Originally posted 2/11/09
I've especially been having to relearn this lesson recently!
I'm sitting here eating the Honey Nut Cheerios snack mix I got from Giant Eagle with a coupon this week (picking out the pretzels of course) and wondering why they would put nasty pretzels in a sweet snack mix. I'm not a fan of pretzels and whenever I eat snack mixes (which always have them!!) I usually just hand them to my husband and won't let him have any of the good stuff like the chex pieces or little breadsticks. He's so good to me and eats them all without too much complaint! :)
A thought stuck me today as I was reading my Proverb for the day: #5. Good old #5 about how men need to stay away from immoral women. In verse 19 it says "As a loving deer and a graceful doe, let her (the wife of your youth) breasts satisfy you at all times; and always be enraptured with her love." Most of us wives say "Yeah! That's right!" But do we ever think about what this verse may mean for us, besides security? "Be enraptured with her love" kinda gives the inpression that the wive is ACTIVELY loving her husband, huh? I think this ties in with Titus 2:4 very well: "that they (older women) admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children..."
Let's take that thought a little further, even. Am I loving my husband actively in a way that will enrapture him? You may think "It's up to him to accept it" but hold on for a minute. Isn't it our job as wives to be our husbands "help"meets? Isn't it my goal in our relationship to do what I can to help, encourage, and come beside him? Do you think that might including making it easier for him to be enraptured by my love?
If you've never heard of the Five Love Languages book, this may be confusing to you, but the whole idea is that everyone has one of five distinct ways they like to give and receive love. I was a skeptic at first, especially when my husband told me he'd taken the test and his love language was touch. I figured he was just saying that because he wanted it that way, etc. I was a skeptic until I overheard the author of the book, Gary Chapman, on a radio program talking about what happens in a marriage where the partners aren't speaking each other's love language. He described my (then) current marriage state loud and clear and it was a slap in the face to hear a stranger I didn't buy into explain all the little struggles we were dealing with no one else around could see. After that I took the test and am considering reading the book now. My husband is touch and I am gifts and quality time.
Now here's obstacle #1. Touch was the lowest one for me. Actually, I scored a 0 out 0f 12 on that one. Honestly, I don't like to be touched much, especially when I'm pregnant. Maybe the occasional hug and goodnight kiss. Here's obstacle #2. I spend all day wiping a runny nose, changing poopy diapers, cooking, cleaning, reading and a whole host of other things. You mean to tell me that after all that, when I feel completely drained, I need to actively love my husband in a way that's difficult for me? In a word: YES.
Back to my illustration about the pretzels. I have been giving my husband the pretzels out of the bag of my time and energy. I happily give my time to a lot of things throughout the day (most of which are great things) and leave the pretzels for him at the end of the day. Put in that light, it doesn't seem very fair, does it? Just as I expect him to come home from work and love me in a way I enjoy, I need to be doing the same for him.
Chapter 5 of Proverbs is a very important book explaining what happens when a man goes towards an immoral woman and gets involved in adultry. It is very much up to my husband to guard and watch his actions and heart, but it is just as much my responsibility to make it easier on him. I want to lighten his load and help him in whatever way I can. If that involves me putting forth more effort to love him in a way that is meaningful to him even though I am tired, then it's my heart's desire to do so. Notice that Titus 2:4 gives instructions for older women (who have been there already) to teach the young women to LOVE their husbands (which is listed before the children).
A lot of women hate hearing it, but if our husbands stray it may have a least a little to do with our lack of proactive action. No, I'm not blaming the wives nor excusing the husbands. I am reinforcing something discussed in the book "For Women Only" about how men often wish (but rarely tell) their wives would make more of an effort in things like her appearance and their sex life. GASP! He's supposed to love me for who I am! Yes, he is, but don't you think you should put in some effort too? I'm not saying you should neglect your children and house and become vain and unbalanced, but your husband deserves the good stuff you have to offer too, not just the pretzels. I know I want to start making more of an effort to enrapture my husband with my love, how about you?