there are parts of us that we do and don’t know about. They labeled them into four quadrants:
- The OPEN – what’s known to us AND to others, like the color of your hair, whether you ride horses, 🙂 whether you have a dog, or even if you like mashed potatoes.
- The HIDDEN – what’s known to us but NOT to others, like where the secret chocolate is, how much cash is in your wallet, and whether or not you actually like mashed potatoes or are pretending to.
- The BLIND – what’s known to others but NOT to US, such as the rude way we pick our teeth after a meal, how we interrupt our spouse in the middle of a statement, or whether we’re uber-defensive.
- The UNKNOWN – what’s not known to others or to us, such as having a tumor growing in your body, how we ignore the Holy Spirit in the middle of a moment (see where I’m going with this?), or how we’ll react in a situation we’ve never been in before.
It looks like this:
But here’s the super-cool thing: Once something moves from the BLIND or the UNKNOWN to the OPEN or even the HIDDEN, in other words, once WE become aware of this thing we are doing – we are then CONSCIOUSLY INCOMPETENT. We are suddenly aware that we are lousy at something and have an opportunity to grow. This is awesome, because growth doesn’t occur without it. We know that we don’t know something. Think about driving the car for the first time – as an arrogant teen, you might have been like me and not known that driving wouldn’t come as naturally as say, breathing. You didn’t know that you’d have to THINK about where to put your hands, when to turn on the turn signal, when to check the mirrors, when to turn the wheel… that’s unconscious incompetence, or the BLIND – your dad knew you didn’t know. Then as you started learning, you realized you had some areas of opportunity – things you didn’t know. And as you moved from BLIND to OPEN, you had to THINK about what you were doing… and became consciously competent over time. And my guess is now, you are unconsciously competent – you mentally lose pieces of road as you drive because you can drive without thinking about it. That’s the goal.
Here’s how this plays out with The Respect Dare experience (and here’s a link if you want to read up on this) – and I’ll get into the nitty gritty of the crucial importance of the minutia moments in just a sec…
So here’s what’s going on with me…
I wasn’t aware of something I’m now calling, “Minutia Moments.”
Those teeny tiny moments where we have a split second to choose to follow the nudge of the Spirit, or our Flesh – that’s what I’m talking about – not the bigger moments where we deliberate with ourselves, but rather, “There’s an opportunity to do the right thing and VRrrooooom! the decision is made and it’s gone-style” moments.
Because THOSE are the moments that happen BEFORE we head into conflict – before we get emotional – BEFORE we’re so deeply entrenched in the discussion/argument that we suddenly have forgotten what we want (intimacy in our relationship, win/win, positive resolution, etc.) and just a few moments later, we find ourselves behaving in ways that Create Exactly The Opposite of What We Say We Want!
Here are the four things you need to know to feel loved in your marriage:
You seriously might want to subscribe. We’re going into completely new territory for the blog for a while – stuff you’ll love, things you may have never heard before, and it’s based on two things: 1) THE BIBLE (of course 🙂 ) and 2) RESEARCH. Not kidding. Really. Subscribe. I’m having my mind blown by the stuff I’m reading lately. I think it might be a little help to you, too. 🙂
For now, I’m daring you to do just two things this week:
1. BEG God to help you be humble and STOP doing the things that don’t work and make things worse in your marriage. Complaint and criticism need to GO. NOW, if you want to make anything better at all ever. And if you start doing it anyway, STOP yourself, say, “Hey, I don’t mean to do things this way – I’m saying stuff that is not good, can I start over?” then begin again! 🙂
2. LOOK for Minutia Moments – ask God to reveal them to you – and then just DO THE RIGHT THING. Obey the Spirit. Any good comes from Him, right? Our flesh often creates “fight or flight” or fails to create opportunities for His goodness and glory. More on that soon.
Got thoughts? Would love to hear them today! Dare you to join us in this journey – it’s a long one. If you’re toddler-wrangling you’ll want to check out Leah’s blog, and Debbie’s if you’re tween or teen-wrangling.
Love to you,