Tag Archives: marriage transformation

She’s Perfect!

beautiful woman

She’s Perfect!

Take a look at Song of Solomon chapter 4 in the Bible.   It’s worth a quick read.  The husband is praising the beauty of his wife and he is really over the top and quite explicit in his praise of her body.  Then in verse 7, he sums in all up by saying she is “flawless or without spot or blemish”.  She is perfect!  Such is young love, but that is how he sees her.  No woman is actually perfect but that is how love works.

Of course this is a very non-subtle metaphor for how God sees the church, his bride, in Christ.  God looks at us in love and sees us perfect.  Not because we are perfect (we are not) but God see us in Christ.  This is same language in Ephesians chapter 5, where Paul tells husbands to love their wives as Christ loves the church.  It tells husbands to present their wives to God without spot or blemish.  How can this happen if we never start seeing them the way God does in Christ?

Now let’s talk man to man.  How do you view your wife?  Is she perfect in your eyes?  If not, maybe you are not loving her with the eyes of faith or from the perspective of grace.  This really is a choice.  Love looks past the faults and flaws and sees the perfection.  According to research, men who feel that they have “married up” have better marriages than those who do not.  Zig Zigler, the wildly successful motivational speaker always said that he had a great marriage simply because he counted himself so lucky to be married to his wife.  He placed her high above himself.  Let me ask you this, “What harm will actually result if you started seeing your wife as generally perfect”?  Maybe she will feel really loved…if you started acting like she was perfect.  Start with the concept that she is the standard of beauty, that she is correct and wise, heck, start thinking she is perfect.  You won’t be any worse than Solomon in love.

Date Night or Coffee Meeting?

coffee-shop

Reading today’s blog will save you some money.  If you and your spouse go to a weekend marriage seminar that seminar will be structured in such a way as to have some kind of a “date night”.  This will not be your average date night however; it will be at a nice restaurant and you will dress nicely but there will be “instructions” which be to discuss matters of the heart.  These discussions will be related to the material in the seminar.  Probably not what you did on your last date together! Sometimes the couples who go out on these “dates” end up having arguments, but the hope is that the public setting and the muted atmosphere will keep these fights to a minimum.  In general, the need for a nice date is important for a couple.  Even more important is the need to talk – really talk about all kinds of things.  Not just relationship issues, but budget matters, how the kids are doing and what’s on the calendar.  Really, those topics and touchy topics like parenting, money or even sex are NOT good to talk about on a date.  The dates that I enjoy with my wife are usually light and breezy and FUN.  Couples need fun.  Yet, your wife needs to talk and you NEED to hear what she has to say.  So, date nights often have cross-purposes.  When a couple goes out dressed up for dinner, they can look really nice.  The kids may be quite impressed at how attractive mom is when she not in that faded tee shirt, but if that couple has different expectations of what that dinner is about then it will not be a pretty sight when they return.

Speaking of expectations, this is a crucial issue.  The wife may expect intimate conversation about matters of the heart, while the husband wants to keep it light with hope that they may be able to have some fun in the bedroom later.  It’s a disaster!  The funny thing is that both the husband and wife are right to have their expectations.  Both good times and deep conversations are important to having a successful marriage.  It was Robert G. Barnes in his excellent book, Rock Solid Marriage, that astutely observed that women often view conversation as a pre-cursor to sexual intimacy, and it was Pat Love in her excellent book, How to Change your Marriage Without Saying a Word, who astutely observed that men view touch and physical proximately as a pre-cursor to sexual intimacy. You see where this is going.  You need both in a marriage.

So save yourself the money from expensive therapy and weekend seminars and do TWO THINGS:  Have a weekly morning coffee time to discuss anything that your wife would like to discuss.  Do NOT get defensive about what she has to say and do not feel that you have fix every problem she brings up.  She needs to talk and you need to listen.  Start there.  Second, take your wife on a date and sit close.  Go dancing or just have fun and make contact with each other.  Hold hands.

For a couple of years now, my wife and I have been going out to a nice coffee shop on Thursday morning and having good conversations.  We sometimes bring a list of stuff we need to talk about.  Sometimes the talk is serious and many times it is simply mundane. We have so much fun, really, so much fun that date nights are less important.  Coffee meetings cost about 10 bucks.  You do the math.  Consider the cost of the alternative.

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.