Category Archives: Marriage

What Have You Done For Her Lately?

I loved being married. 

Over 8 years with my amazing wife Cherie I can honestly say I've enjoyed way more of the minutes than I've hated. :)

Granted, it is the most unique relationship you will ever have in your life if you think about it.  One man and one woman with all of their baggage, expectations, anticipations, dreams, hopes, fears, and Faith are placed into the cage of life with the a timer that reads "until death do they part".  You can only imagine what "fun" comes up with that scenario.  Yes, only God could have come up with such a plan…but I love the plan.

I love it because in order for it to have any chance it requires Faith, hope, love, and fun for it to work.  However, for it to thrive it requires one key ingredient…teamwork. Man and woman working side-by-side tackling all of life's obstacles and mountain top moments.  Each separately wired with unique God-given abilities, but asked to  work together to make the relationship click. 

But men I want us look at ourselves for a moment and ask this question:

"What Have I Done For Her Lately?"

Now, before you get your Flintstones club out of the closet and beat your chest while you grunt in disagreement, pull up a rock and keep reading.

I'm not sure when the definition of being man was somehow tied to how much we can make our wives do for us so we can do what we want, but it seems to be happening more and more.  I see so many wives staggering to maintain the weight of being a mother, a homemaker, an employee, a friend, a peacemaker, and wife.  All the while their husband will come home from work only to hop on the computer, play video games, watch TV, play softball, or talk Fantasy Football with their buddies like Junior High girls.  And that's just the guys that come home in time for their wives to see them.  There is a whole other group of workaholics that have weekend families at best.

Listen I'm not saying any of those things above are inherently bad.  Heck, we all need a release, a hobby to enjoy, and to provide for our families but when these start to come at the expense of our wives sanity and/or our marriage that's where the problem lies. I know when I feel the best about my world as a man is when I know my family is taken care of in ALL respects including how my wife is doing.

Recently, I prayerfully did a self inventory of how I was doing as a husband.  With a lot of feedback from my wife, I realized I needed to step up in some areas.  Understand I did this so we could improve on our solid marriage not so I could get a little more "action".  Your missing the point if that is you goal  I'd much rather have you accept the challenge to assess how you are doing as a husband in the effort to make your marriage a success. 

Perhaps consider these:

  • If you asked your wife on a scale of 1-10 how you are as a husband how would you rate?
  • How much of who you are as a husband (good or bad) is determined by your father growing up?
  • How much do you look to Scripture for wisdom on being a husband?
  • Dads, when you come home, who do you kiss first?  The kids or your wife?
  • When was the last time you and your wife talked for over 30 minutes at one time without an agenda?
  • What does your wife want to accomplish in the next 5 years?
  • What are 3 things that you could do right now that could help your wife and marriage with little to no personal sacrifice to you?  (Ex: Fold the laundry, empty the dishwasher, get the oil changed in her car)
  • What are 2 things that you could do in the next month that could help your wife and marriage with minimal personal sacrifice?  (Ex:  Plan a date night and you find the babysitter, quit a recreation team for a season and let you wife have that night to herself, turn your cell phone off when you get home for 30 days)
  • What is 1 thing you could do within the next year that could significantly help your wife and marriage with noticeable sacrifice to you?  (Ex:  Alter your work schedule to work a day from home, ask for a transfer to a location closer to home, (if she desires) look for ways for your wife to quit her job so she can stay at home with the kids full time)

Please hear me, I'm not saying I have it all figured out.  In fact my 1-10 rating in my mind is much lower than even my wife said!  What I do know, is that I desperately want to have a marriage that is God honoring and set-up for success.  I know I love my wife so much that I would go to the ends of the earth for her and that includes sacrificing things I enjoy so she is cared for. 

Marriage is awesome, difficult, awesome again, a little more difficult, add a side of frustrating, and then back to awesome but in the end is totally worth every up and down.  

Men we need to show our wives through our actions that we are pursuing Godly marriages and relationships and I think it can start by asking ourselves, "What Have I Done For Her Lately?" 

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The Bunny Behind the Fridge

The other day I noticed a little gray ear sticking out from behind my refrigerator.  I didn’t think much of it since it is close to Easter and Aniston has all kinds of bunnies, but this seemed odd.  The odd part was that every time I opened the back door to our deck it would tuck its ears back in and then reappear after the door shut. 

 

Well I had to check it out…

 

To my shock, it turned out not to be a bunny at all, but a disgusting collection of fuzz, dog hair, and dust that had morphed into a disgusting mass behind our fridge.  It looked like an Etch A Sketch had ended it all behind there.  Yuck!

 

Well that got me wondering about a few other items in our house that didn’t get moved that often.  Sure enough, the carnage was repeated behind the dresser, the bed, and even Aniston’s changing table!  The people at the First 48 would have had a field day with all those crime scenes.

 

Now before you start calling Merry Maids for us, our house is very clean.  I know…because I clean it most of the time J.  From the outsiders point of view everything looks really good.  Honestly we don’t have to do much before people come over because Cherie and I stay on top of it pretty well.

 

However, this “little discovery” today made me realize that there are still things in our house that might be awkward and heavy to move but hide a bunch of dirt we don’t see.  Or maybe don’t want to see.

 

How about in your world?  And, no I’m not trying to guilt you into cleaning your garage.  I’m wondering about your other worlds.  Your family, job, relationship, and spiritual words.

 

Let me see if these will help point you to some awkward and heavy things in your life that may need a look behind.

  • When was the last time you asked your wife how she thought you were doing as a husband?
  • When was the last time you talked to your kids about how you could be better parents to them?
  • When was the last time you and your husband talked about how satisfied each of you are with your sex life?
  • When was the last time you talked to your boyfriend about not living together any more until you get married?
  • When was the last time you asked God to show you areas in your life that you can improve to be a better Christian?
  • When was the last time you asked God to put someone in your life that you could share your faith with?

I believe some of us don’t move these big pieces of furniture in our lives because it takes effort and we don’t want to see what’s back there!  Sometimes the answers or the work that needs to be done may not be fun, but it doesn’t mean it’s all ok back there if you don’t look. 

 

Ephesians 5:13 says “But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light.”

 

If I learned anything from my refrigerator experience it is that just because it may look pretty on the outside doesn’t mean it is.  The only way to really tell is to shine a little light in those areas you don’t look at so often and get to scrubbing. 

 

And the best part is you don’t have to do it alone!  Sometimes in order to get to those hard to reach places behind that heavy stuff you need a little help.  This may be a perfect opportunity to reach out to a friend, your church, a counselor, or spouse and just say “Hey, can you help me with this?  I can’t do it on my own.”

 

Believe me, Jesus already knows what’s back there and He’s just hoping you will ask for some Light to be shed on it so He can help you clean it up.

 

Oh geez!  I just saw another bunny ear.  Gotta run! 

 

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What Have You Done For Her Lately?

I loved being married. 

Over 8 years with my amazing wife Cherie I can honestly say I've enjoyed way more of the minutes than I've hated. :)

Granted, it is the most unique relationship you will ever have in your life if you think about it.  One man and one woman with all of their baggage, expectations, anticipations, dreams, hopes, fears, and Faith are placed into the cage of life with the a timer that reads "until death do they part".  You can only imagine what "fun" comes up with that scenario.  Yes, only God could have come up with such a plan…but I love the plan.

I love it because in order for it to have any chance it requires Faith, hope, love, and fun for it to work.  However, for it to thrive it requires one key ingredient…teamwork. Man and woman working side-by-side tackling all of life's obstacles and mountain top moments.  Each separately wired with unique God-given abilities, but asked to  work together to make the relationship click. 

But men I want us look at ourselves for a moment and ask this question:

"What Have I Done For Her Lately?"

Now, before you get your Flintstones club out of the closet and beat your chest while you grunt in disagreement, pull up a rock and keep reading.

I'm not sure when the definition of being man was somehow tied to how much we can make our wives do for us so we can do what we want, but it seems to be happening more and more.  I see so many wives staggering to maintain the weight of being a mother, a homemaker, an employee, a friend, a peacemaker, and wife.  All the while their husband will come home from work only to hop on the computer, play video games, watch TV, play softball, or talk Fantasy Football with their buddies like Junior High girls.  And that's just the guys that come home in time for their wives to see them.  There is a whole other group of workaholics that have weekend families at best.

Listen I'm not saying any of those things above are inherently bad.  Heck, we all need a release, a hobby to enjoy, and to provide for our families but when these start to come at the expense of our wives sanity and/or our marriage that's where the problem lies. I know when I feel the best about my world as a man is when I know my family is taken care of in ALL respects including how my wife is doing.

Recently, I prayerfully did a self inventory of how I was doing as a husband.  With a lot of feedback from my wife, I realized I needed to step up in some areas.  Understand I did this so we could improve on our solid marriage not so I could get a little more "action".  Your missing the point if that is you goal  I'd much rather have you accept the challenge to assess how you are doing as a husband in the effort to make your marriage a success. 

Perhaps consider these:

  • If you asked your wife on a scale of 1-10 how you are as a husband how would you rate?
  • How much of who you are as a husband (good or bad) is determined by your father growing up?
  • How much do you look to Scripture for wisdom on being a husband?
  • Dads, when you come home, who do you kiss first?  The kids or your wife?
  • When was the last time you and your wife talked for over 30 minutes at one time without an agenda?
  • What does your wife want to accomplish in the next 5 years?
  • What are 3 things that you could do right now that could help your wife and marriage with little to no personal sacrifice to you?  (Ex: Fold the laundry, empty the dishwasher, get the oil changed in her car)
  • What are 2 things that you could do in the next month that could help your wife and marriage with minimal personal sacrifice?  (Ex:  Plan a date night and you find the babysitter, quit a recreation team for a season and let you wife have that night to herself, turn your cell phone off when you get home for 30 days)
  • What is 1 thing you could do within the next year that could significantly help your wife and marriage with noticeable sacrifice to you?  (Ex:  Alter your work schedule to work a day from home, ask for a transfer to a location closer to home, (if she desires) look for ways for your wife to quit her job so she can stay at home with the kids full time)

Please hear me, I'm not saying I have it all figured out.  In fact my 1-10 rating in my mind is much lower than even my wife said!  What I do know, is that I desperately want to have a marriage that is God honoring and set-up for success.  I know I love my wife so much that I would go to the ends of the earth for her and that includes sacrificing things I enjoy so she is cared for. 

Marriage is awesome, difficult, awesome again, a little more difficult, add a side of frustrating, and then back to awesome but in the end is totally worth every up and down.  

Men we need to show our wives through our actions that we are pursuing Godly marriages and relationships and I think it can start by asking ourselves, "What Have I Done For Her Lately?" 

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Man Down

Men, you may enjoy a few of these one liners I found:

"A woman has the last word in any argument. Anything a man says after that is the beginning of a new argument."

"A woman marries a man expecting he will change, but he doesn’t. A man marries a woman expecting that she won't change and she does."

"Love is cuddling on a sofa. Marriage is one of them sleeping on a sofa."

"The honeymoon is over when the husband calls home to say he'll be late for dinner and the answering machine says it is in the microwave."

Yep…ladies it is your turn.

Like I said before, marriage is the most unique relationship you will ever enter into in your life but can be one of the most rewarding too. I have personally seen those that have successful marriages work as a team through everything, not just in small stuff like folding the fitted bed sheets. It requires give and take, but also respect and honesty.

In the wreckage of the failing marriages I see there is plenty of culpability on the man. In fact, I place a large part of the responsibility on the man's shoulders for success or failure of the relationship as I believe God has directed us to lead our families well.

Men, don’t we always seem to admire the quarterback that takes the blame for a loss and then vows to right the ship? Why don’t we see that in marriages? Rarely do we see men step up within their marriage and say I'm not leading the way I'm supposed to, but I'm prepared to do whatever it takes to make it right. Men, we need to do a better job of stepping up in our families without a doubt.

However, I have also seen within these wreckages men left a shell of their former selves as their wives stand with one foot on their back, their hands on their hips, and their nose high in the air proclaiming victory over their husbands. Yes we screw up, but even if we have owned up to the sin, received forgiveness from God, and are pursuing what is upright, she still will keep a foot on our head to make sure we don't forget what we've done.

Other ways I have seen this play out is by a wife never allowing the husband the opportunity to lead the family. He may be a fantastic guy, great with the kids, and hard working, but some wives are so controlling and untrusting they refuse to let go of any control within the home.

The sad reality of these scenarios is that both are robbing men of what they desperately are seeking…respect. Respect is the rechargeable battery of a man’s life. The more deposits he receives through friends, work, school, and especially at home the stronger the charge will be, the longer it will last, and the more productive he will be in all areas of his life.

Please stop rolling your eyes. :)

Ladies, it very well may not make any sense to you. My advice would be for you to add it to the list of things that don’t make sense about a man. However, the sooner you realize this isn’t a need for our egos to be stroked and more about confirming your confidence in us the sooner your marriages will improve.

If manipulation, criticism, and disappointment can somehow melt into motivation, encouragement, and respect, then I guarantee you will see a change in the man you love. Believe me, all of us as men want to provide for our families and love our wives well at our core. We just need to know that you see that and are there with us through the ups and downs.

Ladies I would encourage you to consider where you are at in your marriage right now and perhaps consider some of these as you do.

  • When was the last time you thanked your husband for working hard to provide for your family just because?
  • When was the last time you brought up something from his past as a way of reminding him of what he did to you?
  • When was the last time you refused sex as a way of punishment or a way to show disappointment with your husband?
  • When you go out to dinner with your husband, are you trying to look nice for the people you are going to see or for your husband?
  • Moms, when is the last time you encouraged your husband as a father?
  • Moms, when is the last time you invited your husband to read scripture to your kids and you?
  • When is the last time you encouraged your husband to pray before a meal?

I always believe that actions speak louder than words or mumbling under your breath. Consider these action steps as you pray about your marriage.

  • What are 3 things that you could do right now that could help show your husband respect with little to no personal sacrifice to you? (Ex: Tell him thank you, compliment him on how he looks.)
  • What are 2 things that you could in the next month that could help show your husband respect with minimal personal sacrifice? (Ex: Ask your husband what perfume he likes that you wear and buy that, plan a date with your husband with him in mind, create 15 minutes of “decompression time” for him when he comes in before asking for anything)
  • What is 1 thing you could do within the next year that could help show your husband respect with noticeable sacrifice to you? (Ex: If you do the household budget ask him to review the bills with you to see if he sees something you don’t on how to save money, when the next major decision arises in the family allow him to make the decision and support him in it regardless of outcome.)

Let me be clear. All of us men are works in progress, and of course if your husband has a raging gambling addiction, is cheating on you, or is abusive, it isn’t a good idea to give him the reins of your life. However, for the lion share of marriages out there you have good men that may just need to be encouraged and given permission to lead.

I’m just asking…we are just asking for you to respect that God is doing a great work in us too and we need to show you what we’ve learned.

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