31 Days to Becoming a Better Wife: Day 23: The Stranger Beside You

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Welcome to day 23 of our 31 day journey to becoming better wives! I can’t believe we are nearing the end and I still have so much to say! Don’t worry, I am praying fervently that I say all I need to say and learn all I need to learn so that I can move on to a different topic already! With doing this study back to back to the Proverbs 31 study, I know God is trying to get my attention.

Yesterday, I showed you some different things we could do to show respect and love for our husbands. One of those options was to know his likes and dislikes and to use that knowledge to do nice things for him. I even challenged myself in week one to start doing nice things for my husband for no reason. With this challenge in mind, I tried to come up with a list of things I could do. Some ideas came very easy. For instance, my husband is in a band and loves music, so anything to do with guitars or music is sure to be a winner, right? WRONG! God quickly brought to mind a time when my daughter wanted to buy my husband a Christmas present. She wanted to use her own money, of which there was not a lot. She had her heart set on buying him a stuffed elephant or something along those lines, but I, using mommy persuasion, convinced her he would much rather have a Christian Christmas CD because after all he loves God and he loves music. Let’s just say he would have much rather had the stuffed elephant. Another time, I got him Jeremy Camp’s latest album for Easter. I was thinking it was Easter, the gift should involve God, and because he loves music and Jeremy Camp, this CD would be perfect. His exact words, “Oh, you got yourself a new CD.”

As you can imagine, his reaction did not go over so well for me seeing as I did put some thought into his gift (which was much better than the whole lot of nothing he got me). I tried to find something that would let him know that I knew him. Why? Well, because those are the kinds of gifts I like to get. I like something with a little something behind it. I told this to my husband once. I said get me a sentimental gift, something with meaning behind it. Do you know what I got? I got a CD player for my kitchen. Not what I was going for, but once I heard his reasoning behind it, that CD player became special. You see, my husband knew that I loved listening to audio books, so he thought I would appreciate a sound system for the kitchen, where I listened to my books the most. Kind of thoughtful after all wasn’t it?

So, where did I go wrong in my quest for a meaningful present? I thought I knew my husband, but I really didn’t. I assumed that because he is a guitar player any present related to music would let him know that I was paying attention and knew what he liked. Yes, he likes Jeremy Camp, but he is not necessarily his favorite. However, out of his top favorites, Jeremy Camp is my favorite, so clearly my husband was not too far off the mark with his not-so-nice reply.

Lysa TerKeurst gives a good illustration in her book, Capture His Heart, regarding the knowledge we have about our spouses and the knowledge we think we have.

If you are wearing a watch, do not look at it. Do not even glance at it. For those of you who don’t wear a watch, just be patient and hang on.

Without looking, recall what kinds of numerals your watch has. Are they roman numerals, standard numbers, dots, dashes, or something else? What is at the 12, 3, 6, and 9:00 spots? Any other special features?

Now look at it closely. How many did you get right? Now, since you just looked at your watch, what time is it? (p.89)

“Think of how many times a day you look at your watch [or phone], and yet many of us can’t recall the simplest of details about it. Too many of our marriages are the same way” (p. 89)

We look at and talk to our husbands every day, but are we really seeing them? Do we truly hear them?

In the beginning, couples spend all their time together. Their laughing, cuddling, sharing, and getting to know one another. We want to know everything we can about one another. Then the marriage comes, then the kids, the bills, etc. and there is no time for one another. Years go by, and we change, but since there is no time for discovery, our spouses do not know this new person we have become. This happens over and over, and pretty soon it can be like two strangers living under the same roof. Now some cases are not as extreme as this, but often times the realities of life become a wall of separation between spouses.

“We slip into survival mode and stop discovering altogether. Think back to our watch illustration. I wonder how many things there are that we have no clue about where our husbands are concerned. I look at him every day, sleep with him at night, , talk ,kiss, and even make babies with him, yet there’s still much I don’t know. And sadly, much of what I do know and love has gotten lost in the shuffle of life” (p. 90)

So, what do we do about it? We make a continual effort to know one another. We have purposeful conversations with each other. Now, this is harder than it looks because we know our men do not like to talk, especially about this kind of stuff. Sometimes it is easier just to break it down and let him know “if he wants his needs filled, he has to spill.”

Remember, some of these things you may have known or think you know, but remember that people change. If you have been married a long time, what his favorite color was 20 years ago, may not be the same today. Please come up with your own list as these are just suggestions and don’t feel pressured to use every one.

What is your favorite color, movie, book?
What do you like to do most with your free time?
What is your ideal gift that I could give you?
What holiday traditions do you find important?
What makes you feel relaxed?
What is your favorite Bible verse?
What is your definition of romance?
What do you feel is the most romantic thing I have done?
What do you feel is the most romantic thing you have done?
What is your dream (not necessarily realistic)?
What is your hope/vision for each of our children?
What are some things about the running of our household would you change?
What would you like to see us do more of? Less of?
When do I look the most attractive to you?
What Bible story or person do you most relate?
Ask specifics about your love life-too personal to list here, but I think you can come up with these on your own.
(Some of these questions came from “Capture His Heart” pp. 90-91)

These are just some ideas, not a checklist to complete. Now, every couple is different and your husband may prefer to just go through the list, but I don’t recommend it. I think it would be much more beneficial to bring these up in conversations. Think back to your dating days and draw on those memories.

Until tomorrow, stay safe and God bless,
Missy

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