Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The Heart of a Homemaker |

The original post was posted August 12. 2009 and can be found here.

"...that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands..."

Why do young women need to be encouraged to love their husbands? Doesn't that just come naturally?

Let's think about this for a moment.

We met our husbands, fell in love, and got married. According to all of the fairy tales we read and saw in movies, we are supposed to live happily ever after! However, the fairy tales don't tell us what life was like for the princess and prince once they reached the palace. They don't tell us how the princess managed the laundry, children, cooking, and being the princess that the prince needed her to be. It doesn't tell us how hard the prince had to work to provide for his family or how tired he was when he came home from working so hard.

The fairy tales always stop at the wedding but never take us into the marriage.

Why?

Because that is where the fairy tale ends and reality begins.

God tells the older women to encourage the younger women to love their husbands.

What does the word encourage mean? According to dictionary.com, encourage means to inspire with courage, spirit, or confidence; to stimulate by assistance, approval, etc.; to promote, advance, prosper.

I am always encouraged by women who have been married for many years who love their husbands for who they are without criticism and sarcasm.

In my own family, I had my parents who were married 3 months short of 35 years before Mom passed away, my parents-in-law who celebrated their 44th anniversary last month, and many aunts and uncles who also have marriages that have lasted over 40 years. When they begin passing their wisdom to me, I get so excited to hear what they have to say. Why? Because they have proven that they know what love for their husband is, and it is not that squishy, fuzzy, fluttering feeling. It is enduring, time tested, and loyal. 
Love, according to the Bible, is an action not a feeling (probably because the feelings of love are unreliable). True love requires that we do something for someone else without expecting to receive anything in return. 1 Corinthians 13 is called the love chapter, and it tells us what love is. Love is...
  • patient- when your husband doesn't follow the procedures that you usually use- whether it is with the dishes, dressing the children, changing diapers, or making you lunch on a Saturday afternoon. Just thank God that your husband is lending a hand.

  • kind- instead of criticizing your husband's faults, compliment him on his strengths. How would you like to constantly have your faults thrown at you?

  • does not envy- someone else for what their husband is able to provide for them. Thank God for the hard working man that He has blessed you with, and let your husband know how proud of him you are.

  • does not boast- to your husband how much you were able to accomplish in your day. Believe it or not, he will actually feel like you don't think he did much with his day (I have learned this from experience).

  • not proud- of how you do things. If you are constantly telling your husband of how much better you are at doing things around the house than he is, don't be surprised if he stops trying to help. You have already told him that he can't do it right.

  • not rude- just because you are married doesn't mean you can lose your lady-likeness. You caught him, yeah, but you want to keep him. Be a lady at all times. Yes, be real, but don't lose your charm. If you would be embarrassed to do something rude in public, show that same kind of respect to your husband.

  • not self seeking- don't look for what you can get out of your marriage. Look for ways to serve your husband. By doing little things that he likes or has asked for, he will know, without you telling him, that you are trying to serve him.

  • not easily angered- about every little thing. Save your irritation for things that really matter, not socks left on the bathroom floor. And when you see the socks, thank God that you have a husband that can leave socks around.

  • keeps no record of wrong- if God has put our sins as far from Him as the east is from the west, shouldn't we do the same for our husbands? Some wives are constantly bringing up past wrongs. If that is the case, why should the husband change his ways if he is never going to be forgiven of past mistakes? If there is a series of problems that are just not being corrected, then seek counseling from a Biblical counselor.

  • does not delight in evil- we are not to encourage wrong behavior in our husbands. Joking and teasing about it will not help. Acting as if the wrong behavior is out of his control only enables him. Speak to him in kindness, and seek Biblical counseling if necessary.

  • rejoices in the truth- when our husbands open up to us and share their hearts, we need to make them feel that we are trustworthy with their feelings. Our response will encourage them to continue sharing their hearts in truth with us. And if what he tells you needs to be held in confidence between you and your husband, then keep the confidence. He will never be able to share his feelings openly with you again if he thinks that you are going to run to your mother or closest girlfriend with his heart.

  • always protects- our marriage from intruders. Whether that be people, television, computers, books, magazines, we need to be on the alert. Not from a standpoint that assumes that our husbands are the ones that need the protection, but for ourselves. Growing up, my mother did not allow us to read romance novels (even Christian ones) because she did not want us getting a flawed view of love or having ideas put in our heads prematurely. How many women (and I mean married women) read romance novels and then become dissatisfied with their husbands, marriages, and life because it is not playing out like the fiction they just read? We as women need to guard our hearts and homes. The "keeper of the home" is the "protector of the home" and guards what comes into the dwelling of her most precious ones.

  • always trusts- her husband and assumes the best in him. If he has given her reason to distrust him, then they will need to work through their issues, and he will need to go above and beyond in showing her that he can be trusted. She, on the other hand, needs to make an effort in extending trust to him. I am not saying that it will be easy, but with God's help all things are possible.

  • always hopes- isn't it wonderful being able to grow old (not that we want to think that far ahead just yet) with someone? Do you have hopes and dreams that you share? Maybe, they are dreams that are short term, maybe they are long term. Either way, having those dreams gives you and your spouse something to work towards together, keeps you going during the hard times, and gives you something to rejoice over when you reach them. If you don't have dreams, I would encourage you to take a walk or sit down with your husband and find out what his dreams are for himself, for you as a couple, and for your family.

  • perseveres- it is so easy to get tired, give up, and quit. But don't! Press on, keep going, push forward! It will be so worth it to be able to look back after a long, fulfilling life together and see how much you have grown as woman, how much your husband has grown as a man, and how much you have grown together. But to grow together, you need to grow closer to the Lord. A pastor I heard once put it this way: your relationship with your spouse and God is like a triangle. God is at the top point and you are each the bottom points. The closer you get to God in your relationship with Him, the closer you will get to each other. And that is such a wonderful place to be.

  • never fails- Love never stops functioning or operating. It is always working. Let us always look for ways to love our husbands. When we decide that we have done enough in our marriage, that is when we fail. Remember back to the early days of wedded bliss when you looked for new recipes to wow your husband with, looked in the paper for local events to do just so you could be together, looked for clothes in the color you knew your husband liked you in, and looked for ways to make an ordinary day extraordinary. He is the same man you married, and you are the same woman. Don't let time and familiarity deaden the joy you use to have. Allow time and familiarity to work to your advantage. You know him better now than you did when you first got married, so use that knowledge to make sure that your actions of love never stop operating or functioning.
If you have not yet heard the song or the story behind the song "Sweet Lorraine" which is #9 on the iTunes Top Ten charts. This is the story of a husband and wife who were married for 73 years (apparently they dated for 2 years). Please take the time listen to the story (it is a little over 9 minutes long- the song begins at the 6 minute mark). Brian and I sat together and cried while watching and listening. This couple embodies the kind of love we have talked about today. It takes the kind of love God describes to have a marriage like the one Fred and Lorraine shared.

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