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How Did I Miss Seeing Something So Obvious?

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This blog has always been about me sharing with you things that I’ve learned the hard way, in turn hoping you can avoid the same pitfall that I so elegantly ran right through. Call me the “test pilot” for Husbands. Lord knows I have done my share of stupid over the past ten years of being married to my wife Valerie. So here I am again. Hoping to “wave off” other husbands from hitting the same pothole that I have just got done repairing my car from.

So what’s the pothole I’m spray painting a neon orange circle around this time? Well, it’s one that you would have thought would have been pretty obvious to a “Christian husband” like myself. In fact, I’m a bit embarrassed to admit I didn’t give it the importance that it deserves, for so many years. What is it?

Your relationship with your wife will never be as good as you think it should be, until you get your relationship with GOD where IT should be.

Remember that scripture where it says “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. (Matthew 6 (KJV))? Yeah, the one we quote all the time, and sing songs about, and as Christians, quote almost as much as John 3:16? That one. Well, turns out I always quoted it, but never thought it applied to my marriage. You see, my marriage had gotten to a point where it had taken over the spot that God says is supposed to be reserved for Him. Without even really realizing it, I had made my marriage, my wife – first in my life – hoping it would fulfill me. Hoping it would bring me happiness. Hoping it would meet my every need. And it didn’t. And for YEARS I lived frustrated. “I thought marriage was supposed to be amazing, and fulfilling, and meet my needs!” I would tell God. “Why doesn’t it seem like it’s ever as good as I think it should be!?” I put time into doing everything I thought I should, to make my marriage as GOOD as I thought it should be. Date nights, books, marriage blogs, I was the poster child husband. I did all the things everyone says will give you a great marriage, and it was good – but I still felt like there was some part missing.

There was. What was missing was me putting my relationship with my Heavenly Father before anything else. Before my wife, before my kids, before my marriage – FIRST. And I don’t mean just saying it. I don’t mean just going to church on Sunday, and then checking off your “time served” card. No, I mean a day-to-day RELATIONSHIP with God. A walking with Him. Every morning getting up and spending time in prayer. Every morning reading His Word like your life depended on it. Spending time in worship daily. Standing up in prayer and fighting for your family spiritually – coming against sickness, praying for God’s plan in their life to be fulfilled, praying for your finances, your wife. Praying that your home would be a place where God is honored. THAT kind of putting God first.

And you might be saying “Yeah yeah, I’ve heard this before. But how does this get me a better sex life? Or make my wife want me more? Or make us argue less?” I was at a men’s conference a little while ago, and one of the speakers said something I will never forget. He said:

“Maybe if you’re having a hard time getting your wife to submit to you, it’s because you’re having a hard time submitting to God”.

See? We get this whole marriage thing messed up guys! We get married and we look to the relationship to make us happy, fulfilled, and finally fill that hole that we’ve been looking to fill in our hearts and lives. But it’s never going to do that guys! Your wife will ALWAYS disappoint you in some way. She will NEVER be able to completely fulfill you in every way. Only GOD can truly fulfill us. Only GOD will never disappoint us. But we keep looking for her to do what she’s not designed to do. She was never created to be our god. She was created to be our partner/helpmate in this life, not our “all in all”.

Ok, so what happens when you start to put your relationship with GOD first? And not in a fake Christian, “Bible thumper” kind of way, but in an authentic seek Him every  day, be a leader by serving kind of way? You’ll start to notice a few things. You’ll start to notice how happy you are. How you have a joy that you can’t explain. You’ll start to notice how amazing your wife is. Her “big issues” that you’ve been trying to “fix” in her for years, seem really petty. You’ll start to notice how much you love her, in a way that isn’t based on her performance. You’ll start to notice the atmosphere change in your home, from one filled with tension, to one filled with peace. Your wife will start to notice the way you treat her differently than before. That you are serving her expecting nothing in return. That you are finally leading your family in the things of Christ. She’ll notice a difference in how you treat/discipline the kids. And you know what guys? She’ll be attracted to you like never before (yes, sexually too), because she is going to start seeing the heart you have in truly laying down your life for her and your family. And for some reason, this is incredibly attractive to our wives. 😉

God designed our priorities to run like this – God first, then your wife/marriage, then your kids, then work. It doesn’t work well any other way. Why? Because the one who designed it, knows how it runs best. How foolish we are to think we know better than the One who created us. But we somehow start to put our relationship with God on the back burner. “I’ll get to you soon God” we say. “God I’m really busy today, I’ll catch you after I get home tonight”. And it never happens. And we get more and more frustrated with how our lives are running, and God’s looking down at us running on the hamster wheel that we’ve created for ourselves, thinking we’re really going somewhere, and says “If you would just seek me first, all these other things would be added to you. Please just trust Me. Rely on Me. Seek Me. I’ll help you through this other stuff.”

Listen guys! We’ve got to stop with the half and half living! We’re either ALL IN with God, and we get rid of the porn, and we get rid of the things in our lives that we KNOW do no honor God, or we have NO RIGHT to expect any kind of blessing on our marriage, our families, our health, or any other part of our lives! God is a jealous God, and he says pretty clearly that we are to have no other gods before Him. NONE. You fill in the blank. What have you put in front of God? Work? Sex? Your Marriage? STOP! We have got to be the men that get on our knees and say “God I’m so sorry for not giving you the place in my life that you so deserve! I need your help God! I NEED you in my marriage! I NEED you in my family! I NEED you to fulfill me completely, and give me a vision for my family, and my marriage. Please forgive me God where I’ve put things ahead of You. Forgive me for expecting my wife to satisfy my every desire/need. Forgive me for not leading my family by being a SERVANT to them, and show me how to lay down my life for them, like you laid down Your life for the church.” 

That’s it! And then set your alarm 30 minutes earlier, and start spending quality time with Him daily. Pray over your family. Pray scripture over them. Pray for your finances. Pray for your marriage. Pray for the health of your family. And then watch. Watch how the days go by and the atmosphere starts to change. Watch as your family starts to see how dad is changing. How he’s more loving and tender with mom. How he disciplines us with love. And remember how it came. It came because you made the decition. It came Because you stood up and said “As for me and MY house, WE will SERVE the Lord!”

Something so simple. Put God first, and watch HIM move in ways you can’t even imagine. Your marriage will never be the same. 

 

 

Wives – Want to know what your husband is thinking during sex?

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Men are pretty simple beings for the most part—or compared to our female counterparts anyway. That’s why I find it rather amusing that I get so many emails from wives, trying to figure out what my husband is thinking” about a myriad of topics, but mostly when it comes to sex. Now here’s the deal—I am by no means any kind of expert or sex therapist. I’m just a normal husband with 3 kids and an amazing wife that makes me look better than I am at a lot of things. But what I am a specialist at, is being male. Got that down to a tee (my wife would say too well sometimes…lol). So understand that the following points may not be completely true for every husband out there; more than likely, 90% of them will still apply. So, are you ready to take a peek into the deep, dark, mysterious male mind when it comes to what he’s thinking during sex? … keep reading at Hot, Holy and Humorous where I’m guest posting today.

“Marriage Bloggers Have Perfect Marriages” – and Other Random Myths Debunked

We all do it more than we realize; we make assumptions about people based upon their position. For example, we subconsciously think if you’re a Pastor, you don’t struggle with your walk with Christ. Or if you’re a millionaire, you’ve never struggled with making money, or if you’re a doctor, you always know exactly how to treat your sick kids, and you never worry about them. I know I thought the same thing about people who spoke on marriage at huge marriage conventions. I would think “well, it’s easy for them to tell me how to have a good marriage, because they live in some kind of dream world with no problems. I dare them to try to have a sex life with my 3 little kids in an 800 square foot home!” 

When I started mission:husband, I think it was more for my own therapy than anything else. A place where I could post what I had learned the hard way in this whole marriage thing. I wanted to keep it an honest, no holes bared, down to earth, “marriage blog for normal husbands”. I don’t have a “Dr.” in front of my name, I didn’t go to any kind of counseling school. I just wanted to create a place where Christian husbands could learn how to be better Christian husbands, and do so in a “real” environment. But despite my best efforts, people somehow have the idea that Val and I have this “dream marriage” in which we never argue, always have great sex, never get annoyed with each other, never yell at the kids, always have date nights 3 times (at least) a week at a 5 star restaurant that we travel to in our own private plane, and last but not least, walk on water like Peter. Yeah, sure we do. What’s that saying about having some ocean front property to sell you in Ohio?

Let me give some insight on things we struggle with. We argue about money, we sometimes bicker over dumb little things that don’t matter, we have a hard time finding time for each other without the kids, we struggle with making a good sex life a priority, there are times we feel like we don’t know how to parent the kids effectively, we have a hard time hearing each other through our “pink or blue ears”, we struggle to find time to spend with our aging parents, while still maintaining some sort of family time.  Is any of this sounding strangely “normal” to you? Yeah, thought so. Sorry ruin your imaginary picture of us. The point I’m trying to get across is this:

Just because we may blog about marriage, doesn’t mean we have any kind of “secret powder” that we put in with our shampoo each day and “POOF!” our marriage is no work at all!

It takes HARD WORK. It takes DEDICATION to making your marriage “better than average”. It takes two people willing to lay aside self, and serve the other person – even when they don’t deserve it. It takes both of you deciding that your marriage is going to come first – over the kids, over the parents, over the job, over everything else but your relationship with the Lord. It takes PRAYER together to get you through the hard times like miscarriage and broken promises. It takes an undying determination to stand up against attacks to your marriage like porn, erotica, flirting with coworkers, allowing yourself to talk negatively about your spouse in front of other people when they’re not around, or allowing your anger to take over, or not stopping to think before you speak. It takes the willingness to STUDY and LEARN your spouse – what makes them tick, what turns them on, what turns them off, what makes them smile, what makes them cry, what things their insecure about, or need to you support them in. It takes understanding that they are HUMAN, and when they MESS UP, loving them anyways. It takes Grace to forgive, even when everything in you is screaming “I don’t want to forgive you!”. It takes dedication from both of you to keeping your sexual relationship strong, even when “life” gets in the way, or it doesn’t “just happen” anymore.

I don’t know about you, but when I signed up for this whole marriage thing, I was – let’s say – “naive” about what it takes to keep a marriage running strong (understatement of the year). I found out pretty quickly that it takes more that two people simply being “in love”, and then everybody lives happily ever after.

So, your marriage has a lot of problems? Join the club! It’s where you go from there that is going to make the difference. You either choose to both roll up your sleeves and get to work, or you decide it’s too hard, call it quits, and be just as unhappy with another person five years later. There’s no “easy button” on this one, but let me tell you from experience, the reward of your hard work – knowing that one person that God gave you better than anyone else, and getting to wake up next to them for the rest of your life – is so worth the initial “pain” involved in working together to make the relationship work. Don’t give up on your marriage! Sure it’s hard or it may even feel hopeless right now, but my God is a BIG GOD, and He can do AMAZING things! Ask Him to help you both, as you commit to making your marriage a priority, starting to rebuild brick by brick, the trust that may have been lost, or together finding the joy of dating one another again, just like you did when you fell in love.  No matter how “hopeless” your marriage may be right now, don’t buy into the lie that says “you’d be better off just starting over with another person, he/she just isn’t the right person for you”. As somebody once said, “you can run away from your problems, but when you stop running, you’ll notice your problems are still right there with you”. So, are you ready to get to work? Here are a few scriptures aimed at husbands that we can start working on:
He (husband) is to love her. “Husbands, love your wives, just as also Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her… In the same way, husbands should love their wives as their own bodies… each one of you is to love his wife as himself…” (Ephesians 5:25, 28, 33).

He is to be committed to her. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two will become one flesh” (Ephesians 5:31).

He is to be considerate of her. “Husbands, in the same way, live with your wives with understanding of their weaker nature yet showing them honor as co-heirs of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered” (1 Peter 3:7).

 

Calling All Wives!

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Just a quick post to let all you wives that may be reading my blog posts (not that you would read a blog for Husbands, but just in case you “accidently” ran across my blog…lol), my lovely wife has started a blog for Christian wives called “mission:wife”, and is doing an amazing job of providing tips, insight, and humor on being the wife that God designed you to be! Check it out at www.missionwife.wordpress.com