Thursday, November 5, 2009

Do Your Words Speak Love & Respect?

I hope that all of you have been enjoying the daily challenges. Tonight was a fun one because it involved food! Am I right? I pray that all of your dinners & desserts turned out perfectly & you didn't have any traumatic kitchen nightmares.

I forgot to mention the other night when I was posting about the Love & Respect series that you can watch video testimonials of other couples online. My mentor, Lisa Shea's testimony is posted there. Check them out. I love hearing the stories of other couples that turned their marriages around. Many of them seemed hopeless & they were able to revive them. Here is the link again but you can always find it on my sidebar. http://www.loveandrespect.com/.

I was listening to my Crazy Cycle CD again this morning & Dr. Eggerichs asks a few questions that I would like for you all to think about. Do you feel like your husband has a good heart? Do you feel that your husband is good willed? If you have children, would you trust your children to be in your husband's care if you passed away? If you answered yes to these questions, I challenge you to think again about why you may be considering divorce. Could it just be because you have become bitter, lost your way, or have closed off your own heart? If you really believe that your husband is a good willed man & is good to your children, don't you want to fight to hang on to him? Something to think about it.

I know that last night I dropped this respect bomb on you. Some of you might be thinking that you are a strong independent woman, you don't want to be submissive to your husband or that by respecting him, you are not considered "equal". I think that a few months ago I would have probably felt some of those same things. I have always been strong willed & a leader. However, I realize now that what I was doing was disobedient to God. I can be a leader at my job, but not in my home. That is Adam's job & that is what God called him to do. By interfering with that plan & not allowing Adam to do his Godly duty, I am also disrespecting him. This does not mean that I am less of a person or woman for obeying. I am simply being the part of the TEAM that I am supposed to be.

When you speak to your husband or about your husband in public, around your friends, family, or co-workers, do you speak about him in the highest regard? Do you go out of your way to uplift him? Do others think more highly of your husband than you do? When you speak of your husband, can others feel the love & respect that you have for him?


I have been extremely guilty of this in the past. However, it was never intentional. What I thought was innocent picking on him came across terribly disrespectful to him. The worst part is, due to the fact that he is wired the way that he is & because he knows that I would probably wrongfully attack him for bringing to my attention the innocent complaining, he just kept bottling it up. His wounds were getting deeper & deeper & I didn't even realize what I was doing was causing so much trouble.

It is sad to say & embarrassing to admit, but I allowed others to honor my husband considerably more than I did. Adam is the sweetest, most sincere, loving, honest, helpful, & encouraging man that I have ever known, but he wasn't hearing that from me. Most of you reading Kayleigh's blog gave my husband more praise than I did. That is ridiculous! What was I thinking? Was I just taking him for granted? Did I harbor so much frustration, anger, pain, or even resentment that I was blind to his wonderful qualities? Ladies, are you doing this in your marriage? As painful as it is, please be honest with yourself. I am not one to admit that I am wrong & I honestly think it took Adam leaving me for me to see what I was doing. You need to correct this issue before it happens to you.

I haven't mentioned this before & I don't mean to be egotistical, but I have a God given talent to be a great salesperson. Unfortunately, I was using this precious gift to manipulate & get my way. I don't believe that I knew that I was doing this, which I guess is the good news. I thought that I was just "sticking up" for my opinions or trying to prove a point. What I was doing was teaching Adam that he would never win with me. I was damaging his manhood & making him feel less in our home. I unfortunately was letting him know loud & clear that he was NOT our leader. What kind of damage are you causing?

One of the biggest eye openers from me was how I was treating Adam in relation to Brandon & Allyson. We would discuss this issue from time to time, but like everything else, Adam would drop it to do the honorable thing & avoid confrontation. I am not one of those mothers who thinks that the children do no wrong, but I have to say that my kids are pretty awesome. Brandon is a wonderful mix of handsome, sweet, hilarious, & loving. Allyson is gorgeous, (did you notice that she looks like me - LOL) motherly, intelligent, & sensitive. They very rarely get into any trouble. However, when they do get in trouble, it is usually Adam bringing it to their attention. He will admit that he gets frustrated a little quicker than I do. When he does, it bothers me to no end. I feel that it always happens at the worst times. If I slaved and sweated buckets over a nice family dinner, something happens for Adam to scold the kids while we trying to have special family time by us all eating together. If we are having a rare day out at the park or zoo, something will happen and Adam would punish them. I don't intend to sweep the kids disobedience under the rug. I just want to maintain a family unity where we all get along & have a good time. Between school, work, personal activities, & the kids spending half of the week with their dad, we don't get that much time together. I don't want to spend it arguing. I have been known more times than not to question Adam about his discipline & often this is done in front of Brandon & Allyson. I realized that this is NOT the way that this should be handled. If I am being honest, this is my biggest struggle of all & I am a work in progress. I "mean" no disrespect because I simply want to "protect" everyone's feelings, but what I am doing is showing a huge amount of disrespect. What I am really doing is showing Adam that the kid's feeling are more important. Is it a shock that he didn't feel as though he was a good leader? I didn't let him!

Ladies, I know that I am not alone here. I am sure that some of you are feeling absolutely ashamed of yourself right now because you are realizing what you have been doing too. I understand. I feel like I just drug myself through the mud typing this. However, I know in my heart that I am good willed & never intentionally did any of this. That counts for something. I am so blessed that God showed me the error of my ways before it was too late. Can you imagine realizing your faults after the divorce, after you break your children's hearts, & after your husband has remarried? I personally would be devastated.

When I married Adam, I knew that he was my soul mate. He was the person that God chose for me & I couldn't have been happier. Hang on to that. Some of you feel as if you never loved your husbands from the start and you probably never thought you should have gotten married in the first place. Honestly and with complete respect to all of you who feel this way, you have convinced yourself of these lies! The longer the problems have been going on, the further away from the real truth you feel. Check this out...in three short months, Adam convinced himself that we should have never gotten married and that he loved me for all the wrong reasons. He will mark my words and tell you that he convinced himself of lies because it was easier for him. I am sure a psychologist would back me up on this, but you have trained your subconscious mind to believe these lies you have told yourself day in and day out for such a long time. These lies started when you were angry at your husband and you started to think negative thoughts. Just like any negative habit, it festers and grows worse and worse until it is either recognized and fixed, or it ruins a lot more than you could have imagine. The sad thing is, most people realize this issue after the damage has been done. I hope this hits home and you recognize this problem right now and fix it. They say that people change & people grow apart. but I believe that people make changes. They move apart because of how they are treated. That can be repaired. Don't let a divorce happen in your life & have to settle for second best. You have your God chosen partner with you right now, today. Don't lose him.

Lesson #4 - When your husband is around, say something honorable about him in front of your children or his peers. Perhaps say, "When it comes to math, few are as smart as your dad. Why don't you ask him to help you with that question." Or, "Your dad works every day so that we can live in this home. He is a very hard worker." Or, "Do you know what I admired about your dad when we first met? It was....."


This kind of thing is not hard for us women. We are only talking about a few sentences. God has gifted us to communicate. If you are thinking that you can't do this, you are lying to yourself. The truth is that you don't WANT to say something honorable to a man that you don't feel is as nice as he should be to you. You are locked into the idea that he must earn your respect. I know that you might be upset with him & that he should also be honoring you. Remember, the most mature one moves first. The more respect you give, the more opportnity he has to (in return) show love. A mature wife looks beyond her husband & speaks these words because the Lord wants us to.
1 Peter 3:9 says, "not returning.....insult for insult, but give a blessing instead."
You can give a verbal blessing. No sweat!


"Lord, thank you so much for getting me through the first three days of this challenge. I am looking forward to the changes that I can make in myself & in my marriage. Please open my heart & my mind to do these challenges to the fullest & without resistance. Lord, please don't let any negative feelings that I may have about my husband come through in my expressions or demeanor. Please continue to hold my hand & guide me through this forest. I can't find my way without you. Lord, I ask that you give me the perfect, honoring compliment to say to my husband tonight. I want to leave an impression on his heart that he will never forget. I want to be the wife that my husband is proud of. Please make me a better wife & let it be for my husband. Amen."


Aimee

14 comments:

kristin said...

Yea, I'm the first one to comment. Love the
blog and your advice. Great ideas and thoughts. I am practicing! Thanks! Kristin
in Penhook, VA

Anonymous said...

Aimee- Just wanted to say....do not worry that your writing isn't up to the same caliber as Adam's... You are doing great!
Loving the challenges!

D

Seraphim said...

Looking forward to trying lesson 4 tonight. Dinner was a HUGE success last night! x

April Swarthout said...

amiee you hit home with me in so many areas. I am 26 and not in a good spot in my marriage. I am working on putting it on paper and sending youmy story to you. thank you so much you have such a special gift with being able to share your story.

April

Anonymous said...

Aimee,

God is using you!! I'm praying for you and your family, but I thank God because he's helping and guiding you with this difficult and sensitive task! Your blog has just started, and it's been nothng but a positive experience in my household! May God Bless you, Adam and your wonderful kids!
Mary C. Victorville, Calif.

~~Mel~~ said...

I'm late to this party! But I have to say I will be following...your words spoke to me...I was literally nodding my head up and down when you talked about the fun family times being turned around into a negative...it's hard to pick and choose your battles and it's even harder when the parents may not be on the same page at that time.

I'm not married (yet) but I have a wonderful boyfriend who has taken on the role of father to my gorgeous 8 year old boy...it's been a tough road but one we know we are on together...forever.

Chris & April said...

I love this blog! My husband and I have a very good marriage but their is always room for improvement. I think the lessons you are teaching are wonderful and I have recommended your blog to a few friends who I know that need it desperately. You are doing great!

~Jennifer~ said...

This post is just what I needed to hear. I'm ending my negative inner voice today.

mythreesons said...

You have been the answer to my prayers! I have been having a hard time in my marriage and wanted to end it. Thank-you so much!
From Canada

Anonymous said...

I was so excited to get up early this morning and see what my next challenge was going to be! Last nights dinner "Pizza" was a success because he was not expecting it at all...Before he left for work I had ask him if there was anything that he would really like for dinner and being such a nice fella he said anything was fine. I had to pretty much drag it out of him to get a answer. He is a Peace at any price type of guy which is nice when one is controlling as myself but no fun when you are working on trying to be a different kind of wife. I am very guilty of doing exactly what you talked about in the above blog. I have been told that some how he and I have reversed rolls in our marriage and that is not good. I am so aware of this today that it hurts to be reminded to know how disrespectful I have been. The hope is I don't have to go back and relieve my past everyday I just have to remember to keep in check with God and live one day at a time. Thank you Amiee,
Ashley from Wilmington, NC

Jennifer said...

You are totally speaking to me about the kids. I have a daughter that I brought to the marriage and then together we have two little boys. It is very difficult for me when it comes to discipline because we have different ideas of how it should go. I think we have been doing ok lately but it is a work in progress that's for sure. With the boys I praise him all the time but with my daughter it is a little harder. All his other aspects of parenting are amazing (really they are.....I wish I was more like he is at times) but I tend to let this one thing rub me the wrong way A LOT! I am going to work on praising him more often in front of my daughter. Thank you.

Moya said...

I was thinking about what you said yesterday about a better approach to any conflict we had. So when my husband said something hurtful last night, I thought about it and approached him respectfully and was pleasantly surprised that he told me exactly what was bothering him (Which he rarely does!) and I was able to soothe his fears. Just imagine if I had reacted the way I instinctively thought to do! It would have been a disaster for no good reason!

April said...

Aimee,
I haven't commented in a few days but I am keeping up! The hubby loved his meal and was sooo surprised. I don't really cook (he is a chef) but my chicken and dumplings (we are southern ha) are his absolute favorite. I made enough that he is still eating them two days later! Ha!

cmpnygrl said...

Aimee-
I am a friend of "Kate" who set me up with the blog. I love her! Thank you so much. I am in day 4 of the challenge. I not only included myself but also my son in greeting my husband at the door. Since he works from home and I do not, I had to be creative in how I met him at the door. I decided to do it when he came home from serving at church. I also had our 6 year old greet him with me one of those days. We jumped up and down and were excited because Deeda was home and we missed him. Even the dog joined in. I could tell my husband was surprised and blessed by the gesture. The nice twist to this is when I came home today, my husband and son actually were at the door for me!

 

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