It takes one thing, but you have to start

In marriages we tend to get lazy, we get caught in the rut of day to day. We have stressful season and ones that tax our ability to fill our roles as husband and wife. This can even effect how we feel about each other. Tempers can get short, usually followed by hurt feelings and a sense of being let down by our spouse. So if your a husband that has fallen into the rut of doing your duty, going to work, providing financially. But the truth is your only doing the easy part. You’re only doing the part your either good at or comfortable with. So your wife isn’t happy. You feel you have done your part? Yeah, your wrong. What is your marriage worth to you? I’m speaking from a guys point of view because, well thats what I know. Many times we let pride, ego or a lot of the time just plain laziness stop us from doing the one thing we need to start doing. What is that one thing you ask?

Open your eyes, what is something your not doing that you could be to help your wife. To take one thing off of her plate, one thing off of her never ending list of to do’s. When you get home from work its not just time to sit back and relax. Its now time to get to work. The one thing will be different for everyone. Dishes, laundry, vacuum, you see what Im getting at here? Don’t be that guy that refuses to lift a finger because its “women’s work” that is an idiot. Plus, are you willing to lose your marriage over your stinking pride? Seriously? I know guys that wont pick up a book on marriage to try and better themselves to actually do the work needed in themselves to have a good marriage. All they see are the things she isn’t doing for them. There is usually a long list of grievances on both sides to be fair. But it starts with you. It starts with one change of heart. It starts with you remembering who your wife is and that her heart is important to you and that you need to get off your rear end and do what it takes to build into this woman’s life.

We can really only change ourselves. If I stand and demand my wife change something I don’t like about her, do you think I am going to be greeted with a “Oh yes dear I’ll do that right now.” You may hear it but her heart is full of anger and sarcasm. What I can do is look at my actions and see something I need to change in myself that will actually add to the relationship.

Man and woman, husbands and wives, what is your one thing today that you choose to feed into your relationship? One thing is not all its going to take. But its the start that is whats important. Your one thing will soon turn into two or three and you will enjoy doing them, you know why? You get to see her face smile, you get to know you did something that take some weight off her day to make it a little easier, you did something that she knew you can do and she didn’t have to worry about it. Ladies what are you going to do for your husband? How are you going to speak to his love language? How are you going to change something you are doing or not doing to add to the relationship. Something that he sees as loving and affirming to who he is as a man? The key here is, do them with a good heart, not one of contempt or anger, If you say thank you, honestly mean it, not just because you think you need to feed his ego. Let your good deeds come from a good clean place in your heart because you know who each other really are. Love that person how they need you too.

Pick your one thing and get started ASAP.

Staying tuned in

I heard a sermon today about staying tuned in to your faith. Being intentional about that connection and aware of it daily.

It made me think of the same thing with our spouses. How often have you felt disconnected of not really tuned in. Well for me, more often than I would like to admit.

It was told this way. In the air at any given time there are countless things flying through the air. Tv, radio, internet blue tooth you name it, countless things we greatly depend on that we can not see. How do you get tuned in to them? You pick up the antenna that delivers that signal. That invisible signal.

Each relationship has antennas we need to be very aware of. But one we tend to leave on the floor. As humans and men and women we all know we think differently, respond differently and react differently to things and we are desperately trying to get our feelings, words or point of view heard.

Here is a trick. Pick up your antenna and get tuned into your spouse and get off of your own stuff for a bit.

Guys, your wife desperately wants to feel connected with you. She wants to share your day. To know what you did, how you felt and to know that she was on your mind. She does this through communication. LoL well that’s most guys weakest skill. She may ask you. Did you have lunch? Your answer. Yes. If you had your antenna up and tuned in you would know her simple question wasn’t did you have lunch? But rather. I need to know about your day, I need to know specifics to feel more connected with you.

Us men usually don’t get that. Our natural tendency is to answer the question given to us as short and to the point as we can. Not out of disrespect but out of simplicity.

Guys can do better here. A lot better. But so can the women. Ladies he will miss your unspoken cues at times. Even a tuned in man will miss them sometimes. I’m not a woman I can’t possible think as she does. So ladies his simple answers are not a reflection of your relationship. It doesn’t mean you are not on his mind. It doesn’t mean you are not important to him. Or that he doesn’t love you.

See we both have to have some antennas up and some willingness to gain the point of view of our spouse.

What does a husband want the most? LoL all the women just shouted sex. I could literally hear it. Well I would be lying if I said that wasn’t up there. But it’s not at the top. He wants to know you have a passion for him. That you still find him attractive and you still desire him and that you still believe in him and respect him.

I highly recommend wife’s flirt more with their husbands. Kiss longer, reach for him more. Show him you truly desire him and respect him as a flawed man. If you pursue your husband this way he will do back flips to do things to please you and fulfill your needs. Guys that live with this kind of wife may not hit on all of her needs but he will give a huge effort to learn and do what he can.

Guys. What do most wife’s desire? Communication and connection. Before she can feel warmed up for passion she has to feel connected emotionally. She also needs a place to unload her stress level and especially not having you pile more on with your needs. What I mean is. If stuff is stressful and you feel your not getting your needs met at the time because she is in a very stressful time of life, you be the man and suck it up and give more to her. Yes I just said. SUCK IT UP!! and I mean that. She doesn’t need to have your junk of how you’re complaining about the lack of getting your needs met. That just adds to her stress and sense of failure. This does not contribute to her desire to please you in anyway. You just dumped another level of stress that didn’t need to be there.

Get your antennas up and instead of looking at the faults or ways your spouse is screwing up or not meeting your needs. Look from their eyes and see what you can do for them. How can you step up and reestablish the connections again.

We don’t do these things naturally. It takes dropping your pride and ego and need to be right. I shared something on FB the other day that said something like this.

Marriage isn’t 50/50. Or even 100/100

Some days it’s 80/20 and some days your spouse is weak and can only give 20. You suck it up and give the 80. That’s what love is.

So very true. It takes work to keep your connections. It takes work to understand your spouse. Don’t fall back into your natural state.

God’s dealing with our brokenness.

Our seasons of brokenness are with out a doubt the hardest seasons of our lives. When we feel the world is against us or are experiencing so much injustice that seems to be happening with no answered prayers. We read in the Bible… God’s word itself, how the wicked are dealt with, yet we see the wicked mock God and win. We see evil in our day happening to good righteous people. When we start to question God and his sovereignty in our lives we know we are at a place we never thought we would ever be. I have seen many people go through some extreme hard times. Things I would never wish on anyone. Things that have truly broken them at some point or another.

The hardest part when talking about peoples brokenness is that we can never truly know what they are or have gone through. We can’t ever truly understand until you have been there and lived it out. This does not mean we can not empathize with those in need. We can always be an ear or a shoulder to cry on. We must remember we don’t have to have answers for them to make us feel better. It requires no christianese or bible verses as your answer. It requires genuine humanness, kindness and love.

When I hear more and more from people about these seasons of life that are just so hard and filled with anguish. Financial, relational, abuse, loss and medical problems, things that would be crippling to anyone. It makes you question so many things, things you have believed were rock solid before, your faith takes a hit. You wonder if God is not only there, but you wonder if He has forgotten you or actively turned away from you or even worse has released His wrath on you for a sin or past mistake you might or might not have made. It makes me think of Joesph and all he went through to get to the place God wanted him to be. He went through the mud and grime and the worst of life to be molded into something God needed in his future. Im sure during his time in the pit and in prison that he wasn’t thinking how this was all for his good and had a reason behind it. The hardest part about this kind of thing is getting through it. Yes, just getting through the hard parts that drive us to see just the next moments in life. Not next month, not next year but whats right in front of us because any though of more is overwhelming and often times our thoughts are only negative and we see no light or possibility of anything good. We rarely see the light in the midst of our struggle. Most often its only after we bass through do we see Gods grace or the plan for it all. So that leaves us with somehow getting through the hardest parts so we can get to the place to look back.

I wish there was a set of answers that would walk people through it all so they could rest on solid ground. I used to say there is and its in the Bible but honestly thats one of those christianese answers. Its true but it does more for the person trying to comfort, than the person that actually needs comforting. The biggest thing is to just hang on. I know that sounds stupid, but allowing God the time to finish what was started is really a big step. Putting your head down and focusing on taking the next step. Most often our trouble isn’t that God is punishing us, but its evil that has been done to us. We can’t seem to comprehend that God would allow that kind of evil. I go back to Joesph and use his life as a reflection of our ugly season of life. Its hard to try to speak hope into peoples lives that are in the hardest moments of their lives, its hard to try to encourage when you yourself don’t see it. If you have a friend thats there, be just that. Be a friend, no advice, no going over past mistakes just be there to listen and hear their heart. God will use this time of brokenness and make something beautiful out of it. He will fill the broken places with gold so that the ultimate result is beautiful. I don’t know how and I don’t ever claim to know His methods but when I fall back to the solid things I know who God is. I know He is sovereign, I know He is in control and my job is to do my best (even though at times I know I will fail) but to trust Him and do my best to keep my eyes on Him and not the ugly around me. Thats by far the hardest and most taxing thing we will do and we will fail at it over and over again, But you know what God knows that, He knows our struggle, He knows our weakness, He knows all, there are no surprises.

So my best advice…… simply do your best and hang on to God as best you can. You will fall and you will doubt and you will get angry. He knows, He understands and your hurt does break His heart. He will fill those broken places with gold and some day His purpose will be seen. Until then put your head down and take your next step and move as best you can toward God even if its just a simple prayer made in tears.