In July we have been married for 23 years. I consider that to be awesome! There have definitely been plenty ups and downs but I would like to jot down 2 things that I have learnt over the years. I may have learnt them but I don't always practice them, so this is a reminder to 'self' and if this in any way shape or form, encourages you, well that is just awesome too!
What have I learnt:
One of my best investments in my marriage has been the book, Fascinating Womanhood, by Helen Andelin. I have bought so many of them over the years for friends and family because the principles in it are sound. Its not a 'Christian' book but its written by a 'Christian' woman and her foundation is biblical. I'm just going to mention two of the guidelines in it that have helped me.
- Helen Andelin says to see our husbands as a coin. It has 2 sides. One side has listed all the good things about your husband, ie: he's handsome, great smile, broad shoulders, generous, loves the Lord, great dad, etc. and on the other side of the coin, his bad points. (best not to list those, right?!). We should focus only on the good side of the coin. Esteem him for those characteristics, bring those good things to the fore. Whenever the 'dark' side of the coin becomes obvious, turn it over in your mind and think on the good side of the coin, a sort of positive re-inforcement if you will. It will definitely help you look at your husband differently. I know when I am hassled or upset I will naturally go to the negative, dark side of the coin and then that is what comes to the fore.
- The other point I'd like to make is that we women give our men what 'we' want and not what they 'need'. We give them 'love' because that is what we want/need. We should be esteeming them and they in return give us the 'love' we need. For example, if you esteem your husband in his ability to be a good bread-winner (remember, he is the bread-winner, God is the provider). And you tell him how much you appreciate it and all his sacrifices, you esteem him and in his being validated, he will turn round and shower you with love. (in the perfect world, the way you want to be showered - but you get my point?). I used to think if I constantly tell him how wonderful he is he'll get a big head and there will be no stopping him from bragging etc. But just the opposite is true. The more you 'genuinely' esteem him and show your appreciation, the less will be his need to find validation elsewhere or blow his own trumpet so to speak.
Eph 5 v 33: Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love is own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects (esteems) her husband.
I look forward to hearing from you.