This post is a continuation from previous day.
Be sure and read Part I first…
So there are things that we know… and then there are things that we K-N-O-W. One kind of knowing is in the head. It’s logical, intellectual, and linear. The other is experiential, tangible, and lived. What I know about marriage fits into both of these categories. There are things I know… from watching the marriages of others and reading books on marriage, relationships, and men. Then there are the things I K-N-O-W from living with Mr. Hurst. Or better said, there are things that I am in-the-knowing as we live out our married life together.
All of that ethereal language is simple codespeak for the following: I am no expert. I’m just one gal, sharing her journey with you. So please know that just because there is a lesson in black and white on the blog, that doesn’t mean that I always get it right, have it mastered, or don’t struggle. It just means it’s a lesson that I know is right regardless of where I am on my journey.
And sometimes, sharing a lesson with others helps us to reinforce truth and reteach it to ourselves…
Remember the caveat!: These are lessons I’ve learned from MY husband. Feel free to ignore any of the following if they don’t apply to YOUR man or YOUR marriage!
~ Learn his love language ~
Honey, let me tell you something. I was a well-read gal before I married my husband. I was PREPARED! I had read so many books about being ready to be a wife it was ridiculous. So of course, I had read the infamous Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman and I knew what my love languages were… quality time and words of affirmation. And guess what kind of love language I started off using in marriage to show love to my husband. You guessed it! The wrong ones!!!
My husband could have cared less about quality time in which “Chrystal” time is really a ridiculously large amount of time spent together, just because, and for no reason other than the idea of it being romantic. Jessie also didn’t get too tickled when I tried to use my feminine “wiley” words to puff him up and attempt to stroke his ego. He would just
stare into space nod politely and say thank you.
Mr. Hurst really appreciates and thrives on acts of service. He wants me to learn who he is and what he likes and then… just do it! One of the biggest ways that I communicate love in the form of an act of service is C-O-O-K-I-N-G for him. Let’s just say, that I didn’t get that memo loud and clear while we were dating. It took me a minute to get with the program.
Oh! And while, Jessie also appreciates words of affirmation, he needs those words delivered differently then I do. The less superfluous the better. And Lord knows that I love to talk!
Bottom line? Learn your man! Learn what says lovin’ to him and then practice getting good at communicating your love to him in a way that he can feel it and hear it.
~ It’s his house too ~
If you haven’t gotten to know me yet, you may not know that I’m a recovering perfectionist. I am actually a little OCD at times. I like things the way I like ’em and believe down deep in my heart that my way is generally speaking the BEST way to get things done, have things organized, and create a home environment that we can be proud of.
The problem is that my husband likes his ways too. And frankly, sometimes our ideas of best practices clash. I like to go to wind down with a soy candle and light jazz wooing me in a relaxed state of mind. My husband loves to wind down watching “The Office” or a “Seinfeld” rerun. I love the idea of a patio that is ready for guests if any drop by. Mr. Hurst likes to keep ready for a moments notice of grilling by having his tools, charcoal, and guy-grilling-stuff out and on the patio table. And lawd have mercy, I like the temperature at a steady 78 and I can’t tell you the number of times, I’ve passed the thermostat and it read a freezing 72!
But you know what gals? This house is not my house. It’s our house. So, I’ve learned to laugh at “Seinfeld” and sit with him to watch sometimes to watch “The Office”. (He’s also learned to love soy candles and knows where the light jazz station is on our DirecTV but don’t tell anyone I told you that.) I’ve learned to appreciate a man who is willing to grill and he’s learned to situate his guy-cooking-gear in a way that my blood doesn’t boil when I go outside and see it laying around. Oh! And I’ve learned to wear socks – 75 or 76 degrees isn’t so bad.
Bottom line? It’s his house too. We both live here and we are both adults who desire to operate in love by respecting each other and learning to communicate God’s love to one another as we mature in Him.
So ladies… let some things go! If I can work on that… you can too!
~ He fell in love with me… not his mother ~
I strive to be a decent homemaker. I’m not June Cleaver but I do try to run my home with some semblance of order. I have a system of getting laundry done in our home of seven. Everybody has a wash day! It would be so cool if my husband would wash on his wash day. Ridiculous sounding I know. But I can’t tell you the number of times I have
chastised him asked him ever so nicely to wash according to my perfect plan.
I can cook up a pot o’ beans all I want. My husband is still going to eat fried chicken sometimes. I can buy the best supplements at the local health food store. My husband might let them sit in his bathroom and expire. I can show him the perfect way to fold his clothes so that he gets the most available room in his drawers. I might even go in and do a complete closet overhaul. He can come right behind me and fold the clothes the way he wants or choose not to keep up my perfect system. And he has that right. He’s an adult. And I’m not his mother.
My “to do” list is long. Very long. Ridiculously long. And you better believe that I have things for my “honey” to do on that list. But it simply doesn’t work for me to give him instruction in the same manner in which I would give instruction to my children. I know that so don’t ask me why it’s so tempting to do it. It’s simply not reasonable to expect that he will cross off the things on my list at the speed at which I would like things done. My husband is a grown man. And though, his family is very important to him, he has unique and individual demands on his time and attention. While we work together to take care of our home in a way that works for our family, I have had to learn that it is not my job to raise, school, direct, or “train up my husband in the way that he should go”.
The reality is that my husband is just as much God’s creation as I am. I can show him love by learning how he receives it best. I can respect him by treating him like our house is just as much his as it is mine and by relating to him like he’s a strong, capable, grown man.
And you know what? None of those actions – love, respect, or honor – have to be responsive in nature. I can CHOOSE to love, respect, and honor my husband on the basis of who he is. I do not have to wait on him to earn that treatment based on what he does.
That’s what I’d want from my husband – unconditional, love, respect, and honor. And that is what I can be deliberate about giving to him.
“If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.
If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.
If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”
~ 1 Corinthians 13:1-7 (NASB) ~
And let me repeat my words from the last post on marriage, sometimes it seems as though life would be so much easier if my husband and I were more alike. It seems as though, we would by force of nature simply have less over which to disagree. But alas! That’s simply not the way that it works. While there are similarities that we share, we rock each other’s worlds on a regular basis with our differences! What’s lovely about this whole twisted up reality? We learn what love really is. We learn what power you hold when you put love in action. We learn to more deeply appreciate the sacrifice of love that Jesus made for us. And oh…His love is a wonder in my soul.
Have you gotten the 411 on the One Month Journey? We kickoff next week and it’s gonna be great to experience the journey with you!