The View from the Porch Swing

Sit a spell, kick your shoes off...we'll chat about life and love and God and all the things that matter most.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

'Tis an honor

I finished reading "A Wife After God's Own Heart" by Elizabeth George last week. It was so good and there was so much in it that I needed to learn that I just couldn't take my time. I tried to limit myself to one chapter a day. Sometimes I was successful, sometimes not. I'd just be like, oh wow, what she had to say about family was so amazing, I've just got to know what she says about finances...NOW!

I tried to apply what I was reading as I went along, but there is too much stuff to absorb it all at once or even to put something into practice at the speed I went through. So, now I am going back through it again, really thinking about the passages I highlighted the first time and at the end of each chapter George gives a list of very practical and doable exercises to help the reader begin applying what was just read about to marriage and life. I'm going to spend several days on each chapter this time through. I need at least that much time for the exercises to begin to be ingrained in my life.

The second chapter is about becoming and working as a team and is the chapter I'm currently digging into. This chapter clearly spells out the God-given roles of a husband and wife in marriage. It's nice to have guidelines spelled out and know what is expected. I'm the kind of person who needs that so I can refer back to it again and again. Back to the book, much of this chapter centers on the need for a wife to respect her husband. A lot of the other stuff will flow naturally out of this. Unfortunately, even though women are commanded to respect their husbands, it very often isn't something that comes naturally. And maybe in our casual society, it isn't even a skill that is taught in the family (just watch an episode of the Simpsons or even how the neighbor kids talk to their parents). Everyone craves it, demands it, even, but do we really know what it is? George's exercises at the end of chapter 2 offer a pretty good picture of the attitude behind respect.

1. Diligently thank and praise your husband for the things he does that fulfill his God-given role as head of the family-be specific.
2. Ask your husband two questions every day:
*What can I do for you today?
*How can I help you make better use of your time today?
3. Think of one fun thing to do with your husband this week...
AND DO IT! Let him know you value his company.

1. Look away from him when he is talking. Look in his eyes. Focus on him and what he is saying.
2. Interrupt him.
3. Tell him to do things. ASK him.
4. Make negative comments about him when you are talking to others.

The motivation to apply these suggestions? They are all things that will build up a husband's confidence and encourage him to do better and anything that helps him be a better husband and leader of the family benefits and blesses the wife in the long run.

What constantly amazes me is how much depends on the wife fulfilling her role. She is the keystone, the glue, of the marriage and family, holding it all together. A man has many responsibilities, too, but not quite the pivitol role the woman has. That God trusts women with so much responsibility surely proves the great esteem in which He holds women. I don't know that I have ever before thanked God for making me a woman, but that is exactly how I am feeling this morning...grateful.


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