Jason and I are participating in the Fireproof Sunday School class at our church. For those of you who are not familiar with the movie Fireproof, it portrays a couple on the brink of divorce. The main character accepts an offer from his father to try The Love Dare, a book that urges the spouse to shower his wife with unconditional love. I have not watched the movie yet (it is sitting on top of my DVD player waiting for a night that we both have free), but I hear that it is a very touching portrayal of what can happen when you make God the center of your marriage.
Our first week of discussion was titled "He Said, She Said". I know that not all of you readers are married, but I think that this discussion can apply to any male in your life ... father, brother, friend, boyfriend. It basically touches on the fact that God created us male and female for a reason, and we need to appreciate and nurture these God-designed differences.
For example, throughout our discussion it became clear that men and women need different things in a marriage. Primarily, women want to feel loved. For some women, this means they crave compliments from their spouse. Others just want to feel like their husbands are listening to them. Others brought up feeling understood and appreciated in their roles as wives and mothers. Men, on the other hand, want to feel respected by their mates. They long to feel useful and needed. They want their wives to acknowledge what they do for their families.
Undoubtedly, men and women are two very different creations! But God created us to complement each other. Our strengths as women are often weaknesses in our spouses, and vice versa. God knew exactly what he was doing when He created men to be task-driven and women to be more emotional creatures. We work well together..... if we let God be the center of our unity.
As women, I think we sometimes forget that our husbands need our words of support just as much as we need them to listen to us. I challenge you (and myself) this week to find a small way to build your spouse up... whether it is a note or a quick word of encouragement or thanks. Pray for your spouse. It is amazing how much little gestures can make a big difference in your marriage. (just a side note, I have to tell you I left Jason a sticky note on the treadmill telling him how proud I am of him for getting up to exercise. He hugged me and thanked me for the note which is still sticking on the outside of his Bible.) I am going to make an effort to appreciate him for who he is, not complain about what he isn't.
I would love to hear about the results you have with your spouse.... how did he respond to your little gestures of love?
"Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs that it may benefit those who listen.... Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you."