After a year long hiatus from the blog I have given a lot of thought as to what I want to do with this space. If I am being honest, there have been points in time where I wanted to put things here and thought to myself, "No one wants to read that." Or, "Should I really share that?" Or, "What if I offend someone that is my friend?" So, I have decided that I am going to write this for our girls. I am going to share my thoughts and captured moments for their benefit. A place to come when they realize I really am wise beyond their years. A place for them to look back at special trips and times during their lives. A place to find comfort and "home" when they can't be with us. You know, in the future, when they want to leave us and do things like live away at college. Except Addison. She is never leaving. She has told me this for seven years. So, I hope anyone who chooses to peek into our lives through this blog can be uplifted, challenged in an area of thinking, or just entertained. Because I can guarantee some crazy, that I know for sure.
He Just Doesn't Get It
Our church, for the past couple of years, has started each new year with a sermon series on marriage...for all of the obvious reasons. Today the sermon was titled, "He Just Doesn't Get It." No worries folks, our church plays fair, next week they will change the He to She and the tables shall be turned. My husband was not here this week. He will be there next week. Timing is everything they say.
In a turn of events they decided to let the two women pastors, on staff, give this sermon. I took away two things from this sermon.
The first was this. "It is not so important that she KNOWS she is number one; she wants to FEEL like she is number one." Ya'll, my husband has heard this. More than once. I come from a long and dirty background of people who can say anything and say it well. So, I was and am real clear with my husband that it is my firm belief, based on many years of experience, that ANYONE can SAY ANYTHING. But for me, it is in their actions that I see who they really are. It is so easy for him to tell me I am number one to him. But to make me feel like I am number one takes time, persistence, patience, repetition, creativity, fortitude, passion, love, understanding, and effort. In other words, it takes action. Or so the saying goes, "Actions speak louder than words." Transparency here.... Because my sweet man got some damaged goods, in this department, he has a much harder road to travel. And when I love him most is when I see him walk that winding road, knee deep, trudging like he can't go on, like he is up against a wall, but determined to win. Determined to show me. Determined to make me feel loved. He is not always successful, and I am not always easy. But we do know where we are trying to end up and "getting there is half the battle." As she was going on about this I came to this conclusion. We all want this, not just women, men too. We all need this. We all deserve this. So I hope that if you aren't feeling loved, you have the courage to sit and talk. I hope for you that that person will hear you, respond, and love you more for having the courage to come to them and share your heart. Above all, I hope that you will FEEL like you are number one, because you are.
The second point was this. A marriage is like a bank account. There are deposits and withdrawals. She went on to explain that each spouse should be making deposits into one another. They should do this either in what they say or do for their spouse. For example, if your spouse's cup overflows with words of affirmation and you take the extra time and effort to consistently give that to your spouse, ("Hey Honey the lawn looks so good. I really appreciate you keeping it so nice.") you are making deposits. However, all of us are guilty of making withdrawals as well. It would look like this with the same spouse as described above. "Ugh! We have the worst yard on the block. Why can't you make ours look like the Smith's?" Yep. Withdrawal. Here's the thing. We are all going to make deposits, and we are all going to make withdrawals. But the worst part is this.... If your withdrawals begin to out number the deposits, do you know what happens? You begin to slide "into the red." Number people realize that, in banking, "into the red" is BAD. In a marriage, the further into the red it slides there will ultimately be bankruptcy, just like in banking. But in marriage bankruptcy = divorce, the answer that more than 50% of married couples come to. She encouraged men to ask their wives several questions, here are two of them. Ask your wife what is the best deposit you have made lately. Also, what is a withdrawal she wished you wouldn't have made. I would also challenge women to not ask this question unless you are prepared to ask the same of him. After all, he is not the only one depositing and withdrawing. It takes two to tango...
I was given the book The Five Love Languages when I got married. The moment I read that book for the first time, in my ninth month of my first pregnancy, I remember thinking that this book should have been mandatory before placing the first foot on the aisle. I immediately had my husband read it and it led to great conversations about our relationship. This book was a large focus of today's sermon, especially as we are making deposits and withdrawals in our marriage. If you have never read this book, you MUST buy it now! You will know your spouse in a whole new way, and be able to communicate your love for him or her so they FEEL loved!
My Dear Girls,
One day you will come to me with your innermost thoughts and feelings in regards to your marriage. I am sure you will have frustrations with your husbands. We all do. So I will tell you now that I will sit patiently and listen to you. But I want you to know that when it is my turn to talk I will have you reflect on yourself first. I will want to know about the deposits and withdrawals you've been making before we look any further.
"Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— for we are members of his body. 'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.' This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband." Ephesians 5:25-31
**All Photographs taken by Nicole Koontz Photography