Interior Designer Elkhart Goshen Indiana
Take a guess...what do you think?
This is the kind of story no one ever wants to tell. But if the story isn't told then no one can benefit from it, can they? I can choose to live my life in secret or I can choose to live a life as part of something bigger than myself. So, this is a story of deliverance not dysfunction.
There was (and sometimes still is) a time when my marriage was in turmoil. I was defensive and disrespectful and Tom was critical and controlling. We were opposites. And after many years, being opposites wasn't 'attracting' any more in fact, it felt more like it was dividing us.
I realized that even though we were both believers (Romans 5:8 ), neither of us was living like it (Acts 2:38 ). So I began a prayer journal and seeking God's answers and I asked him to teach me how to love and respect my husband (of course, this was after the prayers that God would change my husband came back with nothing). so I surrendered this to God (better later than never) with a simple prayer of 'let your will be done". And through a series of mini miracles, I call 'heart changes', things did change -- just not in the way I expected. What changed was me! Through God's love notes to me, I decided to follow His example.
Here's what happened....
God told me in the Bible, that he expected me to respect my husband (Ephesians 5: 33). "And the wife must respect her husband." (whether I felt like it or not). So, basically God told me this....
.So, the most loving thing I could ever do for my family was to love and respect their Dad!
When we open God's Word and read something we don't want to hear or is not popular, or we just don't feel like it, then it is easy to rationalize the Bible as old fashioned and not relevant which means, I don't have to change. And change is hard work, who wants to do that! So God let me suffer trying to do it my way. But when my heart was tenderized enough through this discipline, God came through with the strategy I needed to achieve His expectations. He told me in another love note -- Philippians 4:8, that I needed to learn how to take my thoughts captive and make them obedient to Christ.
I'm sorry, but I had no idea what that meant. So more prayer was needed with another specific request. And here's what is so cool about praying specific requests according to God's will - His answer is always 'yes'.
I love it when God tells me what He expects from me from His love notes to me (Ephesians 5:33), I love it when He gives me the recipe to achieve those goals (Philippians 4;8) and I love it when He follows through with answering my prayers to save me from myself (Revelation 3:20).
You see to benefit from God's touch, you need to welcome Him in so he can do the 'heart' work that changes your 'head' that changes your responses, which changes the world.
Here is how He worked in my marriage--first he told me what he expected:
1. Respect him Verbally (Proverbs 31: 11-12) Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.
I can still remember exactly where I was when I heard this verse and a little voice in my head said.."I don't think that argument you had in front of the kids just before church was good for your husband or your children. Do you want those little boys to grow up and marry a woman that talks to them like you just spoke to your man?" Have you been there too? Pretty scary isn't it! So instead of thinking about his faults and then letting this thinking control my feelings and behavior, I choose to think about his good traits and focus on them instead. I recorded both the things I admired about him and his positive traits in my prayer journal. Then, as Valentine's Day started getting closer, I wrote them on a valentine and tucked them in his coat pocket each morning so that he would find it during his work day.
Like a precious flower bud in a vase, he still displays them on his dresser to this date.
Then God told me....
2. Respect his home (the wise woman builds her home Proverbs 14;1)
I believe our home should reflect beauty, organization and serenity. Not because the world says so, but because it pleases God and because it pleases my husband. God created it and it reflects His character and His plans for us (Genesis 1, John 14:2 & 27 & Revelation 21). So I make it a point to do the best I can to accomplish that priority. But trust me, our house looks lived in because we live in it!
Pumpkin pie is his favorite pie, so I make it a point to bake one for him for special occasions.
Then God told me....
3. Respect his identify and his maleness (Genesis 2:18) Then the Lord God said, "It is not good that the man be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.
Tom is an engineer. He is gifted intellectually and as a problem solver. He loves it when I ask his opinion and actually listen to what he wants. Just this week, I asked him, "what is most loving thing that I do for you" and he said, "you listen to me." Not what I expected! Tom loves to work on vintage Cub Cadet tractors. He collects them, repairs them and then restores them. So I painted a mail box in honor of his gifts and his passions.
I know it sounds simple (and simple doesn't mean easy) but I learned that I needed to stop trying to change him and instead pay attention to him and acknowledge what he loves to do and what he is good at.
Each of us have different things that make us feel loved, respected and appreciated. You won’t know what is important to him unless you ask and then listen and respond.
So, Here are some great questions to ask your special Valentine this year. But don't go it alone. First ask God for a soft heart, and to teach you how to love and respect your husband. Then trust He will act on your behalf because marriage is important to God. It is His will that you remain married (Mark 10:9) and then record your insights and your new adventure with God.
Here is my husband's response....he made me these hearts!
After 25 years, my husband is still my hero and my knight in shining armor. And I feel so blessed!
As you seek to rise up and live a life of strength and honor, nothing will give you greater peace and authority than embracing the power that comes from practicing the presence of God and praying His will be done - because there is no limit to God's love and care. He is in the business of rescue, redemption and restoration (Isaiah 61:3).
Let's acknowledge God’s principles and presence today. And turn on the key in our spiritual ignition, He is faithful and just and will help alter your story (Romans 8: 31-39).
Thank you Jesus for rescuing me from myself again - for getting me unstuck, for your Word that tells me what you expect and gives me the recipe to achieve it. And thank you for your Spirit who lives within me and changes me from the inside out to prove yourself to me. Thank you that I can't do it myself so that I can experience your ways instead. You are so faithful, loving, generous, kind, good, merciful, amazing, strong, powerful, and patient and I am so thankful that you trust me enough to allow me to participate in your good works according to the power that you put within me. Glory to you Lord! And may heaven and earth and all your people sing your praises now and forever. Amen (Ephesians 3: 14-21)
How do you love and respect your husband? I'd love to hear your story.
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About this blog...
I began writing this blog in May 2016 after discovering that my mother always wanted to be a writer. She has Alzheimer's disease and she'll never realize her dream. Sometimes in our deepest grief we are motivated to encourage others to fearlessly be themselves so that their gifts and stories are shared. I mean, how else can we change the world?. So I began to record the things that reflect who I am and what is important to me, because one day my memories too, may be gone and what would that mean to the people God gave me to care for and the good works He gave me to do? So, here is where I share the important stuff so that you can learn real design, not decorator tricks, but fundamental and salient concepts to apply so that you can create your own exemplary home and so that my family and I can remember the life we lived and created here in our home, our sacred place. Because my work is important, this is also where I share my favorite design projects and how good design enhanced their lives as well. I hope you're inspired and encouraged as I share my memories, my work, my mission & my life. Many blessings, (Numbers 6: 24-26)