Monday, November 17, 2008

A Worthwhile Choice


I've been wanting to join At The Well for several weeks now, but haven't been able to. Now that my missions emphasis/blog giveaway is over, I'm hoping to start participating.

Chelsey, at Joyfully Living for His Glory is hosting this week and our questions are about marriage.
What does commitment in marriage mean?

What kind of wife are we called to be to our husbands?

What are ways that we can Biblically stand for our marriage?


For me, commitment in marriage meant sticking with it even when the love dried out and blew away. Jim and I have been married for 19 years, but if we had given up when we fell out of love, we probably wouldn't have made it much beyond our brief honeymoon. When the love ran out, we operated on commitment...for a long time. Sure, there were periods of harmony and loving each other, but they came and went. We knew we were existing on commitment, and wanted more, but it took years for the love to be there on a consistent basis.

When we didn't feel love, we chose love. By choosing, we not only stayed committed to each other, but our emotions eventually followed our conscious choices.

Without the commitment, our marriage could have ended before the first year was up. By sticking it out, we are reaping the harvest of commitment. And it's a wonderful harvest. Do we always act in harmony now? No. But I'm told (commanded!) to obey my husband. The problem is that I'm extremely stubborn and hard-headed, and exceptionally selfish. That's multiplied by the fact that I'm married to the most UNselfish man in the world. I would rather do what I want, how I want, than to simply do what he wants. If I would do that, our life would be much more peaceful—especially since he truly has our family's best at heart.

When I quit asking God to change my husband, and asked for God to change ME, our marriage started to turn around.

Am I a door mat? Most definitely not. Jim wants nothing to do with door mats and gets very aggravated when I act like one. 'Poor lil ol me' doesn't float with him. He wanted a partner when he married me and he still wants one—realizing and accepting that he is the head of our home. (In all honesty, I'd hate to be in his shoes! What a weight he—and all husbands—carries!)

Being a partner entails fulfilling my responsibilities, voicing my opinions thoughtfully (which isn't always easy for me to do because for years I clung to the misperception that it was easier to keep it to myself) and helping my partner.
It also means not bad-mouthing him. Will you hear me say I'm ready to wring his neck? Sure. This week end has been one of those times! But you'll also hear me say that he's right in what he's saying, even though I hate hearing it. Will you hear me putting him down? No. Will you hear me husband bashing? Most definitely not.

Husband bashing is one of the fastest roads to discontent
and even divorce.

You don't look for a candy bar in the pickle aisle of the grocery store, and you won't find your husband's good points by looking at his dirty laundry—so don't bother looking there. When I'm tempted to, I deliberately turn and look at my own dirty laundry and ask God to help me remove the log from my own eyes.

“You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye.” ~Matthew 7:5

It's a choice I make. Some days, I have to make that choice on a moment-by-moment basis, but it's proven to be more than worthwhile. Here's how worthwhile it's been: Number 19 is Prime.




10 comments:

  1. Amen to that testimony! I'm glad you mentioned the problem of "husband bashing." It really is a vicious cycle to get into. I once briefly joined a local knitters' group, where we would meet once a week at the knitting shop and gab and drink tea while working on our projects. I had to quit going because almost all of the talk was man-bashing. It encouraged discontentment and bitterness, and that wasn't a place I needed to be.

    Thanks for putting your finger on that one. It's a biggie.

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  2. Oh wow, and what a realistic and open testimony and application. Husband bashing is a HUGE thing, and I'm glad you mentioned it.

    Love this, though:
    "You don't look for a candy bar in the pickle aisle of the grocery store, and you won't find your husband's good points by looking at his dirty laundry—so don't bother looking there. When I'm tempted to, I deliberately turn and look at my own dirty laundry and ask God to help me remove the log from my own eyes."

    That is rich insight. Wow. Thanks, Patty. So glad you jumped in.

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  3. Excellent post! Great points about choosing love over emotions, changing ME! and especially looking for the good instead of the not so good. Wonderful encouragement for today!

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  4. I loved your honesty. I did a post awhile back in which I experienced something similar early in our marriage, I just wasn't feeling "in love" anymore. God, too, taught me that love isn't a feeling, it is a choice, an action.

    And today, I, too, am deeply in love with my husband. God is so gracious to show us that love is not about "feeling" it, it's about doing it. It's a verb.

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  5. Wow, how amazing what God has done in your marriage. Reconciling and putting love back where it belongs. I really enjoyed your post today and glad that you joined us AT THE WELL! - Blessings, Laurie

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  6. A hearty, "Amen!" being shouted from Mississippi! I love this: You don't look for a candy bar in the pickle aisle of the grocery store, and you won't find your husband's good points by looking at his dirty laundry—so don't bother looking there.

    Very good analogy and truth!

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  7. Oh, Patty - what an incredible testimony, what incredible honesty, and, as has already been said - what an INCREDIBLE analogy. I have found ALL of this to be true in myself too, my dear other-pea-in-the-pod. :)

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  8. Thank you for your honesty. This hits home with me and I appreciate your willingness to share and exhort.

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  9. Sister Patty,

    WOW!!! I'm so EXCITED God provided you the time to join us At the Well today! What incredible wisdom our Lord God has so graciously and generously granted you! I started to crack up when I read:

    "The problem is that I'm extremely stubborn and hard-headed, and exceptionally selfish."

    DITTO! That's ME! When people would ask me in what ministry did my husband volunteer, I used to tell them "Well, don't you think being married to me is ministry work enough for one man?" HA!

    I could go on and on about what I loved about what you wrote, but I will suffice it to say I could write "ditto" behind pretty much EVERY statement you made sister!

    Bless you richly,
    Sunny

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  10. Oh, I'm so glad that I stumbled across your blog tonight! I love your transparent honesty, and I could not agree more about the tendency for many wives to bash their husbands. It's become a hobby - a pastime - for some wives, and I know God can't be pleased. (I don't think He'd be pleased with husbands who did it either!) Thanks again for a great site - I'll be back to read more!

    Blessings,
    Lori
    www.lorimoon.com

    ReplyDelete

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