Tag Archives: control

Still wanting to change him.

17 Oct

You know that stereotype right?

The one where the good girl loves the bad boy and she thinks she’s gonna change him.

Truth?

It could be a bad girl and a good guy,

a good guy and good girl

a bad girl and a bad guy….

or any weird variation in between and chances are…. she’s going to try to change him (or at least wish she could).

That’s looked different on me over the years. As I’ve changed, what I’ve wanted to change about him has changed.

Once he changes something, I  immediately focus on something else I am determined for him to change.

I’ve backed off a lot you know.  If you’ve read this blog for any amount of time, you know I’ve been learning, growing and working hard on unconditional respect.

I’m gaining ground.  Even though some days, I’m sure he’d tell you I’m not doing so hot.

But I’m still stuck on wishing I could change him to be just like me.

Instead of being thankful for the complementary relationship we have as man and woman, I can grow frustrated, jealous or annoyed with the difference between the genders.

Instead of being challenged and focused on learning to speak his love language fluently, I’m discouraged and lonely wishing I was married to someone who could easily and naturally speak my love languages and appreciated the ways I love so easily.

Instead of being appreciate of introverts, I’m tempted to think that extroverts are right and introverts are wrong.

Instead of being patient with how God is choosing to work in his life and focused on my own sins and struggles, I can get wrapped up in secretly trying to help the Holy Spirit do His job for Him.

At the end of the day, even if I don’t say it out loud, I am still secretly wanting him to change…. just because I’m still learning to die to myself.

Practical Application:

Sometimes you just have to be honest with yourself.

Not so you can excuse your behavior, but so you can confess it, see it for what it is, and stop ignoring your own sin.

Say Something….

30 Apr

Hey guys –

So, where have I been?  Well… I’ve been no where really.

I can say that I went from having a part-time babysitting job for the last two years, to having FOUR part-time jobs in two weeks time.  They are all jobs I can handle, but it’s taking some adjusting to get use to.

And baseball is in full swing so with two boys playing on two different teams and two other kids to watch and a husband who coaches…. it’s sink or swim and we do everything we can to stay afloat.

But… that’s all kinda a mask for the fact,

I don’t have anything to say.

Nothing is jumping out of my Bible at me.  In fact, it hasn’t for weeks. I’m still reading every day, always, but I don’t always remember what I read.  That’s how dry it is right now.

My prayer life is weak.  I pray with the kids every morning on the way to school, and some days… that’s as far as I get.

My natural instincts to be selfish and want to do everything I want to do when I want to do it and feel totally inconvenienced by my youngest two kids during the day is extremely high. I’ve said twice in the last week – I cannot WAIT until all of these kids are in school so I can have my days to myself.  Am I going to miss this someday?  It’s hard to believe that will be the case, but I can tell you that if that is true… it won’t just be miss, it’ll be regret.  Because I was warned to make the most of this… and yet, here I am – wishing it away.

Twice in the last week I treated my husband terribly with my actions and words.  I apologized very sincerely and quickly… but the suppression of my sinful nature is losing it’s grip.  And it scared me how wretched I was and how quick it happened.

I’ve avoided the computer, which means I haven’t read any of your blogs.  I’ve missed them so much, but I replaced all that computer time with work.  I’m throwing myself into my jobs right now in hopes to help my husband provide for this family.

I’m not depressed.  I’m not in a valley.  I’m not even lost in sadness.

It’s just very matter of fact.  I have nothing to say.

And the truth is… it’s time to say something before I give up.

We’ve all been there right?

When we avoid something or someone until they disappear.

Or, when we’re ignored to the point that we give up on someone or something else.

 

I’ll successfully hit 500 words, which is about half of a normal post for me.  I didn’t even think I’d get that far.

I’ll leave you with this….. I just appreciate the beauty of this song so much.

 

 

 

 

 

That one “thing” we don’t understand.

29 Mar

Your husband has it, my husband has it, every husband on the planet has it.

It’s their “thing.”  The one “thing” that is just, them.  They can’t separate from it because it’s literally part of their personality. It’s part of their make-up.  It’s part of what makes them tick.  It’s ingrained in who they are as a person.

And try as we might…. what makes “this” the “thing” is that we as their wives, don’t understand it at all.  In fact, we might be polar opposite and even frustrated by this.

That “thing” isn’t the same for every man.  It could be, but it isn’t always. Especially because what makes it the “thing” depends on who they’re married to.  And no two wives are the same; and no two husbands are the same; and no two marriages are the same… so I just can’t blanket post this.

But I know what my husband’s “thing” is… and I recently heard from another wife what her husband’s “thing” is, and even though their things were TOTALLY different…. I felt what she feels.

I can relate on the deepest level.  The confusion.  The frustration.

The wanting SO much to accept him and respect him unconditionally – not judging or condemning anything about him (especially when his “thing” isn’t even a sin at all!) and yet… all the while…. secretly wishing you could change it. Maybe even praying desperately that God would change it.

My husband is an introvert. He’s quiet (until you get to know him), shy, hates being surrounded by people he doesn’t know, does not make new friends easily at all, would prefer very small crowds, and hates speaking when called on without his own initiation.

I am an extrovert.  I’m not shy at all.  I am not intimidated by large crowds of people I don’t know in the least.  I make new friends quickly and make it look effortless, and I am always willing to share whether I know you or not.

I wrestled for a really long time feeling like this difference meant one of us was wrong.  And since my personality was mine…. I felt like mine was the correct way to approach life.

I remember feeling very judgmental thinking that he could change if he wanted to.  And that he was being a stubborn jerk just so he didn’t have to change.

Sound a little prideful much?! Just in case you’re not sure… Yes, yes it does.

I’ve done really well accepting this difference and appreciating how he enters a room and takes everything in, in a way I never do.  I can now see that there are strengths in his reserved approach to things and his natural tendencies give him time to access places and people who are present.

But. Sometimes his personality still puts me in positions where I’m not “getting everything I want”.  Which is a great way for Satan to attack me and tempt me to disrespect my husband, give into selfishness and ultimately hurt my marriage.

A perfect example was just a couple of months ago.  We recently changed churches and the church was offering a class after service to better explain their beliefs, ministries, church doctrine and practices.

At the beginning of the meeting, the pastor asked everyone to go around the room and say their names, where they were from and how long they’d been going to church there.

I SO wanted my husband to do this.  For me, I want him to come across as the leader and protector of our family because HE IS.  It’s not for public attention, it’s actually to avoid public attention.  It gives the wrong impression in my mind for the woman to do all the leading in public, but for her husband to do all the leading in private.  It makes for an inability to ask his permission/ideas when on the spot and looks like I need to speak for him or over him.

It’s hard to have a gentle and quiet spirit that is submissive to your husband when you have to do all the talking in public. You’re put on the spot to sometimes answer questions and make decisions without his input.

Of course, the worst thing in my mind had to happen.  The first table to go started with this scene:

The pastor called on the husband to speak and he said “oh my wife will do the talking, I learned that a long time ago.”  Hysterical laughter broke out throughout the room.

Awesome.  So when it’s my turn, and I talk instead of my husband… everyone will think the same thing about me.

I looked at my husband, and he was about to get up and walk out of the room because he hates that type of environment.  So, he sat there quiet, and I did the talking.

We left and I was horribly embarrassed. Not because my husband did anything wrong.  I was embarrassed because I was concerned with what I thought others were thinking (without even knowing for sure if they were.)

Did I need to be? No.  Does it matter what others think?  No.  Is it more important for me to be the helpmate my husband married and use my personality, gifts and abilities to add what would bless him most and benefit our marriage best? Yes, absolutely.

But my flesh needed some time to accept that on that day.

Here are the words of another wife describing her husband’s thing:

“I’ve planned every date we have ever gone on. We did go out to eat a week ago, but then just ran errands together even though I suggested fun activities because he was just too tired.. He says the way that he most relaxes it to do a household chore with me like weed the garden or plant our vegetable garden or helping a sick cow… To be honest, those are not fun for me. I do them because I love him. I would like to go to a bed and breakfast, stay all day in bed one day, go hiking another day… He would rather just stay here on the farm. But I am on the farm A LOT. I just haven’t figured out how to do this…he connects at home…I need to go out. Yes, I’ve told him this. I even offered that we go out and do something fun and I help him with a chore.. The chores have gotten done. Dates…maybe 1/4 of the time and I plan them… I guess I wish to be pursued, but he just doesn’t have the energy.”

Basically, he relaxes at home, she relaxes by going out.  Is he wrong? Is she wrong? No. Not at all. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t hard on her flesh not to scream out that he should want what she wants!!

They say opposites attract, but it seems after they’ve attracted, they battle to become the same to stay together, instead of appreciating what makes them opposite.

Really, this is just another opportunity for us to lay ourselves down and be thankful for the differences in who we are as humans.

Practical Application:

The next time his “thing” brings the temptation to be hurt or angry, stop right then and think about two things that are actually STRENGTHS about his thing.  Think about those things and how you might actually be lacking in that area, and how he helps balance you out.

And then, if you’re really feeling courageous (because Satan will definitely tell you that you’re about to encourage his nasty habits and ruin any chance for change) PRAISE him for his “thing.”

I’m putting a question on the table.

19 Mar

So, normally I don’t “beg” my audience for participation – but there are always exceptions right?!

I’m going to put a question on the table, and I’m anxious to hear from as many of you that are willing to share as possible.  I think this is a really big issue and I’m finding that this might just well be the hardest part of respect between a husband and wife, especially through the emails I receive.

I’ve talked in-depth about nagging and playing the Holy Spirit.

These habits can be very disrespectful and cause tension in a marriage.  It’s not wise for women to pester their husbands with requests, expect immediate answers, demand instant change, or punish them because they disagree or don’t “jump” fast enough, or in the right ways.

But there are times when a wife needs to come to her husband and confront sin, or even just address something that may not be “sin” but is a really big concern for her and their marriage.

I don’t care who you are, it’s hard to hear that something you do has hurt someone, or been called out as sin.  I’m not saying we aren’t appreciative and thankful for accountability and help seeing our short-comings, especially if it’s driving a wedge between us and our spouse, however, it isn’t usually an exciting experience.

And I imagine (I’m not a man, so hopefully I’m not miss-speaking here) it’s even harder to know that you’re the spiritual leader of your wife and you want her to respect you more than anyone else on the planet, and she’s bringing light to your sin or saying you’ve hurt her.

Ouch.  I totally get that!!!

So, here’s the question — (and men, I rarely address you, but if you’d weigh in…. you could be of HUGE value here!!!!!!)

How can a wife confront sin, or let her husband know something he is doing is hurting her or causing her great concern, while still showing him immense unconditional respect?  And, not leaving him feeling like she’s lecturing his behavior?

Are men prone to feel lectured just because they are being called out, no matter how respectful she is being?

I have my own opinions on this…. but I really want to hear from all of you.

Women — have you faced this?  What happened? How did you handle yourself?  How did your husband react?

Raising a man or parenting a child?

10 Mar

My upbringing has a lot to do with who I am today.  Partially because good habits and wisdom were examples for me to follow, and partially because bad habits and foolishness were examples for me to learn from too.

My parents are amazing.  I love them both so much.  They raised me to know Jesus, and that’s all that matters to me today.  Any sins or mistakes they made are all forgivable battles they were up against.

I hope one day my kids think my husband and I are amazing.  And they love us both so much.  And they are grateful that we raised them to know Jesus and make Him lord of their lives.  And they’ll look back on us with mercy and forgiveness for all the sins and mistakes we’re making too.

There are no perfect parents.

We will all make mistakes and have some regrets for how we did or didn’t do things.  Should we live in that regret? No. Regret is a trap that steals our future because it holds our heart.  You can’t live in the past and be present in the future at the same time.

That’s why, right now, TODAY, we have to make intentional choices in raising our kids so they’ll have the good habits and the wisdom we want them to have in their hearts as they become adults.

For every couple, the list of importance may look different.  We all put priority on parenting concerns that were present and weren’t present from our own childhood.

For me, I have a pretty long list.

But, I’m only going to talk about one today.

Preparing my boys to lead their wives by making good choices.

From my own experience, when I got married,  I was drowning in an ocean of feminism so far that it seemed nearly impossible for a life boat to even see me by how far I was submerged under the water. Nor would I have even looked for one, I adapted quickly to the water and thought constant swimming under the crashing waves was “normal.”

And worse, my husband thought this was normal too.  From the example of his parents, and the constant overwhelming influence of the world, taking a stand in this situation felt more “wrong” than leading like he was created to do.

Women often know nothing of unconditional respect, but they know immeasurable amounts of insight on how to demand respect and take charge as a competent, capable and intelligent woman.

This mindset in the work place has spilled over heavily into marriages.  And the divorce rate is THROUGH THE ROOF!

Chances are, my boys are going to find women who are brainwashed to be a leader at all cost.  To have a voice for her rights, to demand respect, and to never back down from her beliefs and desires.

My job as a mother?  To example for them the kind of woman to look for and to understand their God-given commands to lead, provide and protect their wives and children.

I think the number one way that mom’s fail in this department is forgetting to show their sons unconditional respect too, not just their husbands.

Am I saying they stop being the parent?  NO!!

But I’ve seen more often than not, mom’s embarrassing, belittling and correcting their teenage sons in front of other people.  Being a teenage boy is tough.  Especially if they are trying to be a godly man.

Pointing out his mistakes publicly, with condemnation or with dismissal of his feelings is setting him up to expect this kind of treatment and will lock up his courage to lead and emotions with a chain that most will never ever be able to unlock.

A mom can discipline her son in private. She can correct behavior and speak with respect in the process.  She can set boundaries with what she will or won’t do and what she expects in her house without crushing his ability to be a man and react appropriately.

Men (even teenage boys) learn best when they are allowed to figure out problems and make decisions for themselves.  If they make a mistake, the weight of the consequences is a good lesson for how to make a better decision in the future.  If they succeed, it shows them what decisions to make in the future to get these same results.

But any time a man is embarrassed, he never learns a lesson.  He becomes so angry and enraged by that feeling of being belittled that the person who does the embarrassing becomes the problem instead of seeing their own mistake.

Let me give an example to help drive this home.

Your teen son has a group of friends over Tuesday night after school.  You notice that he forgot to take out the trash and that is his weekly responsibility.

A.) You yell at him in front of his friends to take out the trash immediately.  “Get down here right now. What’s wrong with you? You should know better! You’d forget your head if it wasn’t attached. You’re grounded.”

B.) Call him in the other room privately.  Make him take the trash out right then. And then tell him he’s grounded for the weekend.

C.) Take out the trash yourself.  Friday night comes and your sons asks to go to a party.  You answer, “I’d love to let you go.  Unfortunately, on Tuesday I had to take the trash out because it wasn’t taken out yet.  That is your responsibility and when it isn’t complete, your freedom in this family is restricted.  If you’d like to take the trash out next week, next Friday is open to you and your friends for a great time.” And then walk away.

For me, I think option C is the best choice.

There is no childish condemning, or embarrassment.  There is behavior and consequence.  He’s going to get the point a whole lot better than if he was embarrassed or spoken down to disrespectfully. And he isn’t be forced to do the right thing and then still punished even after like a child.

Yes, he’s still a teenager and not an adult… but each parent needs to make a decision if they are trying to raise adults or if they are trying to parent “children” until they leave the house.

If you want your teen son to be a good husband and father, treat him like he is worthy of that calling instead of training him the way the world is to be a dog on a leash and scolded when he misbehaves, especially by the women in his life.

Practical Application:

How are you doing speaking unconditional respect into your son(s) lives so they have the responsibility of being a man on their shoulders?

Are there any habits or disciplines that might need adjusted so he can understand behavior and consequence better than embarrassment and anger?

My oldest son will be nine in a week.  And I’m already seeing where I have rooted habits that I need to change.  I can’t be aware of this enough.

 

 

Need perspective?

17 Feb

In the last two years, my blog has really grown.  I haven’t addressed that topic on here because it sounds proud and entirely contradictory to having the humble heart I desire.  And who wants to come across like that?

Of course anything good in me comes from Jesus.  And any talent or success I have in writing is because God pours His blessing down.  But I don’t think the good in me from Jesus is why my blog is growing.

I think it’s because I write about real struggles.  I lay my junk on the table, I’m totally honest about my short-comings, and I take hard stands on topics that are definitely not popular in the world at large.

People care about the content of a blog.  No one comes back time and time again to see a fancy template and pictures.

Today, I could write about a ton of short comings that became obvious to me just from this past weekend alone. I’m still entirely too wretched of a sinner to write about success.

But the truth?  Most of my short comings are because of my ridiculous perspective.  I’m a lousy wife, because I’m selfish.  I get angry about clothes on the floor, wasted family time in front of the television, and lack of leadership in the home because I would do things different, I ignore my sins and focus on his, and I have a serious issue with wanting to control every environment because I think I make better decisions.

Even though – I know God made man to be the leader of the family because he is not guided by his emotions and he is much more willing to make decisions on faith instead of security. That curse on Eve to spend her whole life longing to rule over her husband… well I surely didn’t escape it nor does recognizing it make me magically stop struggling with it.  I’m growing.  But I have not arrived.

I read something a few days ago that gave me a new perspective.  All these blown up issues in my life become issues because I get zoomed in on myself with a microscope.

I love others.  And I am really growing in mercy and grace toward everyone.

But that doesn’t mean I’ve learned to die to self in the cause for caring so much about others, it costs me my perspective.

Here is what I read.

About 150,000 people die each day.  Narrow is the way that leads to eternal life and broad is the way to destruction. Satan’s current kingdom is gaining souls at a rapid pace.

How many of that 150,000 do you think are entering Heaven?

How many people are investing in them spiritually?

What is the suffering in Hell for all eternity really like?

Do the socks on the floor really matter that much?

Does the spilled cup of milk really cost you anything besides five minutes of your time to clean it up?

Do the short-comings of another person really deserve the bitterness you’re wasting on it when eternity is one breath away?

Is harboring all that unforgiveness and keeping yourself in a prison of self-love and nurturing ministering to anyone?

What am I doing being so self-absorbed with stupid things that don’t matter????

It’s amazing to me really that so many fights, bitterness, unforgiveness, retaliation, pouting, silent treatments and so forth between myself and EVERYONE else in my life are such a big deal in the moment because of my selfish perspective.

150,000 people a day.

Satan’s kingdom is growing.

And I care about being the only person who can clean a toilet.

Practical Application:

Gain a little perspective. It just might break my heart for someone else, instead of only for myself. And make me a better wife, mother, friend and witness.

I see, Me.

14 Feb

I’ve been so frustrated with my oldest son lately. He’s constantly “parenting” my younger kids.  He tries to tell them what to do, when to do it, how to do it, and even discipline them when they do something he deems wrong.

I’m sure this is common behavior of all children who have younger siblings.  So, I’m not suggesting that this is a problem in my house only. In fact, that’s the only reason I decided to turn this into a post, because I bet parents out there can relate.

As I was expressing my frustration with him yesterday and scolded him with the phrase “You’re not the parent”, something happened in my heart.  I sat down for a second and the Holy Spirit started talking.

I’m not mad at my son because he’s parenting.  The truth is, I actually ask him to parent all the time.  I have him help get the younger kids something to drink or eat, get buckled in the car, pick out their cloths, get tucked into bed and so forth.  I call on him all the time to help me fill my roles as the parent when I need an extra hand or feel too exhausted to serve another person.

I never yell at him to stop parenting in those moments.

The truth?

I’m angry because I don’t like *the way* he is parenting when he’s interacting with the kids.

He gets frustrated really quickly when they don’t do what he says or do it in the way he wants it done perfectly.  And then he yells at them, scolds them, and sometimes even pushes or smacks them.

Where did he learn to have such a short fuse?  To say the phrases that he says?  To belittle the behavior that isn’t “adult enough” in the moment?

Me.

I’m angry with my son because he parents poorly.  And all he is doing is showing me a direct reflection of myself and the way I parent.

Every parent should remember that one day, every child will follow their example instead of their advice.”

It doesn’t matter what I tell him to do or how to react.  I’ve trained him by the constant model I perform.  And regardless of what all those polls show, I firmly believe that EVERYONE learns better while watching an example than being lectured on a subject.

It’s hard in the heat of the moment to remember what you’re told to do.  But it’s easy to react in the manner you’ve had played out for you time and time again.

Practical Application:

He will change, if and only if, I change first.

Stop enforcing discipline on my son for following my example.  I’ve become a hypocrite expecting my child to do as I say, all the while living out exactly what I tell him not to do.

Become broken in every area where I’m failing, and begin to do it right.  This will not come easy.  Habits are hard to break.  So, I suggest putting in accountability measures.  Even if that means having your kids remind you when you say key phrases, facial expressions or actions that need to be changed.  This will enforce to them that change is necessary and even parents make mistakes.