Kim shares: I have been listening to a series on WLJN from Pastor Chuck Swindoll over the past few weeks, and it has been so insightful into the life I live, and the marriage and family life I have. One of the most powerful questions I’ve heard from him was along the lines of, if your house was to burn to the ground, would you still have a home? This made me think about the relationships I have with my husband and children. If our house was to burn to the ground, would my family fall apart because we’ve lost all of our “things” or would we draw together with what we share and the home life we have created? It helped me realize how important this journey of developing relationships is and how important it is to first start at home with my husband, well after God of course, and children. I’m learning that people are the most important “things” here on earth, and that some of building up our “home” includes giving my husband respect and creating a oneness with him, and the willingness to grow, which all eventually builds up our children.
At our last MOPS meeting Pastor Matro talked about respect, and he said our children learn respect mostly from us, as we are their parents. What better way for me to build my relationship with my husband than to learn how to show him respect, as this is also showing him love, all the while teaching it to our children? I’m learning that respect means to honor his decision, especially in front of the kids, even if I don’t agree with it, but talk about it later. That respect means to listen to what he has to say and not view it as less than what I think my point of view is worth. I’m learning that respect is also part of accepting him for who he really is, faults and all, and loving him anyway. This is definitely a work in progress as sometimes Mike tells me I am being disrespectful and I don’t even realize it, or I catch myself after it’s too late. However, we have gotten to a point in our relationship that instead of him getting angry and yelling at me or me getting defensive with him for pointing out what I am doing wrong, God has given Mike calmness and a forgiving heart and me the wisdom to listen and see life through my husband’s eyes.
By listening and respecting what he has to say and his position as a man has helped our marriage a great deal. As now there are two points of view instead of just mine. This has also allowed me to understand and connect with my husband on a more intimate level than ever before. I can see his confidence as a husband and father growing. Also, by giving him a chance and seeing how he responds to situations, before me jumping in, has made me see how smart and capable he truly is. However, I’ve had to say many prayers and ask God for the words to speak to my husband in ways for him to understand and feel respect and not be offended, and courage to pray for him and forgive him even when I didn’t like him. I’ve also prayed for God to lead me and help me to be the kind of wife Mike needs and to help Mike be the kind of husband I need. And God has been faithful.In
Genesis it talks about wives cleaving to their husbands. What does that mean? Well Chuck Swindoll put it in a way that made it so clear to me. He said, “the bible does not say cleave to your mother or father and the bible does not say cleave to your son or cleave to your daughter, no it says LEAVE your mother and father and cleave to your wife. Two shall become one. They were naked together and felt no shame. Genesis 2:24-25 Wives your husband should be the most important, not your children, not your mother, not your father.”
Since I’ve heard this, I’ve realized how important it is to build up and love my husband as number one over our children, since essentially our souls carry a connection. Two shall become one… and be naked and feel no shame. Wow, I look at my marriage so differently now. I always knew that we were on the same team, but now I can view my husband as being part of me as his life affects mine and together we affect our children. I see that it is ok and right to be so trusting, open and vulnerable. Naked with him not only physically but also emotionally, and feel no shame as he loves me, broken past or not. Even though trusting people is an extremely difficult task for me, it’s time to move forward and trust my husband as one, and I have faith that God will help us through it.
Also I believe one of the biggest building blocks to our foundation is our openness to grow. Mike and I have almost been divorced, three times actually, and we still have “issues” to work out. But now that I’ve opened my heart up to working on myself and growing and healing from my past, it is amazing to me the things God has been showing me. Once again I have said that things need to change, the only difference between this time and last is that I can see that I am part of the problem. I needed to learn to respect, to trust, to listen, and show unconditional love to my husband as well, not just our children.
As for my marriage, I’ve always looked at it as Mike needed to change. Granted sometimes I still feel he does, however now I can hear God when he says, “Kim it’s time for you to grow and work on yourself instead of trying to change your husband. It’s time for you to heal.” Chuck Swindoll says, “It’s your job to love your husband and God’s job to make him good.”
I need to “ Love’em and lead’em,” both my husband and children. And it has been so worth the hard work of healing and growing, and leading my family on this spiritual journey. It has been so worth the many months of praying for God to work on my husband and soften his heart and then waiting for answered prayers. Some still unanswered. But, for the first time in years I can say “I love my husband (and myself) with all of my heart.”
Mike and I are the foundation of the “home” we are building. I’m finding out that the stronger we are, the rooms of our children and the rest of our home becomes naturally sturdy. I can admit my marriage and family life isn’t perfect, and I am still learning how to listen, respect and love my husband and two very different children. I’m learning how to be one with my husband and grow in our marriage.
I’ve seen Gods work in me and Mike, and also our children and it gives me strength to continue this journey through the difficult times. God has helped me to see new things. I see more love, happiness and fun in our home. I see support and encouragement, and best of all I see more of a family unit. I also can see a terrific man as my husband and as a father. I can write this with a happy and content heart because of where my marriage and family life has come over the past six months even, but the journey continues. I like to believe that if our house was to burn to the ground we would still have a home.
1 Peter 3:1-2 Wives, follow the lead of your husbands. Suppose some of them don’t believe God’s word. Then let them be won to Christ without words by seeing how their wives behave. 2 Let them see how pure you are. Let them see that your lives are full of respect for God.
Genesis 2:24-25 24 That’s why a man will leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife. The two of them will become one. 25 The man and his wife were both naked. They didn’t feel any shame.