Tag Archives: trust

What kind of friend are we?

19 May

It occurred to me while talking with my son about sharing with some friends a decision our family has made that they may not like, we have some growing to do in the area of friendship.

How to be one, and what qualities we’re really looking for in a friend.

And I have to say…. I think our first two natural responses might be off the mark.

Most people when asked…. “what quality do you cherish most in a friendship?” they reply “trustworthy.”

Ok, don’t misunderstand me… trust is needed and a GREAT quality.  But do we want trustworthiness for the right reasons?

I wrote this out the other night to a friend sharing my heart and it’s still on my mind.

So…I’m just thinking out loud here but what if we held ourselves more accountable for our actions instead of blaming our friends for not keeping all our dirty laundry quiet?

What if we put in place a standard that took away the depth of all our secrets that weren’t really secrets but things we shouldn’t be doing? An accountability measure that said “If I’m afraid someone is going to find out I said this, or I did this….then I shouldn’t be saying it or doing it.” Not one that says “How dare she/he tell someone what I said about someone else?”

What would the world look like if we taught our children that finding good friends is not about finding the best secret keepers…. but about finding the people with the least amount of secrets they hold a noose around our neck to keep quiet for them? Or actions to cover up for them?

I think we have become a people of friend jumpers because we want to be able to get away with gossip and secret lives without anyone else finding out about it. And then we blame everyone else if we end up exposed.

If we aren’t the kind of friend who has anything negative to say about others, then our friends become safe and secure with us building true intimacy and security.  They long to honor our friendship, and won’t blab true secrets that need to be kept.  Especially… because we’re telling those things to people who mimic the same standard…. if they aren’t blabbing about others, they likely won’t blab about us.

Lets be the kind of friends who don’t need to add “Don’t tell anyone I said that.” to the end of our sentences and then we won’t be disappointed if people struggle to keep quiet.

 

Women especially take on the label “catty” and often times, rightly so.  That label comes from speaking gossip, inability to refrain from repeating gossip, a fallout from distrust, and a grudge against another person.

Any secret that needs kept about ourselves first and foremost should be selectively shared with only those who are righteous in the way they relate to us and about others to us.

Practical Application:

What kind of friend am I?

Do I gossip about others?

Do I have a lot of negative opinions about things?

Do I say or expect the phrase to be assumed “don’t tell anyone I said that?”

Am I holding a grudge against someone for throwing me under the bus when really… I had no business saying what I said in the first place?

Am I a friend jumper because I’ve been untrustworthy or I tell secrets to untrustworthy people?

An emotional affair

21 Mar

Today, I’m sharing a post by a blogger who wishes to remain anonymous for the sake of her husband.  I can TOTALLY respect that, especially given the subject matter.

Before I share, let me first say that I believe more women have emotional affairs than even know that they have.  For many of us, we see the word “affair” and assume, it was OBVIOUS.  I mean, a physical affair is obvious right?  There is no “hmmm, I wonder if we accidentally just slept together and if that means we did something we shouldn’t have?”  Emotional affairs aren’t always shining in the spotlight, but the damage is equally terrible!

~~~~~

I don’t know what to do with my story other than to share it.  I hate it, and yet, I want others to learn from it.  To see themselves in the mess, and to prevent emotional affairs from gaining the hearts of women everywhere!

I grew up in a home where girls were encouraged to get a good education and be the best they could be in life.  Along with that, I don’t remember any warnings or teachings to unconditionally respect your husband, lead your heart, or protect your marriage from predators.  I carried that “I’m smart and driven” attitude in life right with me into my marriage.

I felt like my wisdom was always better than my husbands.  He seemed to sin often and in worse ways than I did, I seemed to be the only one who could make the house run (I remember thinking often that if I died, he would die or have to hire a maid because he was incapable of doing anything) and I felt like the decisions he wanted to make were childish or lacking long-term thought.

He didn’t have the same priorities as I did, nor did he seem to value everything I was capable of doing.  He seemed to “expect it.”

I was a shining tower of disrespect.  I had pride wrapped around me and intertwined in everything I did in my marriage.  I felt like at one point I messed up so bad by marrying this man because he didn’t live up to my standards.  He wasn’t perfect.  And I started resenting so many things about him.

I wasn’t even sure I loved him.  Or if I ever did for that matter.

I could only see his faults.

While my marriage seemed to be unraveling (well in my mind at least, I don’t think my husband knew I felt this way at all… or the rest of the world either) I started to be obviously upset at work.

I never had any problems being friends with guys.  Some of my best friends growing up were guys. Girls were mean and full of drama.  I saw nothing wrong with having male friends, even if you were married.

So, I started sharing intimate details about my marriage with one of my guy friends.  At first, I found this really helpful FOR my marriage.  He seemed to offer a perspective in favor of  my husband so I could see things from his point of view.  While I felt torn that I had better communication with this guy than I did my husband, I felt a little compassion for my husband by thinking some things through with some male insight.

THIS WAS THE BAIT.

As time went on, the male friend relationship started meeting SO MANY NEEDS that I wasn’t getting at home.  From compliments on my work and appreciation for what I contributed to the office to eventually reflect how pretty I was and how desirable I was as a woman.

We seemed to click emotionally – we thought the same things were funny and we laughed all the time.  Work was fun.  Home was miserable.

We seemed to click intellectually – we understood each others work problems and could help each other out equally.  At work I had a partner.  At home I had a lazy bum.

We seemed to click relationally – we had similar interests.  We could easily talk about things that would be fun to do some day, and they lined up well.  At work I had someone who thought my ideas were fun.  At home I had someone I could never agree with on anything.

I don’t remember all the specifics, because this was a long time ago, but it was a few months of casual flirting.  Phrases like “You’re seriously the best at your job.  You make it look easy.  And you’re so pretty while doing it too.”

THIS WAS THE HOOK.

There came a point when things took a more obvious turn for the worse.  Conversations written over instant messenger and text that immediately had to be deleted.

I remember staring at my computer while I read the words “I would pin you up against the car and bite your lip.”

I was telling this story to a female co-worker of ours and she said something I will never, ever forget.

I don’t know whether to root for him or your husband.

WWHHHAAATTTTT?????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Bells, whistles, panic set in big time.

Up until this point, everything was so subtle, so simple, so easy, so uncomplicated.  I didn’t feel like I was having an emotional affair at all.  I felt like I had a male best friend.  I mean, don’t you talk about your marriage and spouse to your best friend?  And don’t you talk about “if only” situations?!

I wasn’t attracted to him.  Nor did I think about doing anything physical with him.  But all the sudden, he was thinking and talking physical about me…. and I felt shocked.

Uh oh.

Now what???

The battle got intense.  More intense than I feel like I can even explain.

One day I was saying things like “as much as we seem alike, you’re not even a Christian, we could never work together anyway” in an attempt to let him down easy and make the conversation stop.

And the next, I’d come in from an unpleasant night at home and feeling so much contempt for the man I was married to, that I didn’t care how it “appeared”.  I wanted to feel good about myself, and he made me feel good.  Besides, it wasn’t going to go any farther. I was dead sure of it.

THIS WAS THE LINE.

The next step was attaching that sinker to my feet and going to a place of no return.  I was on the edge of throwing away my marriage and giving into lust over the way someone made me feel.  It wasn’t even ever about the other guy being a “perfect guy”. It was always about how he made me feel.

Thank the good Lord, He stepped in and seemed to take the control out of my hands.

The guy ended up starting a relationship with someone else, and not long after, left our place of employment. And six months later, I ended up being a stay at home mom.

For a long time, I wanted to blame my husband.  He WAS neglecting his roles in the marriage.  He WASN’T walking with the Lord like he should have been.  And he WAS leaving me open to Satan.

BUT — the more I laid this sin before God, the more obvious it became to me that if I could so easily give my heart to someone else because of the way they made me feel…. I would never be married to a man who was good enough.

I was the one with the problem.

And if marriage is a direct reflection of Christ and the Church… I saw my sin of serving any god that met MY needs in the moment of heinous idolatry spewed all over every move I made.

I do think that when a husband neglects to fulfill his roles in the marriage, he’s standing at the gate allowing Satan to walk in freely.

Just as I feel that a woman who neglects her roles in marriage (ESPECIALLY disrespect, and sexual refusal) she is also standing at the gate allowing Satan to walk in freely.

However, even if our spouse neglects to protect us, we always have free will to take the bait of Satan or reject his temptations with Christ’s power.

It only takes one moment of letting your guard down to set off a string of bad choices. The more you sin, the easier it becomes. And the less you feel the guilt and warnings of the Holy Spirit to confess and repent.

~~~~~

From Kayla:

Such a big topic.  I’m so glad to be addressing this on my blog.

Practical Application:

If you found yourself in this post… and need someone to talk to- email me privately and we’ll talk.  gulickfamily@hotmail.com

If you saw your friend in this post, pray right now!  You might be thinking you want to talk to her, but you might offend her.  I rarely say this, but in this situation – take the risk of offending her! Your approach will be crucial, but if you don’t know what to say… give her the link to this post.

Whatever you do, don’t do nothing.  She needs your help! Especially if her husband doesn’t know — she needs someone to help her fight.

Train for trust.

15 Jan

Last night, I got my first real chance to trust my husband without time to think and prepare.  One year ago, I would have crashed, burned, devastated my husband and hurt our marriage. I’m really thankful this morning that I now have a years worth of training under my belt.

Training?  Yep. You got it. We do not learn new habits or grow in our strength without training.

Just like with the muscles in our physical bodies, we have spiritual muscles as well.  Situations in life are constant opportunities for us to build and strengthen our muscles, or ignore them and allow them to remain weak and unhealthy.

If you were to lay down on a weight bench having never lifted weights before, it is very unlikely you could lift 100 pounds of weight ten times, especially without fatigue or injury.

But if you’ve been strength training for a year, multiple times a week, your chances of succeeding would be much higher and your body would feel conditioned instead of exhausted and sore.

The same is true of our spiritual muscles.  Our love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, self-control, trust, forgiveness, and maturity muscles all need exercised and conditioned.

And in marriage, TRUST is a big, big muscle.  Especially for a woman trying hard to be submissive to her husband.  Submissive, that’s a loaded word right?  Actually, no… if you know the Biblical meaning, it’s not really that loaded, at least not in a negative way.

A submissive wife is just a wife who has chosen to honor God and His design for marriage by accepting her husband’s leadership and coming under his protection.  She simply has enough self-control to help her husband instead of compete with him for control.  She is not a doormat or a slave.  She’s an encourager, supporter and friend who trusts God and His design more than herself and her pride.

Submission does not come naturally or easily.  We all need practice. And constant help from the Holy Spirit.  And the best way to practice is to practice on purpose.

Most people don’t strength train their body on accident, or only when situations present themselves.  They intentionally set up a routine and keep their appointments.

The same is true in marriage.

Satan would like to interject here that this is manipulation.  No, it absolutely is not.  There is a VERY REAL DIFFERENCE between manipulation and intent to grow as a God-honoring submissive wife.  And that difference is defined by motive.

So before practicing to grow any spiritual muscle, define your motive.  Do you hope to move closer to God?  Or do you hope to control God, someone or something?

On a personal note, I knew growing my trust muscle was going to be intense work.  Just like trying to flatten a belly after having four kids.  It wasn’t going to magically happen on its own.  Especially because I was a VERY controlling wife.

I, like most women, fell very hard into the feminist preaching that “I am a capable, brilliant and hard-working woman.  My ideas are valid and intelligent, and often better than a man’s.”

So, when interacting with  my husband – I trusted myself and my ideas always as the best option and the safest and most secure choice.

I remember my husband once calling me outside to tell me about a landscaping idea he had.  And what did I do?  Question it.  Why would you do it like this?  Why wouldn’t you do it like that?  Doesn’t this make more sense?  I’d do it like this…..

Truth be told, I couldn’t care less about landscaping!  Why was my gut instinct to do that? Because I had very little trust in my husband to make good choices and to lead me.  And over landscaping?  Yikes!!  I TOLD YOU I had a lot of growing to do.

So how do you practice your trust muscle in your marriage?  Be intentional about asking your husband’s opinion and then trust him.

If you have been untrusting and unsubmissive for a long time, you’re going to have to start small and help your husband find his voice.  Chances are, your husband doesn’t even give you his opinion anymore.  Why would he?  And he may even bulk at being asked and side step your question putting it back on you.

Start small and start safe.  Use five-pound weights and do only a few reps.

Ask him something he definitely has an opinion about.  A really great option is picking his favorite meal and putting it up against something he really doesn’t like.

Would you prefer pizza or meatloaf for supper tonight?  And when he answers say “Ok.”  And then after supper, thank him.  “You know, that was really good pizza tonight.  You made a great choice.  Thanks for helping me decide.”

Everyone appreciates being validated and we’re all encouraged to give our opinions and ideas when they are appreciated.

Then, continue weekly to ask questions that are more challenging for you to trust, and stick to your guns.

The truth is, even if your husband picks wrong or leads you in a direction with a negative consequence, God is sovereign and His design is flawless.  Your husband can only become a better leader by making mistakes and growing in His listening ability to the Lord by the weight of consequences, both good and bad.  He isn’t going to make a decision that removes you from the will of God (unless He asks you to sin, in which case, you should be submissive to Christ first and not sin with him) and God will bless you and your marriage for honoring His design.  You will grow closer to God individually, and as a couple.

As you grow in your trust, your husband will grow in his confidence and leadership.

It will not always be easy.  Like I said when I started this post, last night was hard for me.  But I feel safe with my husband and I know that God will be sovereign over all his decisions.  No matter what happens, I have joy in the Lord knowing that I’m trusting Him, and I’m protecting the unity of my marriage.

Practical Application –

Do you need to start exercising your trust muscle?

Make a list of questions you can start asking your husband and trust his leadership and wisdom.

I don’t know how to react…

7 Nov

You  might have noticed, my posts are a little farther apart than normal.  Let me tell you, NOTHING is normal in my house right now.  First of all, it’s that time of year where I’m going crochet crazy (actually offering a deal right now Nov 1 – 15 ALL HATS are only $8.00 – click here to view.) So I have less free time the months of November and December BUT that’s not the major change.

I’m unsure how to write this post.  It’s hard to gather all my thoughts because there are so many and in all my best efforts to start the rough draft for this in my head, like I normally do, I can’t seem to get it all to come together.

Something happened in my husband, and it’s throwing my world upside down.  You all know how I feel about this man.  I write on here often that he’s a good man, a great provider, an awesome Dad, a faithful husband, and he loves God.  So, please don’t read this post as if some dead beat man is no longer acting like a loser.  That couldn’t be father from the truth. But – he certainly is acting, different.

I’ve mentioned before that my love language is gifts.  That can be in the form of unexpected, kind words, (especially in front of others) completing a project or task I would like done with excitement instead of reluctantly, cards or love letters, my favorite candy, or of course – presents both small and big.

My husband’s love language is touch.  And no, not simply sexual touch.  Things like me leaning up against him, reaching for his hand, touching his chest in front of others to show my admiration and affection for him, and joyfully wanting to be close to him.

You might think these things naturally compliment each other.  Let me tell you, for twelve years, they have not. It’s been intentional work to try to learn to speak the other persons love language.

When I feel loving toward him, I naturally write him an email or text with loving words or run to the store to buy him something special.  When he feels loving toward me, he asks me to sit with him in his chair.

Neither of those is bad or wrong, but it’s nothing more than a kind, appreciated gesture instead of an intense rush of love for the other person.

In the last week, my husband is like a new man.  I almost feel like I don’t know him at all!! He keeps surprising me left and right and I’m so unsure what to do with that.

Of course, I’m trying to be so thankful and express my abundant gratitude, however, I’m flooded with so many emotions, I’m struggling to power through.

For example, every night, the computer gets put down at 8:00 because he wants me to sit with him.  Instead of being zoned into a television show, he will watch something with me, but only while talking through most of it anyway.  Talking — yes, LOTS AND LOTS of talking.  And good talking, not just “Everything go OK with the kids today?  Yea, how was work? Fine. Good.” I’m talking, real, relevant, honest talks that brings us closer together and help us understand each other better.

He has been helping me every night in the kitchen.  He turns on music from the 90’s, we both sing along and laugh, and we work together to clean up the kitchen so it’s done in half the time and then can both go relax on the couch. We actually danced in the kitchen at one point and instead of being so cheesy, it was seriously the most romantic thing EVER!!!

He keeps saying multiple times a day, “You’re so beautiful”, even when all my make up is off and my eyes are puffy from crying, BUT it’s not put on… if you could see his face when he says it, he somehow really means it even though I know I look like a wreck!

He came home yesterday with a box of Mike and Ike’s … oh how I love that candy!  Why?  I don’t know.  Just because he wanted to.

And most shocking of all – in fact, I was slightly afraid I was going to have a heart attack, I got a Facebook notification that said “Josh tagged you in a status.”  Now… before I tell you what it said, you should know a couple of things.  First of all, my husband is NOT mushy, gushy.  He laughs at some romantic love lines from the movies because they’re so… you know what I mean.  Secondly, he updates his Facebook status about three times a year, and one of those is to post a picture of a deer he shoots every winter.  He reads other people’s posts, but he just doesn’t post updates.  And third, when he is at work, he’s at work.  I can always call and text him…. but usually, he is crazy busy and really needs to get his work done. So, when this notification came through WHILE he was at work…. it like paralyzed me for a minute.  It took some time before I could open the computer.  And when I did, this is what I read “My wall paper on my cell phone is a picture of my wife and I am amazed every time I look at it how beautiful she is. I love you Kayla Jill.”

Before I even replied to him, I shot an email off to my best friend with the subject line “HOLY CRAP!!!!!”  To be honest, I probably wanted to type something even a little more shocking, but thankfully it came out “crap.”

I asked him what is going on — and he doesn’t really know.  He said he looked at a picture of me and thought “She is so Beautiful, what are you doing?”  As in, he could do better as a husband.

WOW.

I don’t know what to do with that.  I have cried so much in the last seven days, that I’m starting to get annoyed with myself.  He isn’t annoyed at all, he says it’s fine if I cry — but it’s making me nuts! Stop it already, hold it together, kiss him without tears pouring down your face!!!!

There is so much more to say, that I simply can’t say.  They are secret and private words for just my heart to savor — but there is even MORE than I posted here.

I have spent thirty years longing for and wanting a love where I felt so caught up, so helplessly smitten, like I was someone’s whole world, and I was deeply loved — but honestly reached a place where I let that die because I thought it was “fairy tale” material.  And maybe even, “un” Christ like.  Like I wanted to be someone’s idol.

And then, this week happened.  And all I can do is weep.  From tears of joy and hope, restoration and completeness, and maybe even a little fear.

What if I wake up tomorrow and it all leaves as quickly and unexpectedly as it came?  I know I would still love him as much as I do today.  And I know we’d be OK.  But I’ve never felt this way before… and I think it’s changing everything.  And maybe for the first time, this change is one I won’t walk into reluctantly.

Practical Application –

Time for a self evaluation.

How am I doing as a spouse?

Am I speaking his/her love language?

What changes can I make to do better?

How would I feel if she/he wrote a post just like this one?

Together

Seeking Advice

10 Oct

I don’t think it comes as any surprise to anyone that I think it’s wise to be honest and real. Why? Because of this:
Isolation is dangerous! When we’re in the darkness, or our sins/struggles/temptations are hidden, we become VERY susceptible to Satan’s attacks.  It is only when we bring light to these issues that we can be free, get help, find healing, move forward and tap into the power of the body of Christ as a whole.

That being said, I’d like to give my take on seeking counsel.

But before I do that — can I just clear the air?  I don’t care how spiritual you are, how long you’ve walked with the Lord, how often you read your Bible, how many Bible studies you’ve attended or lead, or how great of a Christian you are……  WE ALL FACE CONFLICT, DISAPPOINTMENT WITH OTHERS, BROKEN RELATIONSHIPS, HURT FEELINGS and DRAMA.

We may not all have the same amount, handle it all in the same way, or allow it to have the same amount of control and power in our lives — but none of us is exempt from these truths!

I’ve grown so much in the last two years in how I handle this stuff.  These things don’t have as much power over me as before, except, when it comes to my husband.

As much as I love him, focus on the amazing things about him (because that list IS very, very long) and appreciate the good gifts that come from him being male…..

it’d be a total lie if I didn’t also admit that I still have a long list of things I wish he was doing, that bug me about him, and that I detest about him being male.

And as much as he’s my go-to man who listens to me, walks me through all my situations with wisdom and godly counsel — he is just not the person I go to about, well, HIM.

And this is where the rest of this post comes into play…..

Above all else, these things that I struggle with need to be taken to God, daily.  Only God has the power to change my husband, or change me in those times where I’m expecting my husband to change in an area where it’s really ME who needs to change (that’s happened numerous times!) There is no human on earth that is going to change my husband.  But God can.

However, there are still times when the isolation leaves you feeling like you can’t deal with your own thoughts and feelings and it’s affecting your actions no matter how much you try not to let it.  And in that instance, it’s wise to seek godly counsel.

My main point about isolation can most definitely be taken WAY too far. While I fully believe that it’s not only a good idea but that it’s spiritually beneficial to seek counsel on issues in life, that certainly does not mean telling our thoughts to everyone who will listen.  We don’t need the advice of 10 people, especially if those people are not the kind of people who seek to point us to wise, godly advice.

That is sure easy to do when we’re hurt or sinned against.  Something inside us seeks to tell our side of the story, make sure everyone knows the real truths about the other person involved, and relish in the onslaught of “you shouldn’t put up with that crap” comments that are sure to come.

But the advice off the ungodly, spiritually immature, or person too close to the situation is never the advice that leads to freedom and healing.

While it might feel good for a moment, it always does more damage and hurts more later on.

It doesn’t matter how much time passes — the consequences of our actions always catch up to us.

Sometimes it’s a safe place to seek the counsel of a male pastor or spiritual mentor – however (and I’m fully prepared for people to disagree with me, this is MY opinion) I do not think it’s wise to seek male counsel, EVEN IF it’s from a pastor, when the topic is your husband or your marriage without the inclusion of your spouse going along.

As I’ve shared here before, it’s sure easy to start to admire godly qualities in someone else, especially if part of the problem is that you feel like godly qualities are missing from your own spouse.

I do think scripture tells us in Titus 2:3-5 that older women are to teach/train younger women, and I think that applies to counsel on all topics.

That does NOT mean that I think you can never talk to your pastor or other male spiritual mentor for wisdom, advise or counsel – I just don’t think it’s wise when the topic is issues about your husband.

Instead of trying to suppress feelings, hurts, sins, temptations, etc. – I think it’s wise to find ONE or TWO mature Christian women, counselors, or other spiritual mentor who you can be honest with and share the ugly, real, scary and damaging thoughts, actions and realities of what’s going on in your mind and heart.

If these women are godly women, they will listen to you, hurt with you, pray with you, and encourage you in your journey to keep working on your own actions and give sound advice for how to keep pressing on when life is just hard.

Practical Application –

If you’re struggling with a hidden temptation, secret, sin, list of disappointments about your husband or another person, ANYTHING that has you trapped in negative feelings and thoughts — find a godly, mature woman to talk to.

And if you don’t have that in your life — email me — gulickfamily@hotmail.com

Having someone to talk to changed my life, and I KNOW it’ll change yours!

Nothing is off-limits — you can always be 100% real and honest with me!

 

Choosing to control my reactions.

21 Aug

I briefly noted in my last post that we have the choose to react happy, loving and kind even when the situations naturally leave us feeling sad, hurt, annoyed, or angry.

Let me first say that emotions are a gift from God.  We know that God Himself tells us numerous time in scripture that He felt all kinds of emotions.  He felt pleasure, satisfaction, joy, sadness, anger and jealousy to name a few.

Having emotions is not wrong or sinful in any way.  However, when we allow our emotions to define reality, truth and our reactions … that’s when we get into trouble.

Just because I feel something, does not mean it’s true.

There are times when I feel annoyed that people are not on time.  My natural reaction is to assume they are completely unconcerned with my time and don’t appreciate me enough to put the effort in to be on time.  That may or may not be true.  (Some people really are selfish in this way) HOWEVER, that may not always be the case.  There are times when something has come up, when a personal issue is happening in their life that they are unable to share so they cover with a blanket apology about being late, or when they legitimately got behind and are truly sorry for the inconvenience it caused me.

If I follow my gut reaction, I might damage the relationship.  I might think negative thoughts about the person that just continue to grow with every further interaction as I *assume* automatic ill intentions and feed my judgmental nature.  When I feel hurt and abused, I became less of a friend and wind up hurting the person right back. I am tempted and will often accuse the other person of wrong-doing and grow hard-hearted and unwilling to offer grace, mercy or even accept the response I’m given if it feels like they aren’t owning what I’m positive they are guilty of doing.  When that person feels wrongly accused, they either put up walls or they attack back.  Before we know it, we’re mad, fighting, bitter, unforgiving, and left with a broken relationship.

I’m using a pretty safe analogy here so everyone can relate, but stop and take a few minutes to put your own real life scenarios in here and see if this pattern doesn’t hold true.

– He intends to treat me like the maid.

– She doesn’t trust me.

– He thinks it’s fine to take advantage of me.

– She thinks I don’t do anything.

– He doesn’t care about my feelings at all.

– She wants to control me.

– He is so selfish.

– She is so critical.

Our feelings are meant to be a guide.  When we experience hurt, sadness, anger, jealousy or any other “negative” emotion – it’s a sign to us that there is a problem.

But this is where the choice comes in to play.  Will you choose to believe that “the other person is the problem and it’s intentional?” Or will you choose to believe that “there is a misunderstanding and it’s most likely accidental?”

That one question will give you the power to control your reactions.  IF – and this is a BIG IF – you’re willing to stop, ask, and choose to act on the true answer.

It’s MUCH easier to be happy, kind, patient, and loving when I’m fully believing that even if something hurt me, it wasn’t intentional and I can calmly (without accusation) state my feelings, which almost always results in the other person being remorseful for unintentionally hurting my feelings and puts something in place to keep from doing it again.  Where if I accuse and attack, I rarely get an apology and we often end up in the same cycle of the same hurts!

Practical Application –

Maybe it’s time today to evaluate some of our negative reactions and ask ourselves is we possibly allowed ourselves to react to our emotions based on assumption – or if we allowed our emotions to be a guide to the right questions and put in the effort to uncover the truth.

** I’m guilty and needed this post  for myself today.  I reacted without pausing to answer the question last night – and worse of all, I thought about asking myself the question and decided I didn’t feel like it.  Guess what… today, I’m disappointed I didn’t stop and ask the question and trust the true answer.  I’m needing to repent today.

Tight End.

16 Aug

So, my husband recently started calling me “Tight End.”

For those of you totally removed from sports, this is a position in football. (This much I knew.)

He didn’t start calling me this because he thought I had the characteristics of an actual tight end, it was more a joke just between the two of us referring to (oh gosh is this embarrassing) my behind, but at any rate – in my curiosity, I researched more in depth what the tight end position in football really does.

I was surprised how much I started to really like actually being referred to as my husband’s tight end. And here is why.

The tight end has so many jobs to do that most people consider it to be an impossible position for any one man to do. It’s often called the hybrid position because a good tight end has to specialize in blocking AND receiving. Many teams have to have more than one man to fill this role and switch them out depending on what play is going to be run, even sometimes putting two tight ends on the field at a time because there are so few men who can do this position flawlessly.

This is a quote from the research I did –
“First, the tight end has responsibilities to block. If there is a cornerback or safety or linebacker trying to sneak in and ambush the quarterback, the tight ends job is to get a good solid hit on this guy and slow him down. If it looks like the quarterback is going to get into trouble due to lots of guys trying to ambush him, the tight end must not only hit one of these guys, but he must then quickly release and get into the open. The tight end will be what is called an outlet receiver – it’s his job to catch the ball if the quarterback gets into trouble and has no time to find an open receiver. Finally, the tight end is supposed to be a good blocker so that if the quarterback calls a running play, the tight end can help bulldoze a path for the runner with the ball.”

What I read when I read that looks something more like this.

The wife needs to be a good blocker. When the temptations, attacks and stresses of life come after her husband, it is the wife’s job to create a safety zone for him. She can build him up by protecting his manhood with respect and submission so he can do his job quicker and more efficiently. She protects his reputation with her words and actions so he can feel confident in his role to lead the family.
Secondly, she needs to be a good receiver. When her husband needs to count on her to catch the ball and run with it, she needs to be ready, willing and available to catch it. When he calls a play, she needs to be a quick thinker so she can decide when to block and when to receive, always watching for unexpected trouble to pop up, but never panicking – just making the adjustments right away.
And lastly, she needs to be strong and brave to face the oncoming worldly advances that are bigger coming at her kids when the husband wants one of them to run the ball, clearing a path so they can be successful and independent.

The tight end position is valuable and important. And can rarely be done effectively by one person. Which is why as a wife, it’s a great thing I am not doing this alone – and I have Jesus to help me be successful in all these ways at one time.

While it might have been started as a joke – I’d be honored if my husband really did think of me as his tight end – and not just one who specializes in blocking OR receiving — but one of the rare gems who comes as the whole package.

Practical Application –

How are you doing at blocking and receiving for your husband?