“If you want a situation/ relationship to change, you have to be the first one willing to change.” These are words I have spoken over and over again to my children. They have come to me with issues regarding their significant others, their relationship with their dad, and every other area of their lives. So many times I have repeated these words to them, yet so many times I have failed to apply them to my life. The Lord has really impressed upon me the importance of making my marriage a priority in my life. The daily business of children, home keeping, serving in my church and all the other areas of my life have caused me to let the most important relationship I will ever have on this earth slip into a dead and lifeless state.
Recently, I have been posting about what the Lord is teaching me about marriage and what He desires me to do in regards to it. But one thing I realized, one thing He finally got through this thick skull of mine was that the issues with my marriage started and ended with me. I have been so focused on trying to change my husband, that I would not and could not allow the Lord Jesus to change me. Too many marriages, whether non-Christian or Christian, are failing because of the lack of listening to one another, and learning one another.
We hear our husbands, but do we truly listen to them? I read a blog post the other day, (and I am sorry to admit I do not remember who the lady was who wrote it- I would LOVE to give her all the credit for her wise words) and in this blog post she talked about how she wrote down all her “to-do’s” of the day and asked her husband to put them into an order of priorities that he would like her to do. Instead of numbering the list for her, he simply told her that he would much rather have her be nice to him. In the hustle and bustle of all that was on her plate, the one thing that was most important to him was that she would have the energy and the time to be nice to him. I must tell you; those words cut me to the core.
I saw myself busy with the day’s work, running here and there and everywhere, and my husband comes to me to talk. I let him speak; give him a sharp reply because I really do not have the time nor energy to do what he is asking, and walk away without one thought as to how my lack of attention has just affected him. All that he wanted was for me to be nice and listen to him, but I was too busy to give him what he needed at that moment. Men want to be loved; they need to know that they are your hero. My husband actually said that to me one time, and I was convicted by his words. He and a buddy of his were talking about a game they play online with one another, and he stated they both played this game because they want to be someone’s hero, even if only for a few minutes a day. Our husbands want to be our hero’s, our knights in shining armor. They want to swoop in and rescue us- and our desire as women is to be rescued.
Do we allow our husbands to be the hero’s God intended them to be? Or do we hold up our armor and shoot down anything that they come at us with? Do we try to rescue ourselves, or do we let our husbands swoop in and take charge of the battle? My husband has told me time upon time that he could care less what the house looks like when I am stressed out over all that I have “to-do”. But all I could ever respond with was “Well I do care.” Instead of really listening to what he was telling me, which was, “I would much rather have you being nice to me than a clean house,” I took his words as a lack of respect for me. (The “All about me” mentality again!)
Marriage is something that we have to work on daily. We cannot let the days and the years slip by and then expect to pick up where we left off after the kids have gone. He changes, we change, and we need to spend time each day truly listening to his needs and his desires. For some of us who are married to non-verbal husbands, sitting down and talking can be difficult. Try studying him. Listen to his body language, the expressions on his face. Ask the Lord to open your eyes to see, to hear what your husband is saying- through his actions. Not many women today want to accept the fact that their husbands are and need to be the head of the house. Instead we want to do everything, be everything until we drop into a state of pure exhaustion. While our husbands are lying down beside us, miserable, because of the lack of attention we have given them.
What did Adam say of Eve? “This is now bone of my bone, and flesh of my flesh;” (Genesis 2:23) The adoration and love he felt for Eve the moment the Lord brought her to him, is the same love and adoration your husband has for you, from the moment he saw you. God has made man to love passionately and deeply, they just show it differently than we women do. If you have wondered where that “spark” has gone, look at your heart, have the Lord reveal your heart and your actions toward your husband, and I am pretty positive that the “spark” has died out because we have let it- not because they have.
Learning to listen, truly listen to my husband is going to be a journey into the unknown. But I also know, without a doubt, that if I were to let everything go for one day, and just spend the day listening to him, learning him, then our marriage would begin to blossom in a way it has never before. Men want a wife, a help meet, someone to cling to; (Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and CLING to his wife…Genesis 2:24) they do not need a mother or a sister, because they already have one. Your husband wants you- just as you are. He loves you; otherwise he would not have married you.
I pray today that you would take some time to listen to your husband. Just as the Lord God bends His ear to listen to your very breath, do the same with your husband. Hear him, listen to him and let go of the things that take you away from him. He is still with you because he loves you and adores you- just as you are. We love the Lord our God because He loves us in spite of who we are. Our husbands give us the same kind of love. He sees your messy hair, your smelly breath, your good and your bad and he still loves you, just as you are. Praise God today for the man He has given you to. Praise your husband for the love he has shown you, and take some time to listen to him, every day. In Jesus Name, Amen.