Motivating Change Lovingly

Standard

It’s weird how my husband now wants me to do public speaking tours about how to be a wife, after we’re done raising our children. The idea of ME public speaking is horrifying. My message isn’t exactly welcome at most churches, oddly enough. But I did tell him that even if I do public speaking in person, I will always put him first. I told him that making online videos could be a way to do both. My primary goal in life is to love him as promised. I tell him that often.

I am by no stretch of the imagination an ideal husband encourager. I react badly to things like daily just about, but it’s so very very different than the old days, that he really admires me. He knows what the average woman out there is like, like I used to be. He knows I care more about him than humanly possible. I didn’t completely change my bad reactions, but I did add an effective new feature to my requests for his change.

This new way of asking for his change didn’t work much the first 3 years, but as I let life happen, and say it again and again, he’s realizing I’m right, and not right in the arrogant way, but the way of really caring about his preferences.

First I had to let go of my optional preferences, in the sense of making them a NEED in my mind, when they really aren’t a true survival need for me or the kids. I started with the topic of money… our 2nd most often reason for angry arguments, maybe the first. Parenting was the other. Based on everything I’ve studied about these two topics, he was so very wrong about how to reach good goals in those areas of life. He daily was sabotaging his own goals. That drove me nearly insane, especially when he would blame mostly me for the perpetual problems.

So, in desperation to stop the arguing about money, which worked 99% since that day, I told him that I want to be a Good News Wife, but I can’t if we don’t plan our spending according to his goals for his family, and I can’t make good news happen by myself.

But after 2 years of being very careful with my spending, I kept struggling with anger at him for his spending, though I rarely said anything to him about it, but I didn’t like how I felt, so I realized that I needed to stop feeling so arrogant about my money wisdom that I learned from DebtProofLiving.com and America’s Cheapest Family, and just follow his random lead on money.

I am learning to not be an enabler. It’s scary and freeing at the same time. So he hears the bad financial news once more, and this time I say, I want to feel happy with you and I just couldn’t do that when I was trying to be careful with money and you weren’t, so I had to start doing what you do. My main job is to be happy for you to enjoy. I had to let go of money diligence until that’s what you wanted. But at the same time, you have money goals you say are important, but if we don’t plan ahead and stick to the plan, and measure progress together, me being the only one trying to be diligent just creates tension between us, and then I complain about your purchases that wreck your spoken goals. I can’t be a good news wife by telling you of financial problems outside of my control. I WANT to help you reach your goals, but I can only help. I can’t control all spending, so I just must stop saying anything about spending unless you ask. But if I have to tell you bad news, I can’t be the happy wife you want, at that moment. Please help me be able to tell you good news. I want you to be happy too. You can’t if you are sabotaging your own goals.

Same thing with parenting. I can’t hold the kids accountable to responsible behavior on my own, and they SO know it!

So, the key is to ask him what his goals for his family and money are, and offer eager help, but remind gently when he’s again sabotaged his own goals. But don’t say it every single time, or he might get seriously depressed hearing about his faults several times every day. Maybe once a month or less? If he complains about the ongoing problems he is not helping properly to fix or prevent, you could ask him how he thinks you can help.

And no matter how annoying or scary he gets, please tell him again of your unfailing commitment to him, and hug him and rub his back, and snuggle, and praise him on what he is doing right, any small thing or big. It feels awkward touching my husband when I’m so irritated or hurt, but affection does help his motivation to improve, and helps me feel like a good person, and is a good example to the kids and others – of exceptional patience & forgiveness. No bad comes from unconditional affection.

It motivates him to be more appropriative of my Bible too. After years of asking, with a definite disinterest, he shocked me the other day with a request for help planning a family trip to the Creation Museum with the giant Noah’s Ark in Kentucky near Cincinnati. We’ll first hit the Dayton Air Force Museum, then the Creation Museum, then the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Gardens. This is so awesome.

And just a couple weeks ago, he proudly told the kids that our family is different from most American families, because we’ll never break up. I feel bad about my many reaction failures, but apparently I’m inspiring to him anyway. This just goes to show you that the average non-Christian husband doesn’t expect near perfection from his wife, but he does appreciate that she’s trying, especially if she tells him that as he is, or worse, he’s good enough for her, that he’s more than she deserves, which is true. All I deserve is Hell forever. I’m just glad my husband can’t know my thought life, or all things I’ve said to others during times of bad reactions to his faults or others’. He’d have a more difficult time admiring me or feeling loved by me I’m sure. I just keep trying to think better. It’s a lifelong battle for all people. I look forward to Heaven when I won’t be able to think/do unloving things anymore.

Proverbs 30:32-33 KJV
If thou hast done foolishly in lifting up thyself, or if thou hast thought evil, lay thine hand upon thy mouth. [33] Surely the churning of milk bringeth forth butter, and the wringing of the nose bringeth forth blood: so the forcing of wrath bringeth forth strife.

I’ve seen this verse many many times, but just the other day saw something I never did before…. “the forcing of wrath”, meaning our rude anger expression. In order to act hurtful, we must FORCE ourselves to. It’s not automatic, not something we can’t help, but requires our energetic free will effort. I’m just floored by this. I am more guilty of willful rudeness than I used to think. And this also means that reacting nice instead, just might take LESS effort than forcing wrath, or maybe the same level. I used to think that it was more work to be nice. This verse begs to differ.

Advertisements

Divorce can’t cancel wedding promises

Standard

Divorce has zero effect on the obligation to wedding vows. Think about it. All the court can do is give & cancel financial & medical authority benefits of wedding vows, and effect property & parenting rights. The court cannot force friendship promises, nor cancel them in our minds or anyone’s. Many a divorced couple has gotten back together. Many children of divorced couples hope for their parents’ reconciliation, and try to help. Remember that old movie, The Parent Trap?

No one ever lets people off the hook in their mind for promises they refused to keep but could have done. I’ve tried many times to let my husband off the hook for taking me out to a special dinner to promise to quit chewing tobacco (in 1989 or 1990.) I literally can’t cancel his promise even with sincere trying. I still worry he’ll get cancer from it. His cousin did recently.

The court has no jurisdiction over our promises, nor do our emotions. 1 Corinthians 7:10-11 shows God commanding a divorced woman to reconcile with her husband, obviously after she found him impossible to live with. And the husband obviously should be willing to reconcile too, and all the people they know should be helping them reconcile. There used to be a time in America when people’s word could be trusted without fail. People had great integrity, wanted to be trusted that their promises would be kept. Nowadays, people flippantly toss around promises big & small, without the real desire to follow through. They’d rather do the work of making excuses than to be a man or woman of their word. It’s a ton of work to be a truly honest reliable person. Now that survival is so easy, people have gotten soft & lazy. I admire so many people of integrity of the past & present, and want to be known as like them. They usually were raised right, and lived right, but I can work to overcome my character handicaps anyway, as long as I’m alive I can improve. Until I am perfect, I will not give up loving my husband better as long as we both shall live. To do any less would be me lying. We promised each other perfect love, both of us knowing we’d fail at that, but trying continually we CAN do, and that is enough for me, that I can keep trying to do as I promised. Super rare is the man that would give up on a wife with such a desire to love him better and better and better. There is honor in suffering for a good cause, and also gain in good character, and inspiring others to rise higher than base emotions. This marriage I’m in is about far more than just my benefit or his, or the children. Love never fails. Few difficult men can continue being jerks just as much, in the face of extreme unconditional commitment & respect. I’m no Clara Barton of Civil War & Red Cross fame, but my husband says I’m way more attractive now at 46 than I was at 18 (in winning athletic shape and way better hair.) I’m way nicer, and loyal to the death. I’ve learned more from dogs on how to be a good friend to a man, than from popular culture, besides the promotion of our life sacrificing public servants including military and even some doctors & nurses. I want to be known as a giver, not a taker. That can’t happen if my love for my husband is based on his giving to me. My giving must be a free gift, without limits. Til death do us part, like a good soldier. What do you call a soldier who abandons his post? A coward and dishonorably discharged. Following through with wedding promises is just simply being honest. The pastor said marriage wouldn’t be easy. Boy, he wasn’t kidding. I wish I could tell him what his mini wedding sermon meant to our family and all our watching family & friends & neighbors & coworkers & strangers too. He read us 1 Corinthians 13:4-8…love is patient, love is kind, blah blah blah, love never fails. Aha! Love never fails! Like fails. But the dictionary and society wrongly label unstable “like” as love too often, so people & children are getting hurt because of wrong romances. Only those that WILL follow through on lifelong unconditional wedding vows should be getting married. If they are the conditional love type, then they should just say that up front. I hear there are matching “wedding” promises for that the unashamedly unstable relationship……. As long as we both shall love,… and… As long as our love shall last.

How are those even promises? That’s the same way almost all daters feel about their dating partner. What’s the ceremony for then besides gaining legal benefits of marriage even though they are basically still just dating? It’s not like the ceremony marks the beginning ofc their physical relationship, or even sharing a home or parenting either. Such pathetic non-vows are just really publicly announcing that they are using each other and no one can depend on the relationship to last, not even any children that are there already or come along. They just want gifts & legal benefits, not to be true permanent lovers with accountability from family, friends, and society to stay together happily and raise any kids in a stable home. Have you heard of the 7 year marriage, with automatic easy divorce, but it can be renewed for another 7 years? I’ll never forget the happy enthusiasm of the low top, tight short skirt woman presenting this new legal product to the talk show host & audience. I watched online briefly. I’m not much into talk shows.

A country is only as strong as it’s families. God help America!

My Favorite Resources

Standard

http://aboverubies.org/index.php/2013-11-12-17-55-51/english-language/marriage/262-marriage-bring-him-home

———————————————————

https://nogreaterjoy.org/articles/abusive-husband/?topic_slug=fathers-marriage

That is a FAVORITE FAVORITE article!! Extremely helpful for attitude and practical application, but he years later wrote a book that totally contradicted his Abusive Husband article’s Jesus-copying unconditional love teaching article,…Divorce/Remarriage, promoting earned conditional love, instead of the traditional wedding vows’ gift of breakup-impossibility kind of love. It IS LYING to not do our lifelong unconditional commitment wedding vows. There are no exceptions in those vows, only sacrificial love like God’s love. Few people have gone to their grave impervious to the pressure to please imperfect people wanting to justify unloving choices… His new book gives zero hope for couples in 2nd+ marriage to feel safe in the relationship, which requires unconditional love, not WORDS of unconditional love in wedding vows while simultaneously believing those promises are not meant to be taken literally, but there are unspoken exceptions they can use to escape the relationship and do conditional love instead, while looking good publicly on the wedding day because of words they don’t really mean literally, but many in the audience think they do. When will most pastors teach couples to love like Jesus, like Hosea’s example? Or like Sarah? Her husband abandoned her to bad people more than once, only old age becoming her protection against him abandoning her again in that way. If we are permitted by Jesus to LIE about the biggest promise a person can make, is lying just ok now because we live in a fallen world, and anger ok too, and lust outside of marriage commitment, and greed, and just everything ok now? If you can break wedding promises by Jesus’ permission, there is really no limit to what is “ok” because we live in a fallen world. In Matthew 5, I thought Jesus said that doing anything other than what we promised was “of evil”, but hey, I’m just an uneducated housewife. Maybe I just don’t understand what Jesus really meant there, and that two wrongs really do make a “right”, and if our spouse acts bad, we get out of our side of the wedding vows. Maybe I’m just being naive. Maybe Jesus said we should love others as He loves us, except our spouse. That person we can love as we feel they deserve. Question…..if I’m just a created being, where am I getting my ideas about my sacrificial unfailing love for my husband, who literally can do NOTHING so horrible that I’ll give up on our romance? How can I have Hosea’s marriage attitude toward my spouse? Am I really living and loving BETTER than Jesus taught people was acceptable, as a pastor accused me of teaching something more loving than his denomination was? More loving than Jesus’ teachings? How is that even POSSIBLE!? Think about it. I don’t think it’s possible. I don’t think Jesus ever agreed with a Jewish leader on love doctrine. He stopped all their mouths. You don’t need God’s help to love conditionally. You do if you ARE trying to love according to 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 which is Jesus’ example. No one will deserve unconditional love, but Jesus. That’s ok. We were designed to be gift givers, and the wedding vows are us giving the biggest gift possible….ourself to our spouse. I just think most people don’t know what they are really saying on their wedding day. Just imagine if their true beliefs about love were spoken in their promises… Honestly they wouldn’t even need promises. Hitting Home Ministry did a mock wedding at their conference with such unnecessary promises: I promise to love you as long you meet my expectations. That’s how daters think of each other, which causes a 99%+ breakup rate. It takes zero character & faith to love based on emotions,… sand as in the two houses Bible story…one house built on sand, and the other on rock. The Bible does refer to marriage sometimes as a house. Most marriages are built on the sand of emotions instead of the rock of Jesus or integrity that doesn’t allow for lying.

———————————————————

http://hittinghomeministry.com/

Sign up for the free Hitting Home marriage help emails….awesome resource for following through on lifelong unconditional love wedding vows. Get the book & audio too and listen to it in your car like Zig Ziglar refers to that as Automobile University, lol

———————————————————

http://www.SolveFamilyProblems.com

http://parkmeadowsbaptist.org/sfp/resource/Are%20You%20Angry%20by%20Larry%20Darby.pdf

———————————————————

Be really nice…& get to feel like a jerk?!?

Standard

So the other night I’m cuddling with my man just before we need to fall asleep, me being all happy & playful with him, and it hits me that I’m being so hypocritical. I felt like a jerk for being so nice to him because i felt happy with him lately because he’s been great the last few days.

Other times, when he’s had a few moments that he later regrets, I got all quiet, or openly frustrated, and “less than encouraging”, and less snuggly. But on our wedding day, I promised to love him unconditionally, not just the for-life commitment part, but the daily moment-by-moment interactions, and with others regarding him.

But when he fails to be his best, i foolishly gave myself permission to violate my wedding vows of niceness just because he did, or made a decision I strongly disagreed with?

So right then when I realized my hypocrisy, I told him about it, and that I wanted to treat him just as enthusiastically on his bad days as his good days. He liked the idea/promise, of course, who wouldn’t? I joked for him to hurry up and test my new plan. I am curious how I’ll do.

Emotions: friend or enemy?

Standard

It has been 10 years since I won my husband’s heart back to me, and I wonder if my brain will ever recover from my previous habit of feeling totally disconnected from him when he does wrong again.  I mean, the other day, he bought a broom and my emotions reverted back to fear, anger, and disconnect like used to be my constant companion 10  years ago before the content of my life that I started this blog writing about.

Emotions….are they friend or enemy?  Well, depends.  They can help us feel compassion for hurting people, or excitement, or happiness at God’s wondrous creation, or valid worry that helps us or our loved ones be safer.  But there are times when I feel that my emotions are my enemy, making my life more difficult for no good reason.

The reason I got all in a funk about the broom is that I had recently banned brooms from inside the house because the kids just refused to put it away neatly in the closet, refused to always dustpan and throw out the junk swept up, and refused to clean off the bunch of hair off the bristles.  I can only deal with so much training of the children.  They and I both get overwhelmed if there is too much of that going on at once, so I banned the broom and since it was very old and gross anyway with a partially flattened handle, I broke it and threw it out to emphasize my authority over housecleaning done my way as the manager of the home, entrusted by my husband to manage things here while he is away at work.  My authority in the kids’ eyes has been lacking for several reasons, of course one has been in years past my husband would actually tell the kids not to obey me sometimes, and let them be lazy instead of doing the chores & school he wanted them to do.  He has been a permissive parent, maybe out of guilt of working too many hours…machine shops are minimum 50 hours, and it’s a long commute too.

I used to beg him to change careers, but no more.  I decided to support his interests and he likes this job very much, and he excels at it.  So very recently I asked for the authority I need while he is away to get the kids to help around the house enough.  We have a very active hobby farm and garden with greenhouse, and they have a zillion animals, just bought a young show diary cow Saturday to make this a “real” farm now.  So the kids just have to help cook & clean & mow & landscape etc to earn their animals’ expenses.  I take care of my husband’s horse too, even though I am scared of horses, and have good reason to be scared of this young one.

Anyway, my husband now wants to support my mothering, but didn’t used to.  And when he bought the broom to have cleaner floors in the house, knowing that I had already banned brooms, I thought he was canceling my authority over the homemaking with the kids and I mistakenly let my emotions run away with me.  His usual former reactions to my requests & complaints trained me to fear telling him anything, but then again I had to anyway because he would be so angry with the kids’ laziness THAT HE ENCOURAGED.  Made me crazy.  Now I tell him that I just want to help him with his goals for his children and that something he did just made it harder to reach that goal.  I tell him that he needs them to respect my rules for housekeeping, and that buying that broom was just like telling them to ignore my rules & ideas for housekeeping, ruining my authority in their eyes.

I wish I had stayed calm when I found that broom and the kids told me they warned him at the store to not buy it and he bought it anyway.   I forgot to “pray without ceasing” and I panicked.  My emotions were not helping me in this situation.  They were my enemy, not my friend.  Compassion for my husband wasn’t part of this emotional set.  It should have been.  A day went by before I thought hard about truth, about truly why he bought the broom…..he wanted reasonably clean floors and I had neglected that duty.  I knew he had this preference before, but neglected to just do the work myself if the kids wouldn’t.  So when I brought up the broom/authority-with-the-kids problem, and included his desire for daily clean floors, he admitted he preferred the vacuum floor cleaning instead of the broom, but the broom is faster, so thought we’d do that daily.  What he didn’t understand and that I explained, was that I delay vacuuming until the kids pick up their messes, but they ususally don’t so the vacuuming doesn’t get done.  I emphasized that they need to think of me as the boss when he’s not home, so they will pick up their messes, and that he can help them think of me as HIS helper rather than just mom.  When he tells them to clean up, they usually do, and they NEED to think of me as Dad’s voice when he’s not home.  This is a work in progress.  All these years, he didn’t realize how he was hindering his own goals for his family and finances which irritated him so much.  He blamed me.  I blamed him.  And we almost got divorced over it.  Now I tell him I want to be a good news wife, and I need authority to help him with his goals, so he is now trying to learn new habits to help me help him.  My job is to stay calm and do what I can, and gently make requests or tell bad news instead of letting my emotions run amok and ruin our progress of teamwork we are learning.

We both come from broken homes, so never learned good couple teamwork.  We learned how to be highly emotional and distant instead.  I am shocked by how easily my emotions go off the deep end, rather than just being like our early relationship days when closeness and hope was still there during a bad day.  I am scared by how my emotions feel after even a small incident of misunderstanding, like we are totally disconnected like the near divorce situation 10 years ago.  My brain must be damaged, emotions trained to the extremes.  I don’t trust them much anymore.  I will sit there feeling no positive feelings for my husband, knowing in my mind that we will be adoring each other in a few hours or a day or two.   I guess when we were at odds for 4-6 weeks at a time before, those emotions cut grooves in my brain that are hard to repair.  I should put up reminder posts around the house that emotions can blind and not to trust them exclusively, and sometimes not at all….that I can be happy in times of testing of my love, remind myself to think mostly of what is good, which will get my emotions back on track once more.

Proverbs 16:3  Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established.

2 Corinthians 10:5  Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

Philippians 4:8  Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8  Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth:…

1 Thessalonians 5:17  Pray without ceasing.

So going forward, I will try to be patient with my husband learning new habits of teamwork with me.  He is trying to help me help him with his goals, but old habits do die hard, and I need to stop assuming he has given up on teamwork with me, and assume he’s just having a habit relapse he didn’t mean to do.  Less words is better, and a hugging smile, when reminding him he went against his words about teamwork with me.  Emotions have killed pilots, when emotions have conflicted with the instruments and emotions were trusted instead, one pilot felt he was right side up even though the instruments said he was flying upside down.  He pulled up and into the ground and met his Maker and ruined a perfectly good plane.  The Bible is our instrument panel for love & teamwork.  I pray that I pray and read the Bible ASAP when my emotions get fired up again.  I want to be first and foremost an ambassador for Christ, not just a good wife, mother, and homemaker, and farmer.   I want my reactions to difficulties to make people curious about how I handle things way better than before, better than most people. Sometimes I do, and it is worth the work to increase the rate of amazing positive reactions to really bad situations.  We have to retrain our brains, looking forward to the day when we will be set free from temptations.

Romans 12:2  And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Romans 5:1-6  Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.

Romans 6:16-23  Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness. For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death. But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Obeying emotions usually leads to drama.  Obeying Jesus leads to peace & joy.   It will help me to post the verse about being thankful for troubles.  There are various good reasons to be thankful for troubles or being mistreated or inconvenienced.  I so need daily reminder of those reasons.  They are truly motivating toward controlling emotions to be reasonable instead of relationship & peace destroying.   It truly is an honor to get to love like God, as much as we can in this limited body of flesh.  I am glad my husband wasn’t home when I found the broom, but I wish I hadn’t sent him the email to work about it.  I really need to just send only necessary emails to him at work and nothing corrective that could wait until I was happy and peaceful about it and in person, in good timing for him, when I was in a hugging mood, full of the Spirit instead of full of my selfish idolatrous emotions.  It is not my husband’s job to make me happy.  That is idolatry, thinking I’m a wreck emotionally because of him and he could fix it by doing what I prefer or know is better.

I’ve told him before that I now consider everything good he does as a gift, not what I need, and everything bad is less punishment than I deserve which is Hell.  And then I act like I forgot all about that and get all worried and angry and critical of him in an emotional way.  Dang.  Start over.  I’ll be sure to apologize to him for being emotional about the broom.  He knows I battle emotionalism.  He knows I’m trying to be patient with his issues as well.  The more I am patient with his issues, the more patient he is with mine, but I have to be careful to not expect his patience with me, but be thankful if he is, and thankful if he isn’t.

Philippians 4:4-9  Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.

I post on this blog more to teach myself how to think better and better, but if this helps anyone, I’d be interested to know at WinsomeWife@aol.com

 

Winsome Wife Introduction

Standard

Hello, and welcome to my first blog, born out of a desire to put my story and recommended marriage blessing/saving resources in one place, to help even more families, as well as hold me accountable for taking my own advice.  There’s nothing like teaching others to learn more and obey God better yourself.

At this writing, fall 2014, I am a wife of 21 years (May 23, 1993), together with my man a total of 25 (Aug 8, 1989), mother of 4, ages 8, 11, 14, 17.  My journey to learn about why romances, especially marriages, break up, started at 11 when my little comfortable world became quite uncomfortable for a time.  My dad moved out.  “Your mother and I are getting a divorce.  I don’t love your mother any more.”  And that was that.

I will get into more detail about my own little love life later, because to understand why love fails, you need to know why it starts, and what foundation it rests on.  But the bottom line is, I learned straight from the Creator of Heaven and Earth Himself, the Creator of Love, the God of love who IS love…why love fails, and I’m excited to be able to share this critical wisdom with all who have ears to hear.  All I had to to is sincerely ask, and I got an instant answer.

Unfortunately, to be willing to sincerely, whole heartedly, expectantly ask this crucial question of God, why does love fail, I myself had to experience that most painful failing of “love.”  Until that fateful day, I only distractedly wondered.  It was the day my husband believed with all his being that we needed to get a divorce, and wanted ME to move out.  Interesting.  Good thing I’m stubborn.  He drove off and I was driven to my knees, my first real prayer, my first real conversation with God, after years of church attendance and Bible study.  Nothing like a serious problem to get you to seriously pray.

So there I was, scared kids hiding under their beds upstairs, (we had been loud, again), husband not there to distract me from prayer, a kind of bumbling prayer, too weak to stand or sit in a chair…”What just happened?  Lord, we started out so good.  What happened to our love?”

Go watch your wedding video.

“Are you kidding?  I do NOT want to watch that, makes me angry just thinking about it.  I don’t even know if I can find it in that mess.”

So I go, and watch, and see all the smiling people, us included, so ignorant of what the future holds. “Love is patient, love is kind,…blah blah blah…Love never fails.”

“Love never fails, Lord?  Well, ours did.  WHAT are you TALKING about?!?”

Get the dictionary and look up love.

I immediately obey this time, very curious…I had never heard from God so obviously before.  In the dictionary, I read about emotions, hormones…hmmm…basically just like and lust, but no commitment of any kind, especially not the lifelong unconditional commitment we promised on our wedding day.   THAT’S IT!!!!!!   I’ve got the wrong kind of love in my heart.   Lord, please give me your kind to give to my husband.

I was soooo excited!  The next morning, I told my husband all about my experience.  He’s not sure if God is even real, and seemed less sure about my new “love”.

“Oh, you’d give up on me if I beat you up all the time.”

No I wouldn’t.  I might have to visit you in jail, but I’d never divorce you or give up on you.  You could cheat on me with 50 women and I’d never divorce you.  I can’t give up on you.  I have unconditional love to give you now.  It’s what I promised, and God will help me.

“We’ll see.”

Boy, I thought he’d get emotional and hug me and it would be happy ever after.  It’s been 7 1/2 years since that horrible day, and I have to say that I JUST this last few weeks decided to end all arguing of any sort, all rudeness, all expectations of anything going my way even if it is much wiser of an idea here and there.  Last November I succeeded in deciding and ending all financial arguments 100%.  We had argued mostly about money all along, but there were other things worthy of being seriously unhappy about that I permitted arguing to happen.  Schedule, parenting, romance, pets, all kinds of things.  You know, it’s NOT possible to be rude at the same time as worshiping God?  I’m still learning how to pray without ceasing, to walk after the Spirit instead of after the flesh (emotions included).

My instant success at ending the financial arguing in a bold unique way last November (2013), gave me confidence to try to eliminate the parenting arguing.  That was a little tougher.  Parenting requires more teamwork than managing money.  I can refuse to be involved with any financial decisions or bill paying to bring peace, but I can’t stop being a mom.  I homeschool them all day, and he wants me to continue homeschooling, and getting them to do their chores.  But I’m learning to do what I can, and let go of the rest, and not do more than I have control over, to keep the peace, rather than pushing pushing pushing for change and help, which usually makes him feel like a failure, which starts the argument.

I want to be a good news wife.  I will give more detail later of my transformation to being a good news wife.  It’s still a work in progress, as well, but the worst of my folly is behind me.  Old habits die hard.  As I take in the Truth in God’s Word more and more, old habits lose their power.  I see the dangers more easily, more thoroughly, more convincingly.  It is critical to learn what the consequences for wrong choices are, to strengthen yourself against the temptations of the devil to ruin your marriage and influence on others.  You can just obey God’s commands for wives without thinking about it, but most people aren’t like that.  Even God welcomes us in Isaiah to come reason with Him, and He promises to cleanse us from sin and make us white as snow, to be a bride for Him, not just our earthly man who may or may not deserve what God commands us to offer him.  No matter.  God rewards the obedient one way or another, not always the way we expect, but it is glorious anyway, glory to God and glory for us, now and for all Eternity.

Come explore what it means to become a Winsome Wife, at any stage of your life, thinking ahead, living now, or to be known as a woman who honored her man even after his death, if that be the Lord’s will that he go first.  I certainly don’t want to be known as wearing him out, sending him to an early grave because of being difficult or not helping him be healthy as far as it was up to me.   I seek to learn more with this blog than to teach.  I welcome wisdom for myself and for the benefit of other readers.  Let the Lord’s Words be on our heart as we share.

In His Grip,  your sister in the Lord Jesus,

Amy West, Ohio

 

p.s.  Since this blog is free, there may appear an unendorsed ad that I don’t know what shows up, so sorry if it is bothersome.