Well, it's been awhile. Nothing wrong. Indeed, I have been experiencing a period of spiritual growth. It feels good. I feel mature and I like being a grown-up. I am happy. Maybe it's a good thing that I haven't thought about blogging in awhile? Nevertheless, I felt like it today.
What's on my mind today is this section of "Love & Respect" by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs.
The section I like the best is very encouraging. It talks about a husband's temptation to withdraw or to stonewall. In short, to be unloving. It begins with the writer sharing the solace he found in Proverbs 24:16 which reads, "For a righteous man falls seven times, and rises again." I love that! By that definition, I am a righteous man! Also, I never want to give into being unloving, ever!
The author is talking about times wherein a man might feel disrespected because his wife is upset. He encourages husbands to not give into the temptation to be unloving or to give up.
"While God is gracious and kind, He knows that old habits don't die unless they are dealt with. It is in moments like these that He will speak to you, saying, 'Go back. You honestly forgot to decode her message
. You responded like a male. You thought you were doing the honorable thing by refusing to engage her. But that isn't going to work now. It won't stop the craziness. I want you to hear her deeper cry
and move toward her
. Allow her to vent. Embrace her negativity and anger.'"
He goes on to say, "If you can honestly do that--if you can take the hit and keep coming--then you'll be able to say something like this: 'Honey, I'm sorry for coming across so unlovingly.'"
He continues, "When his wife comes at him with disrespect flashing in her eyes and venom shooting from her tongue, every husband has two choices: (1) defend his pride by firing back venom of his own or stonewalling her, or (2) try to hear his wife's cry and respond with unconditional love. I have made the decision that, with God's help, I will always choose option 2: try to hear [my wife's] cry and respond with unconditional love."
I am so thankful for God's unconditional love for me and I am so thankful that he has given me the power to love well. I have, again, recently had the honor to be brought into another couple's marriage; they are experiencing chaos. They look-up to my wife and I because of our growth. Wow! That is why this stuff is on my mind. My advice to husbands today is just what I choose to put in italics above: decode her message
, hear the deeper cry of her heart
, and move toward her
. Plus, don't forget the great encouragement of Proverbs 24:16, "For a righteous man falls seven times, and rises again." So, to borrow from Springsteen's "My City of Ruins," here, "Come on men, rise up!"
Here is a suggested prayer: "God, thank you for loving me unconditionally. I thank you that I have the same power to love unconditionally. Here in this moment, I am willing to love well. Please give me the wisdom to decode my wife's message, to hear hear what she is realling feeling and what she really means. Please Lord, let me hear the deeper cry of her heart. Now, with your help, I will make the choice to love well and to move toward her."
Labels: God, love, marriage