Saturday, January 31, 2015

Surrendering Brings JOY

     I have just now finished reading The Surrendered Wife by Laura Doyle.  Do I have it all figured out?  Nope, but I am trying!  That's got to count for something, right?  Some things I have become increasingly aware of as I experimented on my dear husband:

  • Respect is the key for having a happy husband.  I have always said that Nathan was head of our household but interjected my opinion in over drive.  Am I saying that having an opinion is wrong?  NO!  I am saying that what he is a person too.  He has feelings.  I wouldn't want someone else picking out my clothes, pointing out that I was wasting my time, mentioning that I left my towel in the floor, suggesting what I say on the phone, making lists of things I needed to do, getting on to me about how I fussed at the children, asking if I had brushed my teeth, asking me what I spent my cash on, telling me how to drive, etc.  Those are just a few examples that wives probably all have been guilty of from time to time.  I mean, who would want to deal with that ridiculousness?  That all chalks up to being his mother instead of his loving, supporting wife.  He is who we fell in love with.  Us pointing out his faults does nothing more than crumble his spirit.  Also, trying to control EVERYTHING so it will be done to our perfection just stresses us out.  In turn, men rise to the challenge of being all that we treat him to be.  He will bottle up respect & shower us with his love.
  • Relinquish control of the finances to your capable husband.  Yes, I will be glad to write out checks or deliver them if he asks.  No, I will not keep a check on our balances, make anymore budgets, open that whole crazy stack of mail, nor figure out which bills to pay when.  I am tired of stressing over that.  He makes the money & is a smart adult who is capable of keeping our lights turned on & other bills paid appropriately.  This will give him encouragement to work to bring home what our family needs & provide desires we can afford.  He will no longer feel his income is being chopped up & divided how I see fit.  It also helps him fulfill his need to take care of us.  All I need is X amount of cash $ each week for groceries & miscellaneous expenses if it is available to share.  
  • Self care is critical for being a happy wife.  To neglect ourselves is to fold in defeat.  Our happiness depends on doing something we enjoy & also making time for things that make us a better person.  I enjoy reading, writing, bubble baths, shopping, traveling, scrap booking, crafting, socializing with special friends & family.  Enjoying these activities make me a happier person.  Praying, keeping a gratitude list, eating healthy, exercising, cleaning, & organizing are all things that take effort for me but bring peace & joy into our home.  The old saying rings true ~When mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy!!!
  • Ask for what we want.  Husbands are not mind readers.  His heart's desire is to take care of his wife.  I wanted to go out to eat pizza.  I simply said, "I would love to go out for pizza tonight."  He rearranged a few things to meet my request.  I didn't confuse things with asking if he wanted pizza or hint that I wanted some.  I asked.  He blessed.  I thanked him.  Speak up nicely, hoping for the best instead of expecting. 
  • Be thankful.  Appreciate all of his efforts, however small.  Common sense tells us that if what we do for someone is accepted with gratitude, we will want to bless them again.  Begging & expecting get my children no where.  Being appreciative definitely does though!  Another example is how Nathan's Granny reacts with such kind words & appreciation each time we bake her a pecan pie.  She tells those who enter her kitchen how great it tastes.  Naturally, we can't bake pecan pies without thinking of her & usually bake her one too!  No, we are not out for the compliments, but being grateful definitely encourages the giver to give again.  Your husband soaks up your praise.  He can't help but feel loved, appreciated, & encouraged to do more.  I began a secret gratitude list.  There are so many things about him that I cherish!  They far out weigh any stupid little fault.
     Am I perfect now?  Certainly not!  Have I caught myself being disrespectful or overly "helpful"?  Absolutely, & I sincerely apologized.  Our home is now flowing with less drama.  I have noticed how critical one of our oldest has become of a younger sibling.  I realize that how I was acting before has taught them to act this way.  I did table a discussion to nip it in the bud.  I also realize that actions speak louder than words.  My children mimic me.  They are usually in my company all day long.  I desire to make positive changes that will reap a greater JOY in our home!
     Critical updates:  I've been handed more cash to spend than I would've ever given myself, our lights & telephones & cell phones are still working with him paying the bills, I have less stress & more free time, Nathan enjoys taking care of us, & we've had a date night that he planned!  I think that spells EXPERIMENT WORKED, SURRENDERING BRINGS JOY!  :)     

1 comment:

  1. I love this post! As a very independent person, it has taken me years and lots of prayer to figure certain things out. And no I have not arrived, but am seeing more and more God's plan for me as a wife. When we abide by HIS plan, everything works!