Saturday, June 11, 2011

Learning to Receive

Before I was married, I read several books on marriage. I learned about communication, covenant, and certain things that were reserved for married folk only (ahem). I learned about Five Love Languages, and His Needs, Her Needs. And I keep on reading. I want to continually grow as a wife, and be the woman that my husband (and God) needs me to be.

Just recently, I came to the realization (with the help of this book) that I'm not doing such a great job receiving from my husband. There have been times when I have FOUGHT to get him to GIVE to my needs, speak my love language and all that other fun stuff that I learned so much about. It's as if I'm telling him, "you want the key to my heart? Here it is, in five easy steps." All the while, I'm missing out on the blessings that are coming from him.

As a wife, I can't very well receive anything from my husband if I'm telling him in great detail what to give me! Men do not operate that way. It's like going to a restaurant and ordering off the menu...well the waiter isn't bringing me a salad with ranch dressing instead of the bleu cheese just because he's so nice and understands that I don't like chunky things in my salad dressing. He (the waiter) did not acquire that information because he was so intimately acquainted with the desires of my heart. He brought that salad just the way I wanted it because I told him exactly how I wanted it. He was just doing his job.

But that kind of approach doesn't work with my husband. He doesn't want me to tell him what to do! (Wow, there's a big shocker, right?) But he wants to please me, I know this much. (The Word even confirms it: "But he who is married cares about the things of the world—how he may please his wife." 1 Corinthians 7:33) My husband wants to give to me from his heart. Just like when we were courting! Somehow, in the midst of marriage, parenting, and other busy-ness, I began to fail to see this. I wanted to be in control. I wanted my husband to adhere to my top five needs and speak my love language all the time, or else I concluded that he didn't really love me. I thought that something in him had changed!

Are we as wives, looking at the heart of our husbands the way God does? "...For the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7) How many times have we missed our husband's loving intentions because what he gave us wasn't exactly what we ordered? I really believe now that I could have avoided so much struggle in my marriage if I had "gotten" this truth early on.

It's time for me to stop trying to get my husband to "do everything right" and start receiving the expression of his love that God puts on his heart.

Do you struggle in this area too? It may be time to stop and take note of the things your husband does to please you.

What actions has he taken lately to benefit you in some way? (Big or small). 

Linking up with Come Have a Peace for Marriage Mondays