Categories
Marriage

How Do You Show Love?

I hope I haven’t exhausted this topic! Here are two places I’d like to recommend to couples wanting ideas on how to daily be a blessing to their spouse. For men, go to The Generous Husband. Women, go check out The Generous Wife. Paul and Laurie are a Christian husband and wife that take marriage seriously. I’ve enjoyed an email subscription to The Generous Wife emails for several years now. Here’s a little description taken from Laurie’s Generous Wife page:

Everyday you’ll receive an idea geared to bless your husband (a mix of romantic, practical, sexual, relational, and spiritual). Use the ideas that will work for you and use the rest to spark your imagination in looking for ways to bless your husband.”

Then, I came across another post on this very same subject over at Girl Talk. Janelle Bradshaw wrote, Cherish Him–and it’s full of practical ideas on what husbands say their wives do to make them feel cherished! I especially liked this one Janelle shared, taken from chapter two in the book Feminine Appeal by Carolyn Mahaney:

“Each time Karin catches my eye in public with a smile and subtle wink, or greets me with a warm embrace upon my arrival home from work, or hangs on my arm when we go out on a date, the message comes through loud and clear: ‘I enjoy being with you and want you to know that I love you.’”

So we’ve talked about how your loved ones show love to you, but how do you show your love?

Categories
Marriage

Marriage Polars

Me and Her

She is compulsive.

I am impulsive.

She likes it hot.

I like it cold.

She is neat.

I’m a slob.

Andy Rooney says, “A’s marry Z’s”

But we are in different alphabets.

I push.

She pulls.

She says, “Down.”

I say, “Up.”

She is night.

I am day.

Living together is hard.

Living without her would be impossible.

~Author unknown

Doesn’t this just bring back newlywed memories? I’d make the bed and tuck the sheet-ends in, he’d get in bed and tug it all out again. I’d have supper ready at 5 pm each night, he wouldn’t be in from choring till 7. (I’ve adjusted our mealtimes). I’d fix veggies alongside every meal, a definite change for him. (He adjusted). I drank water only. He drank a little tea with his sugar. Now I drink coffee and he’s water only. Go figure.

I want to hear some of your quirks, whether they were newlywed adjustments or things your friends/spouses still find amusing…share share away…what annoyed you, what did you do that annoyed others?

Only the things you can now smile about, please!

Categories
Christianity Family Ties

Wish I Was An African Violet

My husband loves to laughingly quote the Little Rascals episode in which the gang all takes a turn “wishing” for something. “Wish Cotton was a monkey”…says one, and coincidentally around the corner comes a monkey that had somehow escaped his owner. Where did Cotton go? Suddenly wishes come true! Then comes our favorite line, one we tell our girls when the materialistic bug comes biting: “I wish there was two days in the week…Christmas and Saturday. Um-hm.”

I watered my African Violet this evening, and thought how hearty it is…year in and year out it survives my caretaking (major brown thumb). I bought it for my husband’s grandma during her final days in the rest home two years ago and adopted it when she died. Or it adopted me. I get year-round flowers for very little maintenance. I can forget to water it for weeks, it sits on my widest windowsill and thrives whether in blistering sunshine or withering frost. And, for the record, this ole farmhouse has leaky windows!

Oh to be an African Violet. In my marriage and friendships…to be the giver of joy always, and able to subsist on the merest of care. I repotted this violet once, into a bigger pot and like an obedient little flower, she grew into the new pot. I bet she’d continue to grow if I kept giving her the chance.

Have you known any African Violets? Though surrounded by chaos and testing, you’d never know it thanks to their smile and the peace they radiate. These people bloom in whatever circumstances God’s planted them.

To grow children, marriages, and friendships we invest ourselves deeply in other people. Sometimes we die a little in the process. Wishes may be what dreams are made of, but it takes hard work to make them come true.

The sweet thing is, this sacrifice usually pays back. Husbands respond to wives who respect and appreciate them. Children respond to kindness and time well spent together. True friends stay friends for a lifetime.

“Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.” Mark Twain

Don’t we all wish we were African Violets?

Categories
Marriage

Sometimes it’s the Little Things

Let’s talk about love and marriage…specifically, how do you show your spouse you love him or her? What are some of the ways he/she makes you feel loved?

For me, it’s the little things. When my husband cleans up our especially messy toddler after supper, or when he rinses the tub out after his bath…these considerate gestures speak volumes. They tell me he appreciates me, wants to help me, doesn’t want to make more work for me. Which makes me want to do more for him!

Of course, the best times are when he hangs out in the kitchen with me as I fix a meal, or calls me during the day to tell me he just had to hear my voice…

I’ll never forget our first anniversary. Turns out he’d been paying attention in our dating days when I pointed out a gorgeous arrangement of peach and red colored roses at a department store. *I’d* even forgotten I’d gushed about the color combination. That was almost 13 years ago–that first anniversary–and guess what? Those petals have aged well, though the once vibrant colors have wrinkled and faded.

The little things are important to the big picture. Surround yourself with enough of them, and the hurtful things are easier to shrug off and forgive. Sometimes you have to look for them, but they’re usually there if your heart has eyes to see. And with that said, here’s a quote for you:

A happy marriage is the union of two good forgivers.” Robert Quillen

Your turn, what little things really get to your heart?

Categories
Christianity

Faithfulness

I wanted to share an excerpt from a book I truly enjoyed, Bring Back the Joy by Sheila Walsh. In chapter 5, talking about God’s faithfulness she tells the reader to imagine that the following is a conversation between a father and a son about the son’s future bride.

“She’s the one for you, son. Im’ sure of it.”

Martin looked at his father in utter disbelief. “You must be joking!” he said. “She’s hardly the kind of woman you should be advising me to marry.”

“I’m as serious as I’ve ever been,” his father continued. “I’m telling you, this is the girl you should marry.”

Martin looked across the restaurant to the bar where his “intended” was creating quite a stir. She was on her fourth round of drinks and was getting louder with every clink of glasses. He watched as four of the guys at the bar threw their car keys into a beer glass and held it up for Sonja to choose. She pulled out the set of keys that went with the blue suit and disappeared into the night.

“I’m asking you to do this for me, son,” his father said. “Do this for me.”

An episode from a cheap soap opera? Just read the OT book of Hosea. This man of God was instructed to marry a woman “with a reputation” to live out the story of God’s faithfulness to unfaithful Israel. Hosea married Gomer, who remained unfaithful to him, and yet Hosea persisted in his faithfulness. Perhaps God, in the only way we can understand, is giving us an illustration of how we have broken his heart by our wanderings and lack of commitment.

What is so amazing about the tragic story of Hosea and Gomer is the redemption and mercy carved out on the harsh landscape of their lives. We read, “The Lord said to me, ‘Go, show your love to your wife again, though she is loved by another and is an adulteress. Love her as the Lord loves the Israelites, though they turn to other gods.'” (Hosea 3:1)

Despite the brazen behavior of his people, God still loves, still goes after, still stands true and faithful.

What amazing grace…