Every season of lent, I I always contemplate about what I want to "give up" that year. Much like my New Years Resolutions, I debate between things that are way too easy, to things that are way too unreasonable. Some seasons of lent, I start thinking of things that will help me on a personal level, and then remember what lent is all about, and try to stick a biblical reasoning behind that thing to justify my decision.
This year, after some thought, I decided not to give anything up for lent. I mean, what's the point if I'm going to fail; although I believe last year, I successfully gave up alcohol for lent (woo hoo!). So when my fiance, Michael asked what I was giving up for lent, I pondered for a moment, and told him I decided not to give anything up. I quickly turned the question back on him, and let him ponder about what he'd give up himself. I felt guilty about not giving anything up; so after several hours of internal contemplation, I finally decided to open up my many "Praying for your Husband" pins, and attempt praying one of these prayers for my [future] husband everyday for lent. (And I'm fully aware Michael and I haven't exchanged our "I Do's" yet, but I really don't think there's any harm in getting some extra practice and staying ahead of the game!)
Everything was happy doo-dah over the weekend, and then on Monday evening we had an argument. Honestly, our arguments are never crazy or get out of control, so this one wasn't any different. So anyways, Tuesday morning comes and I'm at my desk at work. What do I pray for him about?
And then it dawned on me. A wife's role is not to pray for her husband's specific needs. A wife's role is to respect her husband, as the church respects Christ.
So then I hit up my dear friend Google and Pinterest, and searched "how to respect your husband".
I came across several blogs and websites, and one of those is Ashley Shellz' "31 Days of Respecting my Husband" series. I'm only on day three, but before I went any further, I wanted to begin sharing my thoughts and findings with whoever may come across this.
soo recap time.
Day 1 was a general post on why we should respect our husband unconditionally. And it's not about whether we think he deserves it or not.
Day 2 was on respecting his words. It had 5 points to help remind me what I could do to be an active listener. Some quotes that spoke to me...
"I am honored to be not only my husband's wife, but his best friend. Someone he can confide in."
"If he is taking the time to talk to me about something - anything - I need to respect that and listen."
"It means actively listening to ALL he has to say. Without thinking the entire time about what I'm going to say next."
What does it mean to be an active listener?
- Making eye contact
- Laying aside distractions
- Responding with body language (facing him, nodding)
- Clarifying what he's saying
- "I am often assuming what the person is feeling because that's how I would be feeling - but this isn't always the case."
- Asking him questions
"Showing respect for my husband's words means letting him know that his words have value."
Day 3 is on respecting him in how I talk about him. So this was actually yesterdays, but I wanted this one to leak over to today's as well. It's not that I intentionally talk poorly about Michael. Let me share my take aways, and explain further.
"I am representing the gospel in my marriage."
"It's one thing to have some lighthearted teasing....But I have to be careful of crossing the line and hurting his feelings, especially around other people. I'm definitely guilty of going too far. And he may not show it. That's the thing - a lot of the time guys don't show that they're hurt. They're usually not as quick to show sensitivity as we ladies are."
"Ask myself if the words are edifying or if I will be tearing him down."
"I think it's frequently innocent - we try to make a joke but it comes out the wrong way and we end up questioning their manhood."
So you see, even though I may tease him out of endearment, it may not always be received in that manner. And the worst part - is I may never know! That's terrifying to me. To think of all the countless times I could have hurt his feelings... and I'll never know. The even scarier thing is, last night we had dinner with a couple friend of ours. I came home that night, and could not remember whether I did a good job of being cognizant of how I spoke about Michael or not. Scary Mary!!! So I decided to give this one another try. I want to make intentional and successful attempts at each of these topics. So, there you go. Today is Day 3/4 on this journey of mine. I pray God will give me the strength and focus to remain intentional on this.
Okay, it's lunch time. See you tomorrow for a hopeful Day 4/5! :)
PS!!-- I was just introduced to the most interestingly delicious yogurt ever!!
Atlanta Fresh Greek Yogurt's Tropical Sweet Heat!It's sweet, yet provides a nice warm heat in your mouth. Even better, it's greek yogurt (15 grams of protein) and fat free! Best part? they're local! Not only Atlanta local, but Norcross local! Check it out!