Category Archives: Show Love

TURN IT AROUND TUESDAY TIP #4 of TEN

This blog is about husbands who are unhappy.  It seems that this is a major marital disease.  There are a lot guys out there who are just not happy.  It may be because they are NOT dealing with their anger and depression (see my book Perfect Circle).  It is my firm conviction that it is husband’s mood that sets the tone in any home.  If the Sargent isn’t happy, the troops are not happy.  If the head coach is mad – watch out in practice on Monday!  Too often we believe, wrongly, that is mom isn’t happy the house is not happy.  But this is wrong because if forgets that it is actually dad that who it the head.  He is the Sargent, coach and leader – if there are kids they will look to him.  A wife will have her emotions.  Not because she is a female, so save the PMS jokes.  She will have emotions because she is a human.  Plus she has to deal with marriage to you.  So she is not always happy, but when the leader leads in terms happiness you get a happy home.  It is up to the husband to be happy.

Why should you be happy?  Well if you are a Christian you could start with Gospel.  God saved you when you didn’t deserve it.  But for some deep material I turn to the One-hit-wonder group from 1969, called Mercy (interesting don’t you gospel folks think?).  They wrote a song with this title “(Love) can make you happy.”  The parentheses are part of the title.  Some of the copyrighted lyrics are as follows:

Love can make you happy if you find someone who cares

To give a life time to you and who has a love to share

La-love, la-love

Love can make you happy

Love can make you happy

Love can make you happy,

Love

Here is my point – you were VERY fortunate to be found by Jesus.  He actually came to you.  Then, you found someone who would give their entire life to YOU, someone who cares for you.  That should make you very happy.  Now as the coach or Sargent would yell – “get out there and act like it”, even if you are not feeling it right now.  Commands to love and even happiness are to be followed not debated.  Feelings will take care of themselves.

Turn it around Tuesday Tip – want to be in a happy marriage?  Realize you found someone who loves and cares and then put a smile on your face and keep it there.

Verse of the week:

Proverbs 10:28 the hope of the righteous brings joy, but the expectation of the wicked will perish.

Turn it around Tuesday Tip #3 of Ten

husbandandwife

My wife and I attended a marriage retreat hosted by our church this past weekend.  The speakers were Greg and Erin Smalley. I was very impressed with their approach to marriage and I would recommend buying their books and I certainly would suggest if you get a chance to hear them that you do so.  I do not have permission to share their material so that is all I can say publically.  I was however reminded of something very general that makes a good tip for this Tuesday.  We participated in an exercise where we were asked to make a list of spouse’s positive traits.  We had to write them down and then we were encouraged to expand on them on occasion.  The list should grow with time. The idea was that we should visit that list and meditate on it especially when we have negative feelings toward our spouse.  This makes great sense.  The Smalley’s shared some stories of how helpful this can be – you will have to see them in person to hear their compelling stories.  In the meantime, when was the last time you made a list of your wife’s great qualities?  She has them you know.  Begin by thinking of how attractive she was to you when you first met.  Her smile, her looks, her hair, her positive or fun attitude, or whatever it was that made her stand out in a positive way.  Since then, what about her hard work, her faithfulness, her putting up with you, her tireless efforts as a mom.  Her wisdom, her perseverance, her intelligence, and her generally loving attitude.  The Bible commands us to love our wife, but in reality we have lots of lots items on our list of respect.  Put them down and look up the Smalley’s.

TUESDAY TURN IT AROUND TIP # 1 of TEN

Happy-Couple (3)

I am starting a new series of Tuesday blogs.  This series will provide ten transformative tips, each and every Tuesday to help you turn your marriage around.  I will also use words that start with t whenever I can.  So please check this blog every Tuesday.

The first tip to transform your marriage is to think more highly of your wife.  I am not joking when I say that successful marriages are ones in which the spouse thinks they got the better end of the deal.  There is even research to support the idea that people are more satisfied in marriage when they feel they have “married up”.  If you want to turn your marriage around – begin see your wife as better than yourself.  Notice all the good qualities that attracted you to her in the first place.  Even if you say you don’t love your wife now – you most likely still have a lot of things for which you respect her.  Dwell on these things.  A fundamental rule is that we treat people in accordance with how we feel about them.

My daughter once shook hands with President Obama and she also sat at a dinner table with Henry Kissinger.  In both cases she was excited about the encounters even we if we are talking about wildly different ends of the political spectrum (you young guns can look up Kissinger, but he was “the man” at one point).  My point is that it is the person’s position that calls for the high evaluation.  Now here is the 64 thousand dollar question.  What is a higher position than that of your wife?  If her position as your wife it is not a high one, it is because you made it so.

Look at it this way.  Either her marriage to you has made her more beautiful, lovely and holy with each passing day so that it is easy to remind yourself:  “I am so lucky to be married to someone as beautiful as her”.  Or, her marriage to you has been filled with hardship and a generally rough time, so that is easy to remind yourself:  “I am so lucky that she stayed with me and puts up with me”.  In either case you married up.  Loving her and consistently treating her as better than yourself will transform your marriage.

Bible verse to meditate on: Philippians 2:3

“Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.”  (ESV).

Motivation song to listen to:  Child of the wind by Bruce Cockburn.

Where he sings, “I love my sweet woman down to the core.”

Look past HER wrongs

happy couple 2

Quick! What is one of the most difficult Bible verses to follow in your marriage?  For many the answer to that question is found in the middle of the “love” chapter, also known as I Corinthians Chapter 13.  Here is the section to which I refer:  Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres (v. 5-7 NIV).  All of these descriptions are difficult for men.  Patience is everybody’s problem.  Anger seems an emotion all too familiar to husbands.  But for me the clincher is “keeps no record of wrongs”.  That is a deal-breaker right there.  What if my wife does something really bad?  What if she has long track record of repeatedly doing things that offend me?

In my book, Perfect Circle, I have encouraged husbands to see themselves as prophets, priests, and kings in the spiritual sense, in their marriage.  A key feature of a good king is his ability to look past a sin or transgression.  Kings can do this.  They can commute sentences and cancel debt.  They can even choose to treat those unworthy as worthy members of his kingdom.  This is a model of grace.  This exactly what God the High King of Heaven does for us.  He looks past our sin every minute of the day.  We don’t even belong in His presence, but because of His Son Jesus, he treats us like friends.

Look past your wife’s transgressions and treat her as a friend.

 

LOVE MORE!

Happy couple embracing and laughing on the beach

It’s a family joke.  My oldest daughter had a swim coach for her competitive swim club who used to tell the swimmers that if they wanted to swim faster they should “go faster”.  He was actually a very successful coach with this rather ridiculously profound formula.  So it became a family joke that whenever one of my kids encountered a school or sports challenge we would say with tongue in cheek, “go faster” or “study harder” or some variation on that theme.  We would laugh all the while knowing there was an element of truth to the joke.

Marriages are about hard work.  This is one of the ideas that I explore in my book, Perfect Circle: A Husband’s Guide to the Six Tasks of a Contemporary Christian Marriage.  The second task is on the topic of love.   Husbands are commanded directly by God to love their wives.  My book chapter provides insight into how to carry out the command to love.  However, it is a very a profound reality that often what we really need to do is just “love more”.

In order for my daughter to swim faster at swim meets she has to swim faster in her daily practice sessions.  In order for my son to be a better cross country runner he has to run faster in his daily running work outs.  In order for me to a have a better quality marriage I need to love my wife more on a daily basis.  I can’t show up to the race having gone slow for weeks on end and expect to do well.  Unless a husband does a better job of loving his wife on a day to day basis the marriage does not improve.  If you want a better marriage – love more.

Don’t neglect to buy a copy of Perfect Circle and review the chapter called, Show Love.