Archive for the 'Marriage' Category

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Peace and Comfort

The modern woman thinks she knows what a man wants because if you spend any time in the check-out lane at a grocery store, you are bombarded with the message that all a man really wants is a woman with an incredible body. But if that’s really the case, then why do so many of the marriages of super-bodies fall apart?

The truth is that men want a lot of things that never get mentioned on the cover of Cosmo.  They want respect. They want companionship. They want a hot meal and a happy wife.  They want mutual due benevolence. The bottom line is, what ever else they may want, they want peace and comfort in their homes.

How do I know this? Consider all the descriptions of the miserable husband in Proverbs. In every case, he is driven from his home to the roof or the desert because of a mouthy, complaining, unhappy woman.

So what am I saying? Look at it this way. What would most husbands want: a wife who is feeling overweight and in the dumps, or a wife who is feeling overweight and cheerful? A wife who is crying about the pay check not going far enough, or a frugal wife who is rejoicing in the hard times? A wife who is strung out and angry because Continue reading ‘Peace and Comfort’

Content to Be Needy

Each and every one of us has needs. We have spiritual needs, physical needs, emotional needs, and there’s probably another category I haven’t thought of. There’s no denying that the human race is a needy bunch, and women are no exception. So there’s point one.

The second point is that God made us this way. It’s not a sin to be needy, but there are ways that this neediness can lead to sin, and I’ll get to that in a minute. God created us to need community, to need love and acceptance and fellowship. Ultimately, we need God. When we are put right with our Creator, our deepest needs for forgiveness and restoration and fellowship with our Father in Heaven are met. But even after being put right with God, because we are still fallen creatures, we will Continue reading ‘Content to Be Needy’

Communication Blindspots

When you are driving down the road, and you’re thinking of changing lanes, you have to do a head check, because if you don’t, bad things can happen. Your mirror won’t show a car if it is right smack in the middle of your blind spot.

In the same way, we all have personal blindspots. We think we see, but there is something very large and very near that we are completely missing. We’re on a collision course, and if we do not proceed with caution, we are going to get clobbered or we’re going to clobber someone else.

Some of our blindspots are those little quirky things that are not sinful. It gives our loved ones something to overlook (or even love) about us. But sometimes a blindspot is a snare that causes real trouble. And often we are guilty of the very same blindspot that annoys us in others. We get bothered when they move their car over without looking, but we are guilty of cutting off cars regularly ourselves, and we seldom notice it.

Let me give you some made-up examples of this kind of blindspot. You get annoyed when someone interrupts you, Continue reading ‘Communication Blindspots’

It’s a Wedding, Part II

Since my husband is the one who actually officiates at so many weddings, I asked him for his top ten pointers. And here they are.

1. Don’t lock your knees. (He’s only lost one groomsman in all these years!)

2. Respect the customs surrounding weddings. (In other words, the mother of the groom doesn’t run the wedding).

3. Decorate according to your taste, but stick with what is the established norm. Don’t try to invent a whole new way of having a wedding.

4. Don’t use trumpets unless you have a world-class trumpeter.

5. Don’t make the bride look good by making all the bridesmaids look bad. (Okay, I must add an editorial comment here. My husband really thought for years that there must be some custom of making the bridesmaids look awful. I know, that’s sad, isn’t it? See my point #5.)

6. The attendants always face the bride, where ever she is. She is the crown, the focal point of the coronation.

7. Give mile-markers at the reception, such as, “The bride and groom will be leaving at eight o’clock…” That way your guests have an idea of how long the party will be going.

8. Just an observation here: It’s a lovely custom for the bride and groom to give gifts to their attendants at the rehearsal dinner.

9. Use standard vows; don’t write your own. And don’t be affected by egalitarianism and feminism when it comes to taking your vows. Stick to the Bible.

10. Honor the Word of God at your wedding: have it read, declared, and have your vows based on it.

It’s a Wedding!

A few years ago the church secretary made an attempt to count how many times my husband has tied the knot. She estimated somewhere between eighty and a hundred weddings over the past thirty years or so. That’s a bunch, to put it mildly.

Weddings are one of the few remaining events in our culture where we dress up and follow traditional rules of conduct. We receive and rsvp to formal invitations, we are seated by ushers and handed programs. We sign guest books and (sometimes) go through receiving lines. A wedding requires incredible planning and requires a lot of its guests. Here is my own little list of ten things a bride should think about while planning her wedding. (I wish I had read this before my own wedding!)

1. Make the invitation clear. Don’t make the invitation so colorful and cluttered that your guests may miss the main details (which are in 3 pt font printed up the side). And remember to write out all the names on those invited, so there is no ambiguity about the children.

2. When you go to buy a dress, keep the context in view. If you’re having an outdoor wedding in July, don’t buy a dress with a train that looks like you’re headed for Westminster Abbey! Stay on task, no matter how elegant everyone says you look in it.

3. Stay in your budget. There is nothing in the world wrong with a reception of cake, punch, and mints. If your parents are offering to buy you a full sit-down dinner for 400 guests, then God bless them, and go for it. But if you are operating on a different kind of budget, no one will mind a simple slice of (delicious) wedding cake and a cup of punch.

4. This is a party in your honor, but you still want to honor your guests, so  when you pick a time for your wedding, consider whether it will work for your family and friends.

5. Be kind to your bridesmaids and don’t ask them to pay $200 for a dress they’ll never wear again. And don’t pick a dress that only one of your ten bridesmaids will actually look good in. Remember that the first view most of the guests get of the dress is the back, so make sure the dress is cute in the back, not just in the front. Not everyone looks good from every angle  in a backless, strapless wonder.

6. Make certain if you invite five hundred that you actually have five hundred seats, not four hundred fifty.

7. Keep the reception moving so your guests can actually stay until the end. If you plan a lengthy reception, you’ll necessarily lose some of your guests. It’s always better to have everyone wishing it would last a little longer than have them wishing it would end, and fast.

8. Beware the open mike. It’s always better to ask a few very specific individuals to offer the toasts or wedding speeches. It is something to prepare for, not something to be given off the cuff.

9. Let go of the details, once it’s planned. If the bows on the aisles are not exactly what you had hoped for, don’t worry about it. Look over them to find the eyes of your groom.

10. Be sure to thank your parents and kiss them goodbye.

Submission When It’s Easy

I’ve written about submission when it’s hard. In fact, in the earlier post on unsubmissiveness, I said that it isn’t even submission if you agree with your husband. But I need to clarify that.

In a godly marriage, a wife is living in a respectful and submissive manner with a husband who is living in a loving and sacrificial manner. Both are sacrificing for one another, laying down their lives for one another, and they do this all the time. They may not even notice because it is such a pattern of life for them. Submission is an attitude of the heart, and it is a frame of spirit. So a wife could be living submissively day-in and day-out and never really be identifying it as “submission.” But it is.

I don’t want to give the word submission a bad rap by giving the impression that it is only applicable when it’s hard. It is sometimes hard. When Jesus submitted in the Garden of Gethsemane, it was very hard. But when He was doing the will of His Father day-in and day-out while on the earth, He was living in a submissive manner. God’s will was Jesus’ will. They agreed. And in the Garden, Jesus made the Father’s will His own.

So God has shown us how to submit when it is hard, and He has shown us how to live submissively all the time. Both are good. Both are required.