Every time you feel in God's creatures something pleasing and attractive, do not let your attention be arrested by them alone, but, passing them by, transfer your thought to God and say: "O my God, if Thy creations are so full of beauty, delight and joy, how infinitely more full of beauty, delight and joy art Thou Thyself, Creator of all!
- Nicodemus of the Holy Mountain

You can’t get to joy by making everything perfect. You can only get there by seeing in every imperfection all that’s joy.
-Ann Voscamp

Monday, September 22, 2008

Pride and the Downfall of a Marriage!

Hi Dear Ones,
I thought I'd attempt to share my heavy heart with all of you on a serious topic here. I'm just really shocked and dismayed at the marriage problems I've been encountering lately. The enemy is at work in a big way here. I would say I see the number one problem as pride. What is it that makes us feel the best way to go about this life is holding grudges, distrusting/mistrusting, and pridefully "protecting" our own interests? We're working against ourselves here! When God directs us to forgive, He's telling us this for our good.
When He tells us that we wives are to respect our husbands, he's telling us this for our good as well. As a wife, we each have a huge amount of control over the climate of our home. We can, through our attitudes and respect of our man, make our home a refuge and haven for him. It can be the place he runs to for peace and understanding, or ...
It can be the place he finds the most criticism, the most stress, and the least freedom.
Believe me, if you make it the place he feels comfortable and respected, he will be so grateful!! He will treat you like his Queen, because that's what you will be to him. Try it!! You'll see. Ask God how you can do this today. He will show you some little ways you can start with. Here are some ideas that have helped in my home.

- Leave little love notes in his pockets when you fold the laundry. This will only take a few minutes, but it will make him feel loved and special for a week or more. Tell him the things he does that you appreciate. Thank him for things he's done. Tell him he has nice _____ . Fill the blank with whatever features you love about him. Eyes, butt, lips, sexy voice, whatever you like!
- Get up with him and pack his lunch. This goes a LONG way with my man, as I don't usually do it. He knows I've gone through some extra effort out of love for him.
- Look at him with LOVE, instead of accusation, criticism, or exasperation.
- Sit next to him.
- Hold his hand.
- Invite him to take a walk with you.
- Make his favorite meal.
- Ask how his day was...and LISTEN to his reply.
- Meet him at the door when he gets home from work.
- Give him the good news first, then if it must be done, later you can tell him the washing machine is broken, your son broke the garage window with his base ball, or your brother ran over his golf clubs (or some days, it may be all three).
- Whatever needs communicating, make sure you're on his team. Use statements such as, "Could you help me figure out what to do about..." "Ive been having trouble with..."
- If you aren't looking for "constructive criticism" or someone to "fix it" call a girlfriend.
Your man is built for fixing. It will drive him crazy trying to figure out what it is you want if you start talking about all the minor irritations of the day. He's going to walk away with the idea that you're miserable and you think he should "do something" about it. But when he tries, you'll resent it and then he'll be just plain aggravated and confused, and it will chip away at his self worth, since he can't fix it. If you must complain to him, make sure he knows you're just blowing steam. Let him off the hook. Explain that you just need a listening ear, not a "Mr. Fix It".
- Take you frustrations to the Savior. He can (and is waiting to) meet all your needs. No man ever can or will.

If we can let Jesus soften our hearts, and without pride, in the interest of service, begin to do some of these things, it will make a difference. You'll see your man begin to begin to feel special. He will see you putting him first. He'll feel so loved, and begin to show that love to you in ways you never thought possible. It works. Try it and see! Let me know how it goes!
God's best to you in your marriage!

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