I've been so convicted lately about my cynical attitude in my marriage - God's marriage. I am praying God will continue to convict and change my heart.
Here is what I'm learning.
I love the Mehaney family. I especially love Feminine Appeal by Carolyn Mehaney. I'm re-reading it and learning more than I did the first time. I especially love the chapter called The Delight of Loving My Husband.
How many of us are guilty of becoming so preoccupied with duties and responsibilities in marriage that we fail to nurture the relationship with tenderness and passion?
We get so busy serving him that we forget to enjoy him.
Mehaney talks about a survey taken that proved young women were madly in love and full of passion for their "Mr. Wonderful" during courtship and the first year of marriage only to find passion and delight strangely absent soon after the wedding day.
Oh that we would not let this become our story!
I'm finding it more and more tempting to dwell on the negative. I'm tempted to let my mind and heart go down a path that makes my husband a complete jerk. When I really sit and think about the man he is, I realize that he could never be as cold as Satan would have me think he is. He is a good man with good intentions and love for me that I do not deserve. When I think on these things, things that are lovely about him, my heart is warmed towards him.
I am not naturally inclined to be respectful to my husband. If I do what is natural, it will be wrong most of the time, or all of the time. I have nothing good in me apart from Christ. I cannot love or respect Shaun if I am outside the will of God. When I spend daily time in the word, our marriage is SO much better. I can always tell when Satan has creeped in. I become self seeking and negatively minded. Where sin is present, warm affections dissipate.
In the book Mehaney says: "When we see our husbands as sinners like ourselves - sinners in need of God's grace and mercy - it strips away any intolerant, demanding, critical attitude we may be tempted to have."
Shaun is tailor-made for me. His weaknesses, sins and even quirky things are there that I may become more Christ-like - just like my deficiencies and idiosyncrasies are tailor-made to make Shaun more like Christ.
Shirley Rice writes:
Are you in love with your husband? Not, Do you love him? I know you do. he has been around a long time, and you're used to him. He is the father of your children. But are you in love with him? How long has it been since your heart really squeezed when you looked at him? Why is it you have forgotten the things that attracted you to him at first? Your husband needs to be told that you love him, that he is attractive to you. By the grace of God, I want you to start changing your thought pattern. Tomorrow morning, get your eyes off the toaster or the baby bottles long enough to LOOK at him. Don't you see the way his coat fits his shoulders? Look at his hands. Do you remember when just to look at his strong hands made your heart lift? Well, LOOK at him and remember. Then loose your tounge and tell him you love him. Will you ask your Lord to give you a sentimental, romantic, physical, in-love kind of love for your husband? He will do this.
God knows this kind of love. After all, his love is perfect, so we should take heed and search His word for truths about how to better love our husbands.
You should get this book. Carolyn Mehaney says it so much better than I ever could. Click the book below to read the first few chapters for free online.