So not every guy proposes with lip syncing, rolling cameras, and a choreographed entourage.
Yeah — so what if your Dad didn’t?
He just pulled that beat-up Volkswagon Rabbit of his over in front of Murray Reesor’s hundred acre farm right there where Grey Township meets Elma Township, pulled out a little red velvet box, and whispered it in the snowy dark: “Marry me?”“He didn’t even get down on one knee or anything?”
You boys ask it incredulous, like there’s some kind of manual for this kind of holy.
And I’ve got no qualms in telling you no. No, he didn’t even get down on one knee – it was just a box, a glint of gold in the dark, two hallowed words and a question mark.
I know. When you’ve watched a few dozen mastermind proposals on youtube, shared them with their rolling credits on Facebook, marvelling at how real romance has an imagination like that.
Can I tell you something, sons?
Romance isn’t measured by how viral your proposal goes. The internet age may try to sell you something different, but don’t ever forget that viral is closely associated with sickness – so don’t ever make being viral your goal.
Your goal is always to make your Christ-focus contagious – to just one person.
It’s more than just imagining some romantic proposal.
It’s a man who imagines washing puked-on sheets at 2:30 am, plunging out a full and plugged toilet for the third time this week, and then scraping out the crud in the bottom screen of the dishwasher — every single night for the next 37 years without any cameras rolling or soundtrack playing -- that’s imagining true romance.
The man who imagines slipping his arm around his wife’s soft, thickening middle age waistline and whispering that he couldn’t love her more…. who imagines the manliness of standing bold and unashamed in the express checkout line with only maxi pads and tampons because someone he loves is having an unexpected Saturday morning emergency.
The man who imagines the coming decades of a fluid life – her leaking milky circles through a dress at Aunt Ruth’s birthday party, her wearing thick diaper-like Depends for soggy weeks after pushing a whole human being out through her inch-wide cervix, her bleeding through sheets and gushing amniotic oceans across the bathroom floor and the unexpected beauty of her crossing her legs everytime she jumps on the trampoline with the kids.
The real romantics imagine greying and sagging and wrinkling as the deepening of something sacred.
Because get this, kids — How a man proposes isn’t what makes him romantic. It’s how a man purposes to lay down his life that makes him romantic.
And a man begins being romantic years before any ring – romance begins with only having eyes for one woman now – so you don’t go giving your eyes away to cheap porn. Your dad will say it sometimes to me, a leaning over – “I am glad that there’s always only been you.” Not some bare, plastic-surgeon-scalpel-enhanced pixels ballooning on a screen, not some tempting flesh clicked on in the dark, not some photo-shopped figment of cultural beauty that’s basically a lie.
The real romantics know that stretchmarks are beauty marks and that different shaped women fit into the different shapes of men souls and that real romance is really sacrifice.
I know – you’re thinking, “Boring.”
Can you see it again – how your grandfather stood over your grandmother’s grave and brushed away his heart leaking without a sound down his cheeks?
50 boring years. 50 unfilmed years of milking 70 cows, raising 6 boys and 3 girls, getting ready for sermon every Sunday morning, him helping her with her zipper. 50 boring years of arguing in Dutch and making up in touching in the dark, 50 boring years of planting potatoes and weeding rows on humid July afternoons, 50 boring years of washing the white Corel dishes and turning out the light on the mess – till he finally carried her in and out of the tub and helped her pull up her Depends.
Don’t ever forget it:
The real romantics are the boring ones — they let another heart bore a hole deep into theirs.
Be one of the boring ones. Pray to be one who get 50 boring years of marriage – 50 years to let her heart bore a hole deep into yours.
Let everyone do their talking about 50 shades of grey, but don’t let anyone talk you out of it: committment is pretty much black and white. Because the truth is, real love will always make you suffer. Simply commit: Who am I willing to suffer for?
Who am I willing to take the reeking garbage out for and clean out the gross muck ponding at the bottom of the fridge? Who am I willing to listen to instead of talk at? Who am I willing to hold as they grow older and realer? Who am I willing to die a bit more for every day? Who am I willing to make heart-boring years with? Who am I willing to let bore a hole into my heart?
Get it: Life – and marriage proposals — isn’t not about one up-manship — it’s about one down-manship. It’s about the heart-boring years of sacrifice and going lower and serving. It’s not about how well you perform your proposal. It’s about how well you let Christ perform your life.
Sure, go ahead, have fun, make a ridiculously good memory and we’ll cheer loud: propose creatively — but never forget that what wows a woman and woos her is you how you purpose to live your life.
I’m praying, boys — be Men. Be one of the ‘boring” men – and let your heart be bore into. And know there are women who love that kind of man.
The kind of man whose romance isn’t flashy – because love is gritty.
The kind of man whose romance isn’t about cameras — because it’s about Christ.
The kind of man whose romance doesn’t have to go viral — because it’s going eternal.
No, your dad did not get down on one knee when he proposed – because the romantic men know it’s about living your whole life on your knees.
There are Fridays. And the quiet romantics who will take out the garbage without fanfare. There will be the unimaginative calendar by the fridge, with all it’s scribbled squares of two lives being made one. The toilet seat will be left predictably up. The sink will be resigned to its load of last night’s dishes.
And there is now and the beautiful boring, the way two lives touch and go deeper into time with each other.
The clock ticking passionately into decades.This post was written by A. Voskamp. You can find the original post here: http://www.aholyexperience.com/2013/11/the-real-truth-about-boring-men-and-the-women-who-live-with-them-redefining-boring/BE HOLY.BE A MAN.
While we all know it takes work to make a good marriage, what are we doing that works against us? The following list is a collection of what any spouse may fall prone too. While some may be too familiar to be funny, work on getting your relationship right by taking a lesson on how to get it wrong:
1. Don’t fight. Surely there is no such thing as healthy conflict so make sure to keep emotions tidy and sweep potential problems under the rug. Made popular in the 1950’s, avoidance, denial and ignorance continue to be prevalent, albeit futile, tools for keeping up the appearance that a happy, holy home is immune from the struggle to figure out conflict and its resolution.
2. Make passive aggressive digs in public. If you are doing tactic #1 well enough, this will come naturally. Resentment and bitterness will gradually build up so much that you’ll hardly be able to help yourself to strike when you have the chance. Remember, nothing is quite so hurtful or embarrassing as being subtly betrayed in front of others by the one who vowed to cherish and protect you.
3. Compare your spouse to certain, strategic family members. We know you know what button to push. If you’re looking for a way to escalate the dysfunctional patterns of behavior instead of seeking a way to live out a different legacy, ignore those distracting warning feelings of possible guilt and regret. A conversation goes to new levels of low when this method is applied.
4. Quote Scripture to prove your point. Despite the vanity and manipulation involved, pulling out Bible verses from their context to use against your spouse is not always seen as spiritually abusive. Oh, no wait, it is. So, it’s a potent tool to damage not only your marriage but also your relationship with God. Spiritualizing any sin will certainly fast-track your efforts.
5. Keep a schedule like you’re still single. Life’s demands don’t stop just because you get married or have children or have more children. Surrender to the pressure to be perfect instead of prioritizing what makes up the perfect life for you. Pour into places that make you feel accomplished more so than pouring into the people who show you who you are. The marriage vows meant to clarify that closeness and connection is a worthy endeavor as long as it doesn’t come at too great a cost to personal success and achievement.
6. Coast. There is a great conspiracy led by licensed therapists aimed at couples to convince them to work on their marriage. Our staggering divorce rate has nothing to do with the fact that couples aren’t accessing the help they need. Once you have that day when you say “I do” and “I love you,” the rest is downhill from there. It’s easy to be living the dream when you’re in a fantasy world.
7. Skip repair attempts. Despite evidence from leading research marriage experts, if you have a rupture in your relationship, it is unnecessary to take responsibility to seek reconciliation and restoration. Argue well enough over who is to blame and even if your relationship is at a loss, you can still win. It is not juvenile to believe that only the one who caused the rupture is solely responsible for the repair. Tip: If you have trouble accepting this, practice tactics #2-4 and if lingering anxiety persists, escape with more of strategy #5, again.
8. Lose yourself to become one. Give in, give up and give over to conformity. Live up to someone else’s expectations and play by someone else’s rules. Enmeshment is a mark of true love that will sacrifice you and waste you up until there’s nothing left of who you really are. It would be selfish any other way. Love wouldn’t free you or allow you to live into more of who you were created to be. Your satisfaction must be directly dependent on your spouse’s ability to make you happy. That pressure and expectation will likely only make the hearts grow fonder.
9. Kiss dating goodbye. Again. Dates take planning, romance, budgeting, time. Those are luxuries in short supply, not standard necessities for a healthy marriage. It’s a myth that business leads to boredom and burnout and bitterness. Resigning to merely exist as roommates isn’t too bad a fate when you’re settling to make comparisons with other worst-care-scenarios.
10. Read marriage articles as if that’s working on your marriage. To apply, personalize and be accountable to the actual material is an entirely different matter. Credit and appreciation should be extended for the minimal amount of effort. If you begin to feel convicted by any of your reading material to increase your efforts, work instead to teach your spouse how they must change. They especially enjoy this.
If you resonate with any of these strategies because you or your spouse is more than a little guilty of being good at them, let this be a playful but poignant encouragement to stop sabotaging your relationship. Spend that energy in a way that builds respect, trust and intimacy. Even if you don’t know exactly what to do, sometimes the beginning is knowing what not to do. Every failure gives you feedback so keep trying and find out together what will grow connection and life to your relationship.
This post was written by K. Grace. You can find the original post here: http://seedbed.com/feed/10-best-tactics-worst-marriage/
BE A MAN
Here at Ironstrikes, we don't advocate the "wedlease" but simply post the article about the "wedlease" here without editorial comment.
We all know that far too many marriages end in divorce, yet this institution does not adapt. Indeed, most Americans today want to expand conventional marriage to include same-sex couples.
So why is there no effort to improve the legal structure of marriage, when it shows itself to be deficient?
Marriage is a legal partnership that lasts a lifetime — one lifetime to be exact, that of the first of the spouses to die. Generally speaking, that is a long time for any partnership. People, circumstances and all sorts of other things change. The compatibility of any two people over decades may decline with these changes to the point of extinction.
In real estate, one may own a life estate in a piece of property. This is comparable to the term of a marriage — a lifetime. And in real estate, one may hold possession of property for shorter terms through a lease.
Why don’t we borrow from real estate and create a marital lease? Instead of wedlock, a “wedlease.”
Here’s how a marital lease could work: Two people commit themselves to marriage for a period of years — one year, five years, 10 years, whatever term suits them. The marital lease could be renewed at the end of the term however many times a couple likes. It could end up lasting a lifetime if the relationship is good and worth continuing. But if the relationship is bad, the couple could go their separate ways at the end of the term. The messiness of divorce is avoided and the end can be as simple as vacating a rental unit.
A marital lease could describe the property of the spouses in detail, so separate ownership is clear. If a couple wishes to buy something together, or share ownership, they can keep a schedule of these items and decide as they go along how these would be disposed of in the event of a partner’s death or if they do not renew their wedlease. Landlords and tenants have proved the effectiveness of making clear their separate property and its disposition at the end of property leases.
If the couple has a child, there could be an option to have the lease automatically continue until the child reaches the age of majority. Of course, relationships change with family additions and an extended term may not be feasible. But considering the number of children born out of wedlock these days, would it not be better for parents to at least commit to a wedlease, even if it doesn’t last a lifetime?
A wedlease could also imitate a real-estate lease through the use of security deposits. Each spouse could deposit a sum of money with an independent third party to ensure compliance with the wedlease. A further step could be to authorize the third party to arbitrate disputes between the spouses.
Our society has become comfortable with premarital and postnuptial contracts. The marital lease would be similar, except that it addresses the reality that the marital relationship between two people often does not last a lifetime.
When a college noticed that students did not use sidewalks around a courtyard but cut across the lawn for efficiency, administrators decided to move the sidewalks rather than continuing to post signs to “Keep off the grass” that people ignored. Similarly, why doesn’t society make the legal structure of marriage more congruent to our behavior? A wedlease may be a practical improvement to an institution whose success, today, is something of a coin toss.
This post was written by attorney, Paul Rampell. You can find the original post here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/a-high-divorce-rate-means-its-time-to-try-wedleases/2013/08/04/f2221c1c-f89e-11e2-b018-5b8251f0c56e_story.html
BE A MAN.
As wedding season winds down, you’ve probably seen many people say “I do” over the past few months. Maybe you were even lucky enough to tie the knot with the person you love.
But maybe you’re hesitant to make this big committment. After all, it’s a commitment fraught with failure in our culture. We don’t blame the wary. It’s an intimidating prospect when you begin to realize that the rest of your life is going to be promised to one other person.
Most books on marriage are written by seasoned professionals. How did these authors, stalwarts of marital success, get so good at loving and serving each other? And how come so many other couples have a hard time making the cut?
There are no hard-and-fast rules, but if our friends ask us about what to expect in that first year of being married or how they can make it easier, we certainly recommend they read some of the great literature on the subject.
But, of course, each marriage is different, and the literature doesn’t cover everything. Fresh from one year together, here are five things that marriage books might forget to mention:
1. Marriage can be really fun! If you brace for a storm and it turns out to be only a mild drizzle, you might be pleasantly surprised that it went so well.
Many people caution against being married. From television to books on marriage, the outlook can seem grim. But we discovered that despite many trials, our married life was not drudgery. Rather, it produced hope and joy in our lives.
In all of the crises and unexpected adjustments during your first year of marriage, don’t forget that it’s meant to be enjoyed! If that means letting some (or many) things go, or if that means mounds of forgiveness heaped on your partner, do it.
Our best advice is to lighten up and remember you’re growing closer to your best friend! Heed the caution and advice of others, but never lose sight of one of marriage’s best parts: friendship.
2. You can and should minister to your spouse. While finding a new church or adjusting to a new environment can be unpredictable, there is one sure thing: Your new partner is in need of some serious ministry.
We don’t mean that you need to cook them every meal or always take out the trash; we actually mean that you need to pray for and with your spouse.
Much like a pastor caring for a member of the congregation, open up time in your schedule to talk about scripture, faith and church. When your husband or wife feels as though he or she is faltering in faith, make sure to pray, counsel and offer unconditional support.
Even if you are finding it difficult to start a new ministry life in a new place, you can be sure that your spouse needs a shoulder to lean on and a listening ear.
3. Your “role” is always evolving. Most of us like to think that we are going to permanently fall into certain roles once we are married. The truth is, these roles are continually shifting. Roles and expectations are amazing, but only so long as you are willing to adjust and be flexible to new ones.
With all of the unexpected changes that occur in that first year of marriage, be open to taking over the roles of cooking, cleaning, working, etc. for certain seasons of life in order to help the other person out.
In our marriage, since both of us are on-and-off students, we seem to shift roles every time a new term begins. When one of us was taking the dreaded medical school admissions test, the other gave up study, sleep and even work in order to be of service.
What makes all of this very simple and easy is our shared desire to always put the other person first. What makes it very difficult is finding the middle ground where both of us can flourish and pursue the dreams that God has instilled in both of our hearts. But as long as both of us value and understand the other’s goals, we can find that happy medium and serve each another appropriately.
4. God simply needs to come first. This is the most important lesson of all, and yet it often gets left out as a given. Our paths in that first year can suddenly shift in new directions and it’s important to put all of our needs into context.
What is the primary goal of our lives and who or what are we serving? Once you can answer this question with your spouse, you can tackle many difficult problems.
When one of you struggles in your spiritual life, drop everything in order to help reinvigorate their relationship with God. This is the foundation of a marriage and its primary source of fuel.
5. A dedicated counselor or pastor is a must. When the relationship becomes rocky, sometimes the only thing to do is get an outsider’s perspective.
Relationship meltdowns can happen in an instant, and none of us are immune to them. For the sake of your marriage, get to know someone who can speak with clarity and understanding into your lives.
In that first year of marriage, being out to sea without a paddle could have disastrous consequences. So get in the habit, early, of developing the kinds of relationships that support your marriage with people who are willing to give wise counsel.
This article is from Relevant magazine. For the original post with comments, go to: http://www.relevantmagazine.com/life/relationships/5-things-premarital-advice-books-left-out
BE A MAN.
Yesterday was my wife's birthday, a real milestone as far as birthdays go. I won't tell you her real age, but she looks about 35. If you look at the picture, I'm sure you will agree. I'm 51, and I have been asked before about my "daughter" as we have been out traveling. We've been married 29 years and over the years I've struggled with this question, "Did God make Karyn just for me and me for her?" I haven't asked this question out of doubt of our love for each other, I have asked it out of a genuineness of wondering about God's compassionate care for people. Is there always someone God has planned for someone?
Over the years, we have had our disagreements, our joys, our hard times, and our good times. When the disagreements come, I wonder, "If we're made for each other, then why can't we see eye to eye on this simple issue?" (BTW - I've noticed most disagreements are over little issues. That makes sense, because we agree on the big issues, if we didn't we wouldn't have gotten married.) Even though we had very similar upbringings, it seems like, sometimes, we are from different planets, even after 29 years of marriage. Our perspectives can be so different.
When we were first married, I really, truly believed that we were made for each other, that God made our lives to be intermeshed, that our love for each other was God's perfect will for our lives. After years of doing marriage counseling, I have come to appreciate her more. But also marriage counseling makes me wonder if God does make couples for each other. I have heard people say, "getting married was a mistake." When I hear a couple say that, I ask, "so the children you have together are a mistake? I hardly think so, nor do I believe God thinks that."
Nevertheless, the years of marriage counseling has taken its toll on my belief that we were made for each other.
I have come to a general conclusion. Are Karyn and I made for each other?
I don't know. Sometimes, it feels like it, sometime is doesn't.
Maybe you were expecting something profound. But I can't tell you exactly, fer shure, how God works. If someone thinks they got God all figured out, then they have made a god who is a figment of their imagination.
As I've gotten older, I've become comfortable with a moderate amount of ambiguity. I've learned that solid conclusions are not always to be found in life.
I do have solid conclusions about these two things though:
1) I'm glad that I married this wonderful woman.
2) I have never doubted my love for her and her love for me.
To get to my final conclusion, when we met, there was obvious chemistry. We really wanted to be with each other. We didn't look back with doubt. We knew we wanted to be together.
We were young and faced with a choice. Do we continue to pursue intimacy and get married or do we go our separate ways?
I think it is this choice that reflects one's love for God.
Whether God made us for each other is debatable. However, the choice was not whether we were to choose each other...
The REAL choice was intimacy.
When faced with the option to love or not love, we chose love. We continue to choose love.
In choosing love, we reflect what God desires.
God's desire is for intimacy. An intimacy with Him that is reflected in our relationships.
By choosing to love God, we could choose to love each other. By trusting God, we could trust each other. By choosing to share our lives with each other, we choose to put God first. All of these things lead to intimacy. A deep love, affection, desire.
A choice to pursue intimacy.
Happy birthday sweetheart.
Thank you for loving me and letting me love you. Our love has taught me much about relationships and about God and His love.
BE A MAN.
Facebook and other social networking web sites have revolutionized the way people create and maintain relationships. However, new research shows that Facebook use could actually be damaging to users' romantic relationships. Russell Clayton, a doctoral student in the University of Missouri School of Journalism, found that individuals who use Facebook excessively are far more likely to experience Facebook-related conflict with their romantic partners, which then may cause negative relationship outcomes including emotional and physical cheating, breakup and divorce.
In their study, Clayton, along with Alexander Nagurney, an instructor at the University of Hawaii at Hilo, and Jessica R. Smith, a doctoral student at St. Mary's University in San Antonio, surveyed Facebook users ages 18 to 82 years old. Participants were asked to describe how often they used Facebook and how much, if any, conflict arose between their current or former partners as a result of Facebook use. The researchers found that high levels of Facebook use among couples significantly predicted Facebook-related conflict, which then significantly predicted negative relationship outcomes such as cheating, breakup, and divorce.
"Previous research has shown that the more a person in a romantic relationship uses Facebook, the more likely they are to monitor their partner's Facebook activity more stringently, which can lead to feelings of jealousy," Clayton said. "Facebook-induced jealousy may lead to arguments concerning past partners. Also, our study found that excessive Facebook users are more likely to connect or reconnect with other Facebook users, including previous partners, which may lead to emotional and physical cheating."
Clayton says this trend was particularly apparent in newer relationships.
"These findings held only for couples who had been in relationships of three years or less," Clayton said. "This suggests that Facebook may be a threat to relationships that are not fully matured. On the other hand, participants who have been in relationships for longer than three years may not use Facebook as often, or may have more matured relationships, and therefore Facebook use may not be a threat or concern."
In order to prevent such conflict from arising, Clayton recommends couples, especially those who have not been together for very long, to limit their own personal Facebook use.
"Although Facebook is a great way to learn about someone, excessive Facebook use may be damaging to newer romantic relationships," Clayton said. "Cutting back to moderate, healthy levels of Facebook usage could help reduce conflict, particularly for newer couples who are still learning about each other."
This study is forthcoming in the Journal of Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking.
For the original post, go to: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130606140857.htm?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed:%20sciencedaily%20(ScienceDaily:%20Latest%20Science%20News)
There's a sweaty hand handling his cocktail napkin
"Come on up and see me" is scribbled with a gold pen
"But you'd better ring twice"
Seven months after his little indiscretion
He sits with his wife at a therapy session
For a little advice
"If the healing happens as the time goes by
Tell me why I still can't look her in the eye"
"God I'm only human, got no other reason"
Sin for a season
There's a shaky hand shaking with the hand of her hostess
Drank a little much, but she'll drive herself home
If she can make it to her car
She never saw the sign or the boy with his daddy
Driving home late from their very first ballgame
And they don't get far
Now the years run together as her guilt goes wild
She still sees the body of an only child
"God I'm only human, got no other reason"
Sin for a season
Wealthy lips say "keep us from the Evil One"
While the praying hands prey with deliberate cunning
On the carcass of the cold
Gonna get the good Lord to forgive a little sin
Get the slate cleaned so he can dirty it again
And no one else will ever know
But he reaps his harvest as his heart grows hard
No man's gonna make a mockery of God
"I'm only human, got no other reason"
Sin for a season
This song was written and recorded by Steve Taylor. For the page about this song, go to: http://www.sockheaven.net/discography/taylor/meltdown/06.html
To hear the song, go to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pHAnGG3rd10
Every husband who wants to improve his sex life should learn to spell.
Typically, guys spell intimacy S-E-X, said Dr. Dan Erickson. It’s not entirely our fault. Our sexualized culture has encouraged the misspelling, and it has distorted the definition too. Intimacy in our culture often describes a “what,” Erickson said, whether it is sex, intimate encounters, intimate clothing, or an intimate evening. The list goes on.
But intimacy is not about a “what,” it is about a “who,” he said. Intimacy is better spelled “in-to-me-see.” The point is to look into another person and invite them to look into you. Intimacy can be found in deep platonic relationships, and in marriage intimacy allows a husband and wife to open their hearts and minds to each other. Intimacy is a free gift that you give and receive.
“It’s amazing what that will do for your life,” said Cathy Erickson, Dan’s wife. “Men, if you are intimate, and loving, and caring for your wife, you will get all the sex you need.”
Intimacy Requires Your Time Intimacy didn’t come easily to the Ericksons’ marriage. They had been married 19 years when Dan was inspired by a sermon to ask Cathy to rate their marriage on a scale of 1 to 10. He approached the question with bubbly enthusiasm while she stood in the kitchen cleaning after Sunday lunch.
“I said, ‘What marriage? You really have to be here to have a marriage,’” Cathy recalled. “That was kind of a shock to him.”
Dan had looked at himself as a driven and accomplished man. He had earned his master’s and doctoral degrees, and was the executive pastor of a Phoenix, Arizona, church that drew 3,500 people on Sunday and which boasted the largest Christian school in the state. He coached his kids’ teams and served in the community. He sought to win the hearts and admiration of everyone…except his wife.
His time had been given elsewhere and he had defined intimacy with his wife as sex.
For years afterward, Dan said he did not preach on how to have a good marriage, because he knew he had to figure it out for himself and develop that deep level of intimacy in his own marriage. Today, Dan and Cathy provide seminars across the nation to share their story and paths to a rich marriage.
Intimacy Isn’t SexA common refrain is that men give love to get sex and women gives sex to get love. Any marriage based on that equation will suffer, and both parties will be disappointed.
True intimacy allows open communication, it invites a person to see you as you are, warts and all, and it means that you will be vulnerable to each other. True intimacy comes with trust, time, and confidence in the relationship. It is about giving and sacrificing for your spouse, putting their emotional needs ahead of your own, and seeking ways to show love without expecting something in return. The aim is to make your spouse feel treasured, respected, and loved without hidden motivations.
During a period of physical problems with his heart Dan was unable to have sex and discovered not less but even greater intimacy with his wife. He often asks guys if they could be more intimate with their wives if they were physically unable to have sex.
That concept sounds foreign to many men, because we need to change our view of intimacy, said Dr. Brad Miller of Restoration Counseling Service. “True intimacy can be emotional, spiritual, or physical, but rarely sexual,” he said. “True intimacy seeks to answer: ‘How can I know you better?,’ ‘How can I meet your needs?,’ and ‘What can I do for you?’”
“Intimacy in marriage is the duct tape that that steadfastly binds a husband and wife together, even when it feels like things around them are falling apart,” Miller writes. “Additionally, it is this same intimacy that glues an elderly couple together in ways that defy our cultural mindset, even to the point of one spouse selflessly insisting on caring for the other who is handicapped by a debilitating mental or physical disability.”
Building Greater IntimacyThough there are others, Erickson encourages people to include four ingredients in their recipes for intimacy.
1. Affection and caring. Non-sexual touching, hugs, and kisses are important. If your wife anticipates you want sex when you hug or kiss her, you have a problem that needs time and trust to correct. Also, pray for each other. Take time for each other, and show each other love and respect.
2. Vulnerable communication. Marriage should be a place where spouses can share anything, including their childhood, their pain, their crazy dreams, their disappointments, their hopes, and anything else in safety. Safe and vulnerable communication is non-judgmental and one spouse shouldn’t be trying to “fix” the other.
Listen more and listen well. God gave you one mouth and two ears, so use them accordingly.
3. Mutual living. Intimacy includes a desire for spouses to be together and share their experiences and daily life. Certainly, everyone needs time for solitude or personal hobbies, but there should be an intentional pursuit of enjoying time together. Often love and affection are measured in both the quality and the quantity of time you give.
4. Mutual giving. Do you look for ways to please your wife? For instance, Dan took over doing the laundry and washes the dishes and cleans up after meals. Do you seek ways to relieve her stress, to serve her, and make her feel special? Plan special dates with her, and let her know ahead of time so that she can be ready.
Finally, God will make you a better spouse if you are open to his Word and instruction.
“A couple’s marriage is a reflection of their intimate relationship with God,” Erickson said. “The more intimate their relationship with God, the more intimate they become with each other, and the more intimate they are with each other, the more intimate they can be with God.”
This post was written by Sam Black. You can find the original post here: http://www.covenanteyes.com/2013/06/26/better-sex-true-intimacy/
BE A MAN.
Men, I have been writing my wife a weekly love letter for more than a year. That’s not a sentence I would have ever expected to write about myself. I am not a man of outward sentimentality, and I very rarely make my emotions known. Most people would call me calm and hard to read.
But, men, what I learned is this: as good as it can be for me to remain solid and calm in the storms of life, my wife needs something more. My wife needs to be loved, and she wants to be romanced. I learned after a year of marriage that it wasn’t enough to just show up, and I couldn’t stop with just providing a paycheck. I needed to do more to show my wife how much I love her.
And I don’t think I am alone. I bet that your wives also want to be loved and hear from your heart. They want to know just how deeply you love them.
I am not going to push you all to start writing a weekly blog to your wife. Instead, I want to encourage you to start small. All I want you to do is this: I want you to write a short, handwritten letter to your wife today, right now. Think of one thing about her or one thing she does that makes you thankful to have married her. Write it down and give her that note. Let her know you love and appreciate her.
In case you aren’t already convinced about writing that love note, let me offer you
Five Reasons why you should be writing love notes to your wife.
1) You will fan the flames of love in your marriage.
Gary Chapman famously explained the concept of LoveLanguages, and the first language he describes in book is Words of Affirmation. For many women, they feel most loved when they are spoken to kindly, when they are praised, and when they are otherwise wooed with your words. Your wife will know she is loved when she reads that short note from you.
Go ahead and write a short love note now. Just put down two sentences about one thing you like about your wife. Now leave the note on your wife’s bedside table. Just trust me on this one.
2) The smartest man in the world gave his wife love notes.
Okay, so maybe Solomon didn’t literally write his love letters to his wife, but the book of Song of Solomon is a collection of all his words of love to his fiancée and later his wife. The dude knew how to make his wife feel loved: Song of Solomon 1:15, “Behold, you are beautiful, my love; behold, you are beautiful; your eyes are doves.”
The Bible tells us that Solomon was given special wisdom by God, and in another place it tells us that he was the wisest man to walk this earth. We can all learn from his example, and we should see in Song of Solomon that there is great joy and delight in romancing our wives with our words.
3) Your words help your wife begin to understand you.
“To wives, husbands often appear as mysterious islands”, wrote Dr. Emerson Eggerichs, author of "Love & Respect". We men are not always great at sharing our thoughts or our feelings, so our wives are often left in the dark wondering what’s going on behind our stony demeanor.
Your love letter to your wife will allow her to pierce that fog and see into the real you. It will provide a window into what you’re thinking and feeling, and for that your wife will be deeply grateful. So why not do it? Right now, take two minutes to write down one kind thing to your wife. Give her a glimpse into how you see her.
4) It is your responsibility to meet your wife’s needs.
God chose to give you to your wife and vice versa. He put the two of you together, and you have now become one flesh. Husbands, some of your wife’s needs are now your responsibility, and they are yours alone. Many of those are her emotional needs and it is your responsibility, your challenge to satisfy those needs. In the book “His Needs, Her Needs”, author Willard F. Harley Jr. wrote, “when one spouse’s important emotional needs are unmet, you are being unfair to that spouse, who must go through life without ethical alternatives”.
Yes, your wife can find emotional outlets in romantic comedies, daytime TV shows, or the latest romance novel; but she shouldn’t have to men. Her craving for romance is yours to satisfy. Don’t leave your wife’s needs for Hollywood to satisfy; don’t make her turn to her favorite author because she isn’t finding romance in your marriage!
5) Why not?
Finally, let me ask you this: What do you have to lose? Not time, because it won’t take you three minutes. Just put pen to paper now, or type up a quick email. Write two sentences. That’s all you need to start.
Go ahead: write your wife a love letter!
This was a featured guest post by Josh. He is a twenty-something young professional, married to a wonderful wife and saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. He works as a lawyer in the rural mountain west, and he writes weekly love letters to his wife over at DearDarlingWife.com.
You can find the original post for this blog post at: http://manturity.blogspot.com/2013/06/5-reasons-to-write-your-wife-love-letter.htmlBE HOLY.BE A MAN.
Dear Jesus, in all our relationships let our love be unconditional. May we seek others' true good, and affirm each other's unique preciousness. Even where we cannot detect Your presence in another, grant us faith in Your creative love for them. Grant us Your love and wisdom when we undervalue anyone, but also when anyone attracts us.
To see anyone's unique value is to acknowledge the goodness of Your Creation and the wonder of Your expression of Yourself in him or her! Grant us serenity and blessing for each other in our trials and in our joys. In Heaven, everyone will be in love with each other-that is, will recognize the wonderful, unique miracle of each other person. Help us to treat each other with love and consideration in this life.
Jesus I entreat You...Help those who are in danger of deciding to leave a marriage simply because initial attraction has worn off like gloss. Help them to put aside the prevalent belief gained in media, books, magazines and movies that 'falling out of love" means the end of a relationship. Instead it challenges couples to live according to what Jesus teaches about love. Help them to become aware that God never commanded that we 'fall in love" He only repeatedly tells us to love Him above all and to love others as ourselves, faithfully and genuinely even in times of sadness and difficulty.
O God, grant us this prayer for marriage through your son Jesus Christ our Lord - AmenBE HOLY.BE A MAN.