Okay, so technology is not my strong suit. I really expected this blog to be posted yesterday, but something evidently went wrong. Sorry for the delay.
In Lysa TerKeurst’ s book “Capture His Heart,” she focuses on the woman’s role in marriage, what men want and need from their wives, and general tips on becoming better wives. I am not completely finished with the book, but I have found it not only helpful but surprisingly accurate.
Chapter 12 of “Capture His Heart,” titled Home:Haven or Headache, really struck a chord with me. In it Lysa talks about our expectations versus our reality and how we can better choices and react Godly. We all remember the old TV shows with the man arriving home at 5:30 PM on the dot, greeted at the door by his immaculately dressed family, followed immediately by a home cooked family dinner. After dinner father and son would play football while the ladies cleaned up. For me, this type of family did not exist. I never even imagined it to be possible as so many girls (and women) do. To be honest, I never even tried to have this kind of home. I was surprised to read that Lysa’s own surveys found a good majority of men still long for this kind of homecoming and family life. They want to come home to a clean house, behaved children, and a wife who doesn’t want to take his head off the minute he walks in the door. As a working mother, I can better understand this desire or need and I regret some of my past actions. I vividly remember, when my children were young, practically throwing them at my husband the minute he came home because I had been dealing with them all day. I am sure many of you can relate to this and have had your own moments. In Chapter 12, Lysa shows us two options of reacting to the same situation:
“Hi, Honey, I’m home,” he calls out after arriving an hour late.
Option 1: “Where have you been? You were supposed to be home an hour ago. You know I am so sick and tired of you saying one thing and doing another. The phone company called; our payment is late again but what do you care? Between your cell phone, beeper, and fax, I bet you could care less if we had a phone at home. Did you ever consider that our home phone is my only lifeline to the real world. You try staying at home with small kids all day long and see if you wouldn’t feel a little stressed if they threatened to take your phone away! Oh, and the kids and I already ate, so once again no quality time for the family. Boy, we feel real important. Do you keep us around just so you can have a token family picture on your desk at the office?” (Capture His Heart, p. 70)
It may seem a little extreme to some, but it hits a little too close to home for me. Yes, he is late. I can sympathize with the woman in this scenario, but is this something a man would want to come home to?
Option 2: “Hi, I’m in here. The kids and I have already eaten but would love to share a little desert with you. Why don’t you go put on some comfortable clothes, and I’ll reheat your dinner. I bet you’re exhausted from working overtime. After desert, I have a couple of things we need to talk about.” (pp. 70-71)
Option 2 is obviously the right choice and the Godly choice, but it is also the hardest choice. It is seldom easy to humble yourself and swallow your pride, and it is especially hard when you are in the right. In this scenario, the husband was late and did not call. He was in the wrong; however, by reacting in the ways of Option 2, the woman will likely bring out remorse in her husband whereas Option 1 would more likely bring out anger, defenses, and resentment.
“ When I have chosen the better reaction, option 2, where he is greeted with grace and understanding, there is no place he’d rather be than home. I could blame my husband for being late and nag him, but will that get me the end result I so desire? No. What I want is a happy husband. I want him to be willing to pitch in and help. I want him to be excited about spending time with the kids and me. If I want him to enjoy our home, my attitude is the key to making it happen. If there are issues that need to be addressed, discuss them after he’s eaten and had time to unwind.” (p. 71)
Not only do we need to address our attitudes, but also the atmosphere of our home. I don’t think too many people want to come home to chaos, confusion, cramped schedule, and messy house. No, our home should be a safe place, a haven. Now every man has a different definition of a haven, so please talk to your husbands and find out what they prefer. My husband likes to come home to a clean house with made beds and candles burning. It is also important to him that the kids chores are done. Due to the fact that he gets home earlier in the day than I do, he is often responsible for diner; however, he appreciates when there is a menu to follow and all the necessary ingredients are on hand. Another man surveyed for Capture His Heart said that he loves to come home to well-ordered house, a home that is a place of peace with no piles of laundry on the bed, no dishes in the sink, and no clutter on the furniture. Once again, every man’s wishes are different, so your homework today is to find out how your husbands define haven.
Now, I know the world says this is too extreme, but I strongly believe it is the will of God. We are called to bless our husbands even when circumstances scream otherwise. When we walk in the will of God, he will honor our efforts and we will be blessed. It may not come from our husbands; it may come directly from God.
When I am praying or thinking of this topic, I am often reminded of these two verses:
Proverbs 19:13-A quarrelsome wife is like a constant dripping.
Proverbs 21:9-Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife.
Ouch, hurts doesn’t it? I may not necessarily like these verses, but I sure can understand them. Who wants to come home to a fight every day? Who wants to come home to constant criticism and feelings of disappointment? If a husband starts to feel like he will never live up to your expectations, he will soon stop trying. I was touched deeply by the story in the Capture His Heart introduction and I believe says so much:
“I excited the airport and to my surprise, the shuttle bus for my parking lot was waiting outside. Usually I have to wait an unreasonable amount of time for the shuttle, but not tonight. I was thrilled. I hauled my luggage up the bus stairs and greeted the driver with a big smile.
“You seem glad to see me,” the driver said with a chuckle.
“I am,” I happily replied.
“Yep, I sure do love my job,” he said with a big grin and southern twang. “Where else could a sixty year old man work where women are tripping over themselves to have me pick them up?”
I smiled politely and looked out the window.
He continued, “ Yeah, everyone is excited to see me pull up to the curb. That is why I like my job so much. People get on the bus and smile so big. They’ve been waiting for me, and when I finally arrive they are happy I’m here. I’ve often thought I wished I had a video camera to tape people as they get on my bus with their glad-to-see-ya comments. I ‘d love my wife to see a tape like that. That’s the way I’ve always wanted her to look when I come home from work.
Ladies, we want our husbands to want to be home. We want them to want to spend time with us. They are not going to want to be there if we don’t make our homes the kind of homes they desire. Remember, your homework for today is to find out how your husband defines haven, and let’s take it a step further and try to come up with a plan to incorporate it into household.
Until tomorrow, stay safe and God bless,