Am I Messing Up My Kids?
Wednesday Book Club...book by Lysa TerkeurstThis book up until now has been all about how moms deal with raising their kids and feeling like how can we possibly do this huge task? But this chapter was all about how too often as moms and homemakers we forget how we even became moms! We forget the very first relationship that brought about this wonderful thing we call family. Let's face it, sometimes we forget our husbands.
Oh, trust me, I remember my husband on garbage night, and when it comes time to paying bills, and fixing up our home, and planning our next vacation, but too often that love relationship can be put on the back burner while life goes on. Especially after you just had a baby! Seriously, all I want to do after I have a baby is sleep, and cuddle that baby, and drink a gallon of water, and please some more sleep! I am not thinking about anything but flannel pjs, soft slippers, and a warm bed to sink into.
I love that this chapter reminded us that our husbands are SO valuable. We should cherish them. We should love them. We should speak kindly to them. We should give them the benefit of the doubt. We should offer them grace upon grace. And I fail completely at all of those. I am a good wife as wives go. I make dinner, clean the house, take care of the kids, provide clean clothes, educate our children, etc. But, when I look at 1 Corinthians 13 on love...and I compare my marriage to the way I am supposed to fully love my husband...I FAIL. Obviously. I am not perfect.
"The greatest gifts parents can offer our children is the security of a solid love relationship between Mom and Dad."--Lysa T.
I remember laying in my bed as a little girl hearing my parents bicker back and forth for hours on end in the evening and I would pray they would stop fighting. I hated hearing them fight and be so angry at each other. I knew my parents loved each other but I couldn't understand why they were so mean to each other. It was so scary as a child to hear them fighting. John and I vowed before we got married never to fight in front of the children. We have tried to keep that promise of dealing with our disagreements behind closed doors in quiet voices. Hearing adults scream and yell and say mean things to each other is frightening for little people. I used to always think I'd wake up and my parents would be divorced. I was so fearful of that. Thankfully that was never the case.
Don't get me wrong, John is completely perfect. Most annoyingly so. (okay, he may leave a sock or two on the floor, but who's counting?) But so often in a marriage we can keep score and think about what our rights are, what we deserve, and get angry and bitter about stupid things. Sometimes I long for date night every Friday. We had a date last Friday and it was wonderful to just be childless for a few hours, turn off our phones, refuse to talk about the kids, and just hold hands and be Kristi and John and not Mom and Dad.
I think date nights should be required in a marriage at least twice a month! They are so refreshing. Do you make a point to get away and just be man and wife? Do you have time built into your schedules to pray together? Discuss family things together? Do you check in with each other and see what the other needs most that week? Something that John does that I really appreciate is he sometimes comes home and asks, "How can I be most helpful tonight?" And every night is different, sometimes I just want to go to the gym, other nights I need computer time, sometimes I just need him to hold Micah while I do school with Julia or Mark. But it is most helpful when he asks because sometimes I get so wrapped up in the moment I forget to stop and breathe and ask for help!
1 Corinthians 13: 4-8
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud, it is not rude it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.
Lysa says, "This is not a passive, descriptive kind of love you inherit on your wedding day. This is an active love."
Here is an assessment of your love...I challenge you (I took the test too) to see what your strengths and weaknesses are. It helped me to see where I need to be better and where I fall short.
Lysa T. came up with this test and I love how she explained in details ways we can be better wives/husbands!
1. Am I patient with my spouse? (I am flexible and understanding)
2. Am I kind to my spouse? (I am kind in thoughts word and actions)
3. Am I supportive (not envious) with my spouse? (I do not keep score when I feel I do more)
4. Am I encouraging (not boastful) to my spouse? (I do not brag about my accomplishments)
5. Am I humble with my spouse? (I do not think my agenda is more important than my spouse's)
6. Am I gracious (not rude) with my spouse? (I build up my spouse in word in public and in private)
7. Am I selfless (not self-seeking) with my spouse? (I focus on my spouse's needs)
8. Am I self-controlled (not easily angered) with my spouse? (I do not have a quick temper)
9. Am I able to forgive and let go (keeping no record of wrong)? (Do not repeat the past or shortcomings)
10. Do I delight in being faithful to God? (not delightful to do evil)
11. Do I rejoice with the truth? (I actively pursue God's truth over Satan's lies)
12. Do I seek to protect my spouse? (I fill in the gaps where my spouse feels weak and vulnerable)
13. Do I trust my spouse? (I give my spouse the benefit of the doubt)
14. Do I keep hope alive in my marriage? (I trust God with our future)
15. Do I persevere in my marriage? (I look for solutions to our problems rather than a way out)
16. Am I committed to the permanence of our marriage? (I believe that divorce is NOT an option for us)
Really BlessedThis chapter made me realize how valuable my spouse is and how much my role as his wife can be used to be a blessing to him. I want to fill in the gaps. I want to be forgiving and loving. I don't want to keep a record of wrongs. I want to have more self control. I want to be not just a good wife...I want to be the best wife God has for John. Taking the test also showed me what a great husband John is to me...he is such a gem. I am really one blessed lady. Someone once told John, "You really married well, John." Well, I feel that I really married well because John is a KEEPER!
Lysa started out this chapter talking about how when she found a gift card for Victoria's secret her first response was to buy some comfy flannel pjs, and by the end of the chapter she was thinking about getting quite a different outfit...one that just might bless her wonderful spouse a tiny bit more! (hee hee)