Marriage · Refreshment in marriage · Wife's Role

Conversational Respect in Marriage

A young man who had recently lost his father was asked by a friend,

“What were your father’s last words before he died?

“My father didn’t have any last words,” the son replied. “Mother was with him right up ’til the end!”

We laugh at a cute little story like that, but the sad truth is, that scenario is lived out in many, many marriages.

I remember once when we were on vacation, a woman and her husband were seated near me as I read at the poolside.  The husband’s phone rang, and based on his (loud) conversation, he was talking to one of their adult children.  The entire time this man was on the phone, his wife was telling him something he needed to say to their child.  It was almost hilarious.  The poor guy could hardly express his own thoughts into words because his wife was feeding him lines the whole time he was on the phone.  I’m guilty of doing that on a bit of a smaller scale, but it’s still wrong.

Why is it wrong to talk over our husband, or talk for him?  I believe it’s the respect issue that comes into play.

How is respect shown when we remind him what to say, correct what he just said, or talk for him when he’s being talked to? The truth is, we are showing disrespect instead!

Respect is seen when we:

  • Give our husband a place of honor.  In conversation, that place is to be still while he’s talking.  We shouldn’t correct, interrupt, or answer for him.  He is not our son – he is our husband.
  • Wait for him to answer – even if it seems like he’s NEVER going to come up with what he’s wanting to say.  Many times he doesn’t speak because we are impatient and jump in too quickly.  I’ve watched a man literally forming the words and begin to answer, but never be able to say his thoughts because the wife couldn’t wait that long!
  • Wait for him to finish talking with the other person before we share our thoughts or question.  If he’s talking to someone else, we wait, then perhaps motion that we would like to add a thought or question, then wait for him to let us know when he’s able to listen.
  • Think long and hard about the need to correct him – even later.  Unless it’s a serious faux pas that he needs to go back and make right, does it really matter that he said it was three years ago when he built the barn out back, but you know it was four years ago?!  Ask if it’s something you can just let go of, and if it is, then do it!
  • Learn to listen.  Be quiet and listen.  Nod.  Smile.  If he’s telling his infamous joke again,  let him have his moment of glory and don’t spoil it by exclaiming your disgust or disapproval.

Many husbands that don’t talk in marriage learned not to bother after years of disrespect from their wife.  Show your husband honor in conversation and let him have the last words!

Marriage · Refreshment in marriage

Three Things You Can Do Today To Improve You Marriage

improve Your Marriage

Like any relationship, marriage can get into a rut.  It sounds the same as when you hit those rumble strips on the interstate.  It’s irritating, and it makes you move over, but often it’s not long before you hear that roar again.  Why?  Because you’re kind of daydreaming your way through your marriage.

It’s easy to “fall asleep at the wheel” and not make the efforts in your relationship that you used to make when things were new and fresh.  But I have good news for you today!  If you’re still breathing and your husband also has breath, things can change TODAY!  Let me make three simple suggestions – all that are doable today and cost nothing except your intentionality!

  1. SMILE DAILY (use your lips and your eyes to smile!)
    When he walks in the door.  Smile.
    While you’re listening to him.  Smile.
    When you’re telling him about your day.  Smile.
    When you see him across the room.  Smile.
    It’s easier to be too busy to even look up at one another.  It’s easier to furrow our brows and scowl.  SMILE instead.
    A merry heart doeth good like a medicine.  Proverbs 17:22
  2. MAKE MORE DEPOSITS INTO YOUR MARRIAGE THAN WITHDRAWALS EACH DAY
    Deposit a compliment instead of criticism.  Instead of fussing about the negative thing you’re thinking about, give a compliment of something in which he made you proud.
    Deposit help instead of looking to receive help. I believe husbands should help their wife, but what would happen if we volunteered to run an errand, lift a load, or do a chore for him?  Would we look like Christ in our sacrifice?
    Deposit affection instead of pulling away physically and emotionally.  Put away that cold shoulder, little peck, or icy back.  Pull the wall down with the warmth of your affection.  
    Romans 12:10  Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another.
  3. PRAY FOR YOUR HUSBAND FOR AT LEAST FIVE MINUTES EVERY DAY.
    Pray about the things that irritate you.
    Pray about the weaknesses in your relationship.
    Pray for his burdens, pressures and obligations.
    Pray for your hearts to be knit together stronger than ever.
    Luke 18:1 – Men (women) aught always to pray and not to faint.

Dear wife, I’m convinced that if we would practice these three initiatives DAILY we would have happy husbands, which would equal happy wives, and that boils down to a happy marriage!  Try it and tell me about your results!

Refresh your marriage TODAY!

Marriage · Refreshment in marriage

Making a Marriage Last, Part 2

Last week I shared some of the many ways my husband demonstrates his love to me. Not only is it a great blessing to me, it’s also a nudge to me to keep my own demonstrations active each day we’re married. I promised I would share at least five more ways he demonstrates his love towards me – gestures that make a marriage strong and lasting. So, let’s go!

Yep, these roses were a recent gift from my sweet husband.
  1. He protects me. Last week while I was taking my morning walk, I called him, alarmed at a car driving slowly up and down my country lane. Minutes later he sent me a text, “You okay?” When I didn’t answer within 30 seconds, he called me to ask the same question. He doesn’t smother me, but he lovingly protects me with gestures that remind me I’m not alone in life.
  2. He reminds me that he wants to spend time with me. Recently we realized that our mornings were getting consumed without us getting to spend time together first thing in the day. He asked if we could rearrange our morning routines so we could have that time together before the day got too busy. Wow, that spoke volumes to my heart. After 39 years, he still wants to spend quality time together!
  3. He still enjoys just having fun together. We play games, sing love songs in the car, ride bikes, go on picnics, hold hands while walking, share our meals together at the table, talk and share our hearts, enjoy a sappy movie, and laugh lots.
  4. He is such a servant leader. He constantly takes a back seat to his own needs so he can serve me. No matter how I refuse or want him to put himself and his own needs first, he always serves me first. He seats me at the table, opens the car door for me, brings me my morning coffee, carries anything I have in my hands, makes sure I have breakfast, the best seat, or whatever the pressing need is at the moment.
  5. He points me to our Heavenly Father. This is truly the greatest way to keep a marriage strong. Without the Lord, any marriage is weak because we’re depending on our own flesh. So every day Dale guides me spiritually. He shares what he is reading, what he’s praying for me and others, and he lives out personally what he talks about. He has shown me so much about how to live the Christian life with boldness and joy. He has helped me grow towards Christ in incredible ways.

Not only am I thankful for my husband’s loving demonstrations, I’m rebuked by them. I often say, “I don’t do nearly as much for you as you do for me.” Trying to out-do your spouse in loving gestures is a good thing and a good way to make your marriage last!

What could you do this weekend as a simple reminder to your spouse of your love for him?

Marriage · Refreshment in marriage

Making a Marriage Last

These posts are 99% written with women in mind. I want to encourage the hearts of women. HOWEVER, today’s post is not just a time to be grateful for my husband or just to help women, I also hope to encourage men in their role as the helpmeet to their wife. So perhaps you could send this post on to your brother or other men in your world. I trust this will strengthen marriages!

I loved my husband dearly when we got married 39 years ago, but every day he makes me fall in love with him over and over! He is not perfect, and we have our times, like every couple, but he is such a blessing to me every single day. There have been times I’ve kiddingly asked,

Am I dying? Why do you treat me so well?!

I totally do not deserve it, but I am very aware of God’s blessing and grace in my life in the form of my dear husband, Dale. It’s all the little things that make a marriage last the long haul. It’s the daily investments that make it stronger and give one another security in the relationship.

This week I’ve been “following him around” and snapping mental pictures of the many ways he is a blessing to me, of the ways he invests in me and our marriage. He had no idea I was doing this, and this is not our anniversary or my birthday. The things I’m going to share with you are normal for him. This is how I “caught him” pouring into my life…

Love is…
  1. Sentimentality – He leaves “Love is” cartoons for me all over the place. For years he has been cutting them out of the paper and putting them in my purse, my suitcase, on the mirror, the fridge – everywhere. They are always so sweet and speak into our marriage so perfectly.

2. Help with the housework – This is our home, our laundry, our messes and he so graciously and willingly offers help with some of the chores. I usually always start a load of laundry each morning, but if he sees that it has stopped, he will put it in the dryer or fold it if it’s finished. He also vacuums most of the time, which is a huge blessing. It really does make me feel like this is a dual-occupancy, rather than just me keeping all the wheels going.

3. Spiritual leadership – I’m so grateful for the times we spend in the Word together. He has been intentional about reading from God’s Word and a devotional book together, usually in the morning (it’s hard to make it happen later in the busy day!). He also prays with me each night before we go to sleep. Many times he has taken me by the hand to pray with me about a burden or pressing need in my life. What a blessing this part of our relationship is!

Washing Dishes

4. Help in the kitchen – He always cleans up the kitchen after every meal. He appreciates my efforts to cook, and this is how he expresses his gratitude.

5. Help with decisions – I’m the world’s best with coming up with “great ideas!” He’s so good about getting excited with me about a plan I have to rearrange furniture or re-do a room. This week he visited a furniture store with me as I was looking for a new sofa for our family room (more about that in another post). He was patient. He helped me think through what would be best in that room. So many times, he just helps me think. I may be trying to decide what to do in my already busy day, or how I can minister in a certain way, and he will very easily come up with a 1,2,3 answer. I tease him that it’s always a three point answer, given his calling as a pastor! But his input is always so helpful. Also, he’s okay if I decide to make another choice. That takes humility.

I have at least five more reasons he gives me to love him more every day, but you’ll have to come back next Friday to read those!

What does your husband do that is investing in your marriage? I hope you tell him often how grateful you are!

If your husband needs help with these areas, pray. Also, ask God to help YOU pour into his life and your marriage and watch what happens!

Refresh your marriage with what you can contribute to your marriage today.

Comfort · Encouragement · Home school

What To Do When You Feel Like You’ve Blown It

Recently on Facebook I read ~

I‘m not gonna lie and say that working a full time job from home and doing full time virtual kindergarten is easy. It’s not been a rose colored glasses world for us. In fact, it’s been hard on ALL of us. And at least 2 of us have shed tears more than once in the last 2.5 weeks (and I’m sure there are more to come). I have felt like a failure as a wife, mom, daughter, teacher, friend, and coworker.#ButGod

Then was this response:

I cried just reading this I think all of us dealing with this feel the same way. Everyday brings it’s own challenges. These last couple of weeks it seems like there’s no give in the stress of trying to maintain some kind if balance. I completely understand where you’re at right now.

Wow! Have we not all been in this place before…multiple times?! I sure have!

Whether it’s homeschooling, marriage, parenting a toddler or a teenager, starting a new job or trying to live the Christian life, Satan wants us to be defeated and he get us there by feeding us his lies:

  • You’ve blown it!
  • No one has done as poor a job in your position as you have!
  • You might as well give up, cave in or quit!
  • You are worthless.

As a wife, mom, leader, homemaker, daughter, friend and home school teacher I have believed every lie listed above. Let me share one memory that stands out vividly in my memory.

It was the first ladies’ retreat where I was invited to come and be the speaker. I had prayed, prepared and perspired over my preparation. I was excited to go and share the Truths God had taught me and I had spent hours and hours studying and praying over each session. Finally the weekend of the retreat came and I flew to Indiana to speak to a precious group of women. God gave me joy in my obedience, and I loved the opportunity that was before me.

Then after the first session, I went back to my hotel room for the night and the attack from Satan came so heavy it brings tears to my mind even now to recall the feeling of defeat that it caused. I stood with my head against the wall and I listened to his lies and I believed every one of them. I swallowed each one like a starving woman on a deserted island. I felt so discouraged and defeated that I wasn’t sure I could go and finish the other two sessions the next day.

It was then that I dropped to my knees, crying out for God’s forgiveness if I had failed Him. Any area of pride was confessed and the understanding of my need for Him overwhelmed me. The Spirit of God then comforted my heart with TRUTH.

My Word will never return void.

I will not suffer your soul to famish. I will give you exactly what you need tomorrow.

Your work will never be perfect. All I ask is faithfulness.

I will do the through you.

I got up, washed my face and went to bed and slept peacefully. The next morning, I took those truths with me as I humbly and gratefully stood before that group of women to again share God’s Word with them.

I have no idea if anyone was helped by that weekend, but the Lord taught me precious lessons that I’ve had to return to over and over again.

  1. Each day I must surrender myself and obey what He tells me to do. I cannot conquer the world, but I can do what He calls me to do. Philippians 4:13
  2. God will fill me with His Spirit and give me exactly what I need at each moment as I walk with Him. Proverbs 10:3
  3. I won’t do anything perfectly, but I am to be faithful and obedient. Proverbs 20:6, Proverbs 28:20, I Samuel 15:20
  4. God can take my feeble words and actions and accomplish great things because He is God. I Corinthians 1:27

Does the place you’re called to labor
Seem too small and little known?
It is great if God is in it,
And He’ll not forget His own.

Little is much when God is in it!
Labor not for wealth or fame.
There’s a crown-and you can win it,
If you go in Jesus’ Name.

Friend, if you’re feeling like you’ve blown it, or that you’re inadequate for the task before, you, talk to the Lord. Admit your inadequacies to Him. You CAN”T do anything without the His help, but HE promises to strengthen you and help you if you will call to Him to do so. Then what is accomplished is all for His glory and none of our own.

You didn’t blow it – you just fell for the enemy’s lies! Start believing the truth instead. Now you can wipe your tears and go in God’s strength to do what He has called you to do.

Click here for more “mom” encouragement! If you could use some “back to school” ideas you can go here, and if you are struggling with the empty nest I’d encourage you to read this post.

Refresh your heart with the Truth,