Marlette’s Musings #2

I received a link to an interesting post this week.  Marlette has been married 34 years and in celebration she put together a list of 34 Things about Marriage.  In the next several blogs, I’ll share some of her thoughts with you. Last time we looked at the number 1 item of Marlette’s list and found that their marriage has the priorities of love and respect clearly in focus.

Here’s her number 2 thought of 34:

We show love in medium ways (there is no small love) – he rubs my feet, folds the bath tissue like we’re in a hotel and he calls me darlin’.  I bring him his favorite treats, never run out of peanut butter, and record movies I know he’ll like.

Photo by Crystal Alifanow

Now we see their marriage is characterized by acts of service.  Simply put, they serve one another.  He rubs her feet and finds simple things to show he loves her.  She in turn makes sure to keep a healthy supply of peanut butter on hand along with his favorite treats. Hmmm, did someone once say that the path to a man’s heart is through his stomach?   If only other wives could have it so easy.  The key to a happy home and husband is as simple as having enough peanut butter!

The “Happy Marriage Manuals” would all go out of print if they only knew that peanut butter was the answer!

Photo by aamag

All kidding aside, the point is pretty basic.  Find out what is special for your spouse and do it.  If a foot rub makes her feel loved and melts her heart, then just do it.  Understand why it is so special to her.  It makes her feel relaxed and takes away the tension of the day.    Make it a regular event.  You can do the “quickie” foot rub where you just rub her feet while you sit on the couch and watch a movie.  Or you can step up your game and go for the full-on gourmet foot rub with candles, soft music, and scented foot massage cream.  Find out what makes your wife feel truly loved and go for it.  Serve her in this way.

And for you wives that can melt your husband’s heart with a pantry full of peanut butter, by all means, order the case lot size.  But if his thing is having the guys over to watch the game and you can provide all the fixin’s, then just go for it darlin’.

We all get the point.  Serve one another.  The path to a lasting marriage is to love and serve one another.

Serve one another, humbly in love. Galations 5:13

Marlette’s Musings #1

I received a link to an interesting post this week. It seems Marlette has been married 34 years and to celebrate she posted a list of 34 Things about Marriage. I’ll share some of her thoughts with you.

Her number 1 thought of 34:

We show love in big ways – he is unconditionally accepting, endlessly patient, and generally thinks I’m all that. I don’t bad mouth him in public, look for ways to serve him, and do my best to bring honor to him.

I find it truly wonderful that her first reflection is that she experiences “unconditional acceptance.” Isn’t that the way we all want to be loved?  No list of expectations; no spoken or unspoken demands. Just “I love you no matter what.”

When love is conditioned upon meeting a list of preset criteria it is truly flawed. It is at best a seasonal love, based on what you do. I will love you when you meet my expectations.

We are all less than perfect. We fail and let our spouse down at times during the course of our lives together. But does that mean we should turn our love off when we are disappointed or not feeling in love at the moment?

Husbands are commanded, yes commanded, in Ephesians 5:25

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.

We need to have a love for our wives that is not conditioned upon meeting a set of criteria, or acting or looking a certain way. Love is always patient, kind, and hopes for the best. Christ did not wait until we were perfect… he died for us while we were yet sinners. That is how we are to love.

She also shares about how she treats her husband. She notes that she is respectful of him, serves him, and seeks to honor him.

Our Marriage Group at church is beginning a series by Emerson Eggerichs called Love and Respect. Emerson goes to great lengths to say what a wife desires most is unconditional love and what a husband desperately needs is respect.

I find it amazing that Marlette’s first thought on 34 years of marriage so clearly states that she basks in unconditional love from her husband and she respects and honors her husband.

We’ll share more in future blogs about Marlette’s musings. Thanks Marlette!

Compromise, Part Two

In our last blog, we looked at several core beliefs in our lives that should never be compromised, such as our faith and commitment to marriage and family. These are central core beliefs that deserve our undying commitment. We also looked at day to day choices that need to be negotiated. We are both individuals with unique preferences and family history. Our traditions may be at odds with our spouse’s traditions. What to do at Christmas each year is an example. How do we meld our traditions?

A good quality relationship that is maturing and growing, requires you to navigate your differences, culminating in a peaceful and loving union.

Let’s look at it this way… We can either HOLD or YEILD.

Each of you should be willing to yield. If you truly love your spouse, you’ll be willing to sacrifice what you want, deferring to the desires of your spouse. By this I mean that each of you should be willing to move from your position in the direction of your spouse’s.

Photo by Kaan Tanriover

There are times when you need to yield. You need to humble yourself and just yield to your spouse. Simple example: It’s important for your spouse to clean the dishes and kitchen before going to bed. You’re ok with letting it go until the morning. Here’s a chance for you to stretch and yield, to be loving, kind, helping her get it done. No big deal. Just fifteen minutes of selfless service because it’s important to her.

By contrast, you might want to hold your own position, and demand that your spouse change and conform to what you want. This does not demonstrate a selfless love for your spouse. You have hardened your heart, unyielding and demanding. If both of you hold opposing positions, it will sow seeds of bitterness and resentment.

Photo by Mikas Vitkauskas

There may be times when you should hold on things that are important to you. For example, you thrive on affection and hugs and your spouse doesn’t hug you at all. Clearly and respectfully express this VERY important thing in your life and make every effort to be understood. If you always yield out of fear or just give up, this will sow seeds of discouragement and despair. Stand up and be firm; express the importance of this particular issue. Work lovingly to find a suitable and acceptable compromise.

No matter what the issue, you should work toward a selfless attitude and a willingness to move to a middle ground solution. Talk through possible solutions to the unresolved difference. This may take time and more than one conversation. Patiently work at it over time.

In our relationships, we need to find a way to balance the HOLD and the YIELD. It’s a give and take. But in all circumstances, we should be governed by an attitude of love and a willingness to serve.