Marriage, Postmarital

Husbands Caring for the Soul of Their Wives through Love

I am sending this out early since I will be unavailable for a few days next week. 

Men, imagine this scenario:  You finally arrive in heaven and are now standing before God as He asks you, “When you were on earth, how did you care for my daughter, your wife?”  Further, He questions, “Did you love her as my Son loved His church, giving up His life to make her holy?”  You stammer out a,”Well, yes, but…”  All the while, thinking this is all sounding kind of familiar.  Ephesians 5:25 admonishes husbands to love their wives as Christ loved His church and gave Himself for her.  Further, the scripture reveals that Christ will present His church as a “radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish.”  In verse 28 we read, “In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies…He who loves his wife loves himself.”

Could, “in this same way,” actually mean that as Christ would present His bride, we would present our wife?  If we could take this literally or simply imagine this to someday be the case, then ask yourself the question, “What will I present?”  Clearing your throat, your lips begin to move without thinking too deeply and you stumble out with, “Ah here she is, Lord, I only became angry with her a couple dozen times, called her a few not-so-nice names, cursed a time or two, slammed a few doors, walked out on her on several occasions, refused to help much around the house and told jokes at her expense.”  God looks at you and queries, “Really, you just didn’t love yourself very much then did you?”  Your head sinks when from your spirit comes the words, “Each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself.”

Marriage, Postmarital, Premarital, Singles

Winning Him/Her Through a Deepening Love

Have you ever taken the time to watch two young people dance around one another, flirting, looking, waiting, watching, laughing and touching?  It’s kind of fun to observe and if you think hard enough you can remember those days in your progression of life.  In this decade, he is spending time at the gym buffing up, getting several cool tattoos, finding the latest jeans and attempting to keep up with the latest hair style.  She is doing a lot of the same while adding make-up, nail polish and hair highlights.  Both are desiring love; both wanting the other’s attention, neither completely sure of how to get it and what to expect.  Finding love is expensive, consumes your time and thoughts and most often does not work out (which wastes more time).  Today there are numerous on-line dating tools to help, but to many that’s a little like trying to win the million dollar lottery.

Men love the pursuit and women love being the catch.  But isn’t love deeper than a flirtatious dance and the change of outward appearances?  Once they are engaged or say “I do” and he stops the pursuit, while at the same time she realizes she’s been caught, then what?  Then, life – maturing life.  Love is laying your life down for this person, sacrificing your own needs.  It is not, “Check marriage off my list and now on with my career.”  Keeping this woman has nothing to do with tattoos, bigger muscles or cool beards and keeping this man will not relate to the latest shoes and purse combination.  Those things become rather shallow when real life decisions and bills come due.  She needs you to continue to chase her with a deepening love and an emotional presence.  He needs you to continue to respect and affirm him as the provider, the protector and the lover.  In the coming weeks, we will talk about this love factor that is needed in a growing and maturing marriage.  Meanwhile, read Ephesians 5: 15-33.

Encouragement, Marriage, Postmarital

Ladies, Don’t Tear Him Down, Affirm Him

It had been a particularly challenging week for me and it was a Friday morning when this text vibrated its way into my pocket, “Thanks for being such a focused and hardworking man…not a lazy bone in you…that is one thing I love about you.”  For the remainder of the day, my step was lighter and a revised sense of conquering all of life’s problems returned.  Those words cut directly to and deeply touched my manhood.  Seeing these words written by the most important person on earth to me renewed confidence in our relationship because the woman I love believes in me.  Words of affirmation empower me and all other men to also believe in themselves.

Where does your life mate seek affirmation, because he will seek it from somewhere?  Is he good at sports, the computer, hunting, carpentry or cooking?  How he feels about these things is directly tied into the affirmation he receives.  If you as his wife are not affirming him, then he will find the places where he does receive it, even if it means spending extra time at work.  Men love to hear “good job” and “well done.”  They love the words, “No one does it like you,” (no matter what it is).  But, when his wife affirms him for the room he just renovated in front of his children, his parents or his friends – that’s over the top for him.  Ladies, don’t send your men looking elsewhere for affirmation.  Begin by making a list of the areas that you can affirm him in and start a positive habit today with a text message of affirmation.  I guarantee you, you’ll make his day and he will not erase that message.

Encouragement, Marriage, Postmarital

Ladies, Are You Respecting Your Man?

Did you know that your man is “hardwired” by God with the need to receive respect from his life mate?  There is mention of it in the Scripture, but check out the following:  Shaunti Feldhahn wrote the book, For Women Only, and relates the fact that men would rather feel unloved than disrespected.  In a survey she quotes, 74% of men would rather, “…be alone and unloved than feel inadequate and be disrespected.”  So, it goes something like this: if a man feels disrespected, he is most likely going to also feel unloved.  Men long for a father’s respect and seek the respect of their children, along with their employer, but the need for respect from their wife trumps them all.  Ladies, have you ever noticed how numerous persons can compliment your man, but then he turns to you and asks how you feel he did?  He needs your affirming words of respect as his icing on top of the cake and values it far more than any other opinion.

What’s the hesitation?  I’ve heard many women say something like this, “When he does something worthy of respect, I will give it to him.”  Even though he is created in the image of God, loved by God and already approved of by Him, you feel he must earn it from you?  If you could forget about the disappointments you have felt and the offenses that have come your way through him, could you take a step of faith and find ways to express respect?  The two of you are one and as you show respect (deserved or not), you will reap the benefits.  It may not be immediate and you may receive a quizzical look or two, but the male soul will respond.  You have a choice to be your husband’s critic or his greatest fan.  (See: Ephesians 5:33; I Timothy 3:4; I Peter 2:17 in the NLT Bible.)

Encouragement, Marriage

Acceptance and Marriage Failure II

“Christ is more of an artist than the artists.  He works in the living spirit and the living flesh; he makes men instead of statues,” said Vincent van Gogh.  Author and pastor, Mark Batterson, in his book Soul Print, expresses how we are each unique and an original of the imagination of The Artist.  He writes, “You took shape in the imagination of the Almighty before you took shape in your mother’s womb…you are His masterpiece; you are His painting; you are His novel and you are His sculpture.”  An amazing thought to meditate upon.  If we can receive this truth in our spirit, then we can also believe in our minds and follow through with our actions the acceptance of the Hand of God in our creation.

There is a sense of destiny carried with this thought; a sense of knowing that you are where you belong within yourself, your marriage, your family, your job, your ministry, etc.  “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”  (Ephesians 2:10)  You are so loved and so accepted that “God prepared in advance for [you] us…”   This revelation of His approval and His acceptance can lay to rest one’s quest for these through human effort.  You already have what you are longing for and you didn’t even need to earn it.