Marriage is for Keeps
Delight thyself also in the LORD:
and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.
Have you ever watched an elderly couple who demonstrated true intimacy towards each other? There is a depth of love and delight for one another that they developed through the years. It didn't come over night. If you have ever known a couple like this; wouldn't you like to hear them tell you their 'love story' through the years?
This couple shares secrets with each other, they smile into each other's eyes, they talk intimately with each other, they gently touch one another, and you know they have a story that survived the ups and downs of life. This is NOT the story of most marriages today. Marriages give up. Husbands and wives do not take delight in one another. Chances are, although you have a wonderful marriage; you could learn to delight with your husband like you did when you were first married.
Taking delight in your husband is one of the most important things to learn in showing him admiration. Admiration towards our husbands would make a great post!! I know I fall into patterns and wonder if I 'really, really delight' in my husband. It doesn't just happen (maybe in your case it does); it is a conscious decision. It is a choice. It is a decision of the heart.
I don't know about you, but I can be out-of-balance when it comes to emotions. Especially during the years of PMS when I could find myself in an emotional quagmire!! Hmmm, maybe I shouldn't have said that...I should backspace and paint a 'pretty picture' for you sweet ladies loving my blog (y'all leave such sweet comments) but I wouldn't be real with you. Emotions can lead you and I wish I knew what I know now.
When 'things' went wrong, I used to have no wisdom and think that "I was the only one" and feel all alone. Since I have realized that I am not alone, it has been easier to pick myself up (in Christ alone) and turn from my selfish pity and love my husband (or children) regardless of what I 'think' is happening. I say 'think' because I have learned to know that too often there is an awfully big element of my wrong-doing in each situation. Especially when I think my husband is not being considerate of me...I am really selfishly wishing the best for myself. Thinking of his best will lift me out of self and into action-seeking intentions that improve even the worst of times.
If I followed my emotional heart I would sure be in trouble!! My emotions want to take the driver's seat but they would have me all over the road!! Like a lady texting as she drove (in front of us) last week, she swerved into on-coming traffic, barely missing a car before she realized and corrected her course. When I let my emotions do the driving, I am much like that lady, as I crash into the disaster ahead.
Instead of following my heart, I put my emotions in the back-seat, not allowing my feelings behind the wheel so those in 'my car' have a much safer ride. There are times when I just don't feel like loving but if love is the driver instead of my emotional feelings, that choice will make delighting in my husband an action that steers me in the right direction.
The thing with being married for awhile (or longer) is that we eventually get caught into the routines of life, our work in our homes, our children, and we are exhausted by the time the day is over. We have no energy for our husband who means more than anyone in the world. The other thing is; that things just don't have to be like that. I can make a conscious effort to change that and bring delight back into my marriage. You can too!!
After being married awhile there are sneaky little things that creep into our lives that irritate us about our husbands. It is NOT ours to change our husbands as that is not the point of this blog. I have found too much "I" need to change to focus too long on my husband's need of change. Besides, he reads my blog :-)
Some of those sneaky things that irritate are not important in the long-run although they have a way of irritating in the here-and-now. For instance: I squeeze the toothpaste in the middle (always have) while my husband likes it rolled up. He has been trying for years to change me into a tube-roller; but thankfully they improved the materials that the tubes are made out of and the tube doesn't stay rolled too well. This is a non-issue in the long-run; placing issues in light-of-eternity will put them in perspective.
If you remember the way you delighted in your husband when you were first married; you will remember the sweet things he did for you and the sweet things you did for him. The longer you continued doing these kind actions; the longer you were able to keep delight active in your marriage. If delight is totally or partially missing; it is possible to renew and strengthen delight as it is a decision, a choice you make.
Do you want to start delighting in your husband? I do! It has only been just over a year since I past through some very, very stressful years. Having stress for whatever reason is a strain on your marriage. Stress for any reason produces stress on marriage. Thankfully, the Bible says that "He will restore the years that the locust has stollen" and I am seeing the truth in that verse!!
I don't know what struggles are going through. Some of you ladies have shared how much my posts have encouraged you. It is because of what I have experienced in life, learned through the school of hard knocks, but not because I have in any way 'arrived.' It is because of the Lord Jesus Christ alone working in me. If there is anything I can share with you, it is that HE CAN WORK in you also!!
I thought to conclude today's post, I would share some random ideas I have been putting into practice during the past couple years as I actively choose to work on my marriage, doing my part whether 'he' does or not (he does :-)
Dynamite Delight in your husband:
- Read 1 Peter 3:1-6 often
- Read Ephesians 5:22-24 withOUT concentrating on the verses for your man (you know, all the things you WISH he would do for you.) Instead, make sure you are doing your part and in time your marriage will start to be rekindled until you are like that older couple I shared about at the beginning of this post.
- Periodically read Song of Solomon. What a wonderful book on marriage!! When I change the sheets on my bed I think of the sweet fragrances that the SOS wife put on her bed!! Make your bed every day and unclutter your bedroom as it is the most romantic room of your home. Over the years, when I have repainted our room, I have asked my husband what color he wanted. The poor guy was happy with pink for years. Now, feeling sorry for him (<wink>) it is blue, but has just as feminine touch as ever. He loves it.
- I think of my husband when I choose clothes. Sounds funny?! I guess so!! He doesn't especially notice what I am wearing, but what I wear leaves a general impression. If I dress frumpily or sloppily it will leave an impression of care-less-ness. It talks in the Bible of a husband being thought well of in the gates. The gate was where an important man sat to give counsel to others. I want to look like the wife of an important man. I want my husband to be proud of me and not embarrassed because I show up at his work-place wearing spandex-stretch pants with a sloppy T-shirt!!
- If your husband doesn't often shop for his own clothes, surprise him by buying him a shirt, or a new pair of pants. We tend to think of ourselves when choosing clothes, think of the other person too!! A elderly couple at church ALWAYS matches. Now, you know that her husband doesn't set their clothes out. She has to think of him when she shops and when she chooses her clothes. Since I grew up wearing uniforms to school, matching hasn't been 'my thing.' Maybe I should try it sometime and quit making excuses (Hey, there is a good post!!)
- Think of your home as a 'Bed and Breakfast' and although your children might be young, do special things around your home to give it an atmosphere of warmth, love, and delight. Although toys may be strewn all over during the day, teach your children to pick of the majority of them before supper or when daddy gets home. Supper motivates like you wouldn't believe. They will get a few out again (sneaky, I know ;-) but this little thing will help you to destress and be ready for your man. Your children will delight in seeing you delight in your husband. Children feel the stress between parents more than we realize. You can include them in secrets you are planning for daddy and it will aid in strengthening your marriage.
This list could be endless. I could add and add to it. Like, I have a box of chocolates waiting on our bed for my husband (to share, of course) as this is a month where I am intentionally doing as many special things as possible.
What intentional ways do you show delight to your husband??
In Christ alone,
P.S. Thank you to all the new readers of my most humble blog.