Wednesday, April 15, 2009

How do I love thee?

If a perfect stranger were to overhear the way you talk to or about your spouse, what would be their impression of your marriage? Of a Christian marriage? What if no words were heard, but one was left to judge your marriage on what they saw instead?

Today I was at the zoo with Ginger, and we saw a married couple with their toddler son in the children's play area. After one simple look at them, our hearts broke for this woman. The husband was wearing a t-shirt that displayed such a sad and disrespectful image of marriage. I can't find it online, and I admit after trying and seeing all the others out there, I gave up looking.

On the left was "Before", along with a stick figure man and woman looking very happy. On the right was "After", complete with the sad face on the man and a drawing that resembled a woman nagging/talking/yelling at the man.

It was along the same lines as this one (notice the ball & chain, and the poor sad face on the man).

That simple shirt the man wore spoke volumes about the lack of respect this man must have for his wife, and for marriage. How is his young son going to learn respect for his mother, for his future wife, when this is what is displayed when they go out in public?

Worldview would have us believe that we are too sensitive if that bothers us or we are offended by that. That it's only a joke. That's what the enemy wants you to think. He wants you to enjoy that type of humor a little at a time until he wears you down and you start believing that it's normal. What it is, is sad.

I am so incredibly thankful each and every day to have a husband that truly loves and respects me. I only hope that he knows beyond a shadow of a doubt how much admiration I have for him. I am married to my best friend. He is my partner in life, finances, parenting - everything! He works hard at his job to provide for us. He has an amazing work ethic, and practices his values at work as much as home. He is constantly trying to better himself spiritually, and as he learns new things for work. He absolutely adores being a daddy! He *never* "babysits" our daughter, but rather plans special daddy-daughter dates just because he wants to. He welcomes my opinion, but stands firm in leading us when God directs him. He prays with us, and for us. He helps around the house, is a great cook, and doesn't mind (too much) if his clean underwear is still in the basket because I was out all day spending time with our daughter. He isn't afraid to ask for help, but is also amazingly talented at figuring out a way to do something. He does without extra things, so that we can do more for our daughter, for our friends, and for the needy that God calls us to help. He is trusting. He is faithful. He is compassionate. He is supportive. He loves my family. He loves me. He loves the Lord! I could not ask for a better husband! God put us together in an amazing way that only He could do, and I hope that I can continue to grow and be the wife that he needs and deserves.

Love your spouse! Compliment them in front of others. Build them up and encourage them. Find out their love language, and use it. The best gift you can give your children is to love your spouse.

Make God the third strand in your marriage!!

Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. (Ecc 4:12)

Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. (Prov 31:10-12)

Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church— for we are members of his body. "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh." This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. (Eph 5:22-33)

Remember, wives are not called to submit ONLY IF the husband leads. Husbands are not called to lead ONLY IF the wife submits. God is giving us each a commandment here and we are each responsible for obeying our Father.


Ginger said...

Great post!! I linked to it.
It's a wonder there are so many verses about a contentious, nagging wife in the Bible. God knows that we women all want to change our husbands. He knows we will only become Christ-like when we decide not to do that. Loving sinful humans makes us holy.

Myrrah said...

I love this post!

Ginger said...

Ok, I have to disagree with this:
"That simple shirt the man wore spoke volumes about the lack of respect this man must have for his wife. . ."

I thought it spoke volumes about the kind of nagging wife she must be. Men aren't called to respect their wives. Women are called to respect their husbands. Men are given the harder command: Love your wives.
Love and respect are both a choice. If that woman respected her husband, he wouldn't see her as a nagging wench. And she'd have a man who adores and trusts her.

Stacy said...


Possibly :) Or, he might just have the view that all women talk too much. Most of us do, I'm sure. We don't know if she nags him or not, but either way I think that it showed a lack of respect *and* love for his wife. However, I might be acting a little hard on him without placing equal responsibility on her.

I'm curious...Do you think she should have just stayed quiet about the shirt, or do you think she should have stood up for herself and not gone out with him while he was wearing that?

Leigh said...

I agree completely....that's why I love wearing my "MY HUSBAND ROCKS" tshirts. People ask me all the time where I get them from and I love that!

TeamBettendorf said...

I think anything said about the wife is pure speculation. All we know is that this guy wore a shirt that we find offensive. We can assume he agrees with the shirt because he pulled it over his head that morning. But the truth is that the only thing this shirt proves is that he buys into what the world views as funny stereotypes about marriage, men and women. We think it's sad, his buddies (and possibly his wife) thinks it's funny.

His shirt is less about his personal marriage and more about society in general. :)

Laura said...

Good post Stacy. :)

I do agree with the last person that it reflect on society, but it also reflect on the husband. If he buys into that, then he doesn't fully respect his wife. I can't imagine a man that totally respects and LOVES his wife would wear a shirt like that. I know mine wouldn't, and he doesn't even remotely think like that. Heck, mine might wear a shirt opposite that, a sad before and a happy after. ;)

Honestly though, I am so used to seeing our society's way of thinking, I wouldn't have even looked twice seeing a shirt like that. Of course, I am not very observant either. :P

Anonymous said...

For once I agree with Katie (teambettendorf).

Stacy said...

Anonymous, I'm glad you agree with Katie, but that would probably have more impact if we knew who you were :)

Graceful Threads said...

Sad and depressing.

carrie said...

The first thing I thought of was the shirt Leigh mentioned, the "My Husband Rocks!" shirt I bought at the MOPS convention. I, too, get loads of comments on it and I hope I have sent a lot of business their way. And what does it say about the MOPS mommies at convention that the sweet women selling the shirts sold out TWICW in the two days we were there and had to have someone drive more shirts up from Houston :)?