"Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;"
Eph 5:25

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Weekly Top Ten

Saturdays at The Genuine Husband I post a weekly "top ten" list of the best blog posts for husbands and wives. Some weeks my picks will be more husband-oriented and sometimes more for wives.

Sometimes it will cover topics many churches are afraid to talk about.

Always it will be a collection of posts from solid, Bible-based marriage blogs covering topics that are important in God's holy covenant of marriage.

So, without further ado, here are this week's top ten ....

Christian Home and Family
Making The Most Of The Time You've Got - Time: You can't get it back once it's gone.

Elevate Your Marriage
The Family That Serves ...  - Does your family spend time together, serving?

Manna For Marriage
Mighty Men In Marriage - Real Men CLEAVE.

Marriage Life
In Our Marriage: We Do ... - what do you "do" in your marriage?

Messy Marriage
A Painful Year of Changes - How does your marriage handle stress?

Mission: Husband
I'm Starting To Grow Up - Are you growing up as a husband, or are you still in the "infant" stage?

One Extraordinary Marriage
7 Mistakes You're Making In The Bedroom - Are you helping or hindering the intimacy in your marriage?

One Flesh Marriage
Speak No - Evil - Are you withholding from your wife?

Pearl's OysterBed
Is It OK To Pray For Your Sex Life? - Let's hope so!

Up With Marriage
My Secret Idol - a guest post on The Peaceful Wife's blog. 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Don't Ask, Don't Tell: 4 Reasons Husbands Don't Express Themselves

Husbands are interesting critters. I ought to know – I’m one of them.  We are often criticized for our unwillingness to communicate our feelings, express our needs and desires, etc.  Our wives want us to talk to them, communicating in a real, emotional way, baring our hearts and souls to them.  It’s how many of them connect with us and feel loved.  But the average man has trouble communicating this way.  We generally take a more "don't ask, don't tell" approach to communication, especially communication of an intimate nature.

We won't discuss our problems. 
We won't tell you how we feel.
We won't tell you which restaurant we prefer.
We won't tell you how we like you to do your hair.
We won't ask you for something we want.
Everything is fine.  Everything is good.  Nothing is wrong.

Why do we behave this way?

A few reasons ....

1. Pride 
We don't want to blow our cover.  We have lived so long pretending that everything is fine, and getting everyone to believe us, that we don't want to admit that we never really had our act together in the first place, and that we spend our lives pretending it's cool to be us.

2. Fear
We are afraid of what our wives will think of us if they find out what we really want.  After all, no normal person has those kinds of thoughts, right?  It takes a real sicko to come up with these thoughts.  We better not EVER let our wives know what we're thinking.

3. Rejection 
We have been chastised for our opinions ideas enough times (not just at home, but at work and elsewhere) that we have learned to keep our mouths shut and move our heads up and down in agreement.  It's easier than trying to express an opinion and being shut down. 

4. Defeat
We just don't want to keep fighting for what we want.  There comes a time in every battle when one team wins and the other team loses.  When a team loses often enough they resign themselves to defeat before they even come out of the locker room.  Many husbands are the same way.  Constant defeat causes us to give up the fight.  It's much easier to become complacent and agreeable. 

Men, sometime we have to fight the battle, even if it makes us uncomfortable.  I say that knowing full well that I am just as guilty as the next guy of keeping my mouth shut when I should speak my heart. Does this mean I should just say whatever I want without regard to consequences?  Well, no.  Of course not.  There are parameters set up for us in God's Word.

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves” (Philippians 2:30).
This verse reminds me that when I speak my mind I must always run it through the filter of humility.  Am I going to use my words for selfish reasons, to promote my own interests?  If so, then I should keep my big mouth shut.  On the other hand If I run my opinions through the filter and find that I'm truly following the lead of the Holy Spirit and that I am expressing a godly theme that will improve our marriage or family, then it needs to be said.  It may be uncomfortable to express my thoughts; they might not be well-received by my bride.  However, if I am truly considering her and our marriage, and not just my own selfishness, then I should say it and let the chips fall where they may.

Monday, March 11, 2013

No. I Will NOT Read Your Blog.

Leaders come in all shapes and sizes.  They all have different styles of leadership.  Some are dictators, some are more democratic in their approach. Still others lead by serving.

I have always thought of myself as a cross between democratic and servant-leader.  I'm not the type who takes a "my way or the highway" stance on issues.  Instead, I learned my role by watching my father who was a gentle servant to his family.  As a result of his servant-leadership, we all had the utmost respect for him. 

That is why I was shocked recently when a good friend explained that he wouldn't read my blog because he didn't feel I was a good leader in my marriage and family.  It wasn't the fact that he didn't read it that saddened me, but the reason behind it.  He was telling me that, in his eyes, I was in some way unfit to be a husband and father, and therefore nothing I had to say on the subject of marriage was worth reading.


Could that be true?  Am I a bad husband?  Do I fail to take the lead in my marriage?

Or ...

Is my leadership style radically different from his, and therefore disagreeable to him?

Let's take a look.

As a husband I am charged with loving my wife as Christ loved the church.  What is that supposed to look like in my daily life? What did Jesus do on a daily basis to show His love for the church?

Jesus sacrificed His very life for me.  I am instructed to love my wife likewise, giving up everything I have for her.  What does that look like for real?  It means I give up my life for her.  It means I meet her needs and put mine aside.  It means I defer to her on stuff.  LOTS of stuff. It also means many times my needs will not be met.  I won't always get my own way. 
When the Holy Spirit is prodding me to lead my wife and family in a certain direction that my bride doesn't understand, I have to explain why I feel it is necessary to proceed.  Sometimes it's a matter of practicality or necessity, sometimes it's a spiritual matter, and sometimes it's a matter of growing in oneness and intimacy as a couple.  In any case, it's my job to explain what God is asking me (us) to do.  

When my wife does something to hurt me, shows disrespect, is unloving in some way, I must forgive her.  After all, I have treated Jesus far worse than my wife could possibly treat me.  yet in spite of what I've done to Him, He forgives me every time.  The least I can do is to forgive my wife.

Jesus spent His entire ministry serving people.  If I am to be Christ in my marriage, then my job is to serve my wife.  I have to put her needs and desires ahead of mine and make sure she feels comfortable and loved. 

Jesus lived His life in complete submission to His Father.  To show Christ's love in my marriage, I must be in submission to my Heavenly Father as well.  I have to listen to Him in my everyday life and understand what He wants from me.  Then I have to do it.

All of the things listed here are for husbands who want to have godly, Christian marriages that strive toward the one-flesh relationship God intended.  However, we can still do all these things and have rebellious wives who will not submit to our God-given authority in the home.  In that case, what should a husband do? Should he plod ahead with his plans, running rough shot over his wife?  Or should he do as Peter suggests and be understanding and considerate, showing respect to her as a joint heir of the Kingdom? (1 Peter 3:7)

In plain language, if I feel strongly that our marriage would benefit from changing this or that, or doing "X" or "Y" instead of "Z," but my wife will not agree to it, then I have 2 choices,

1. Go ahead with my plan anyway, or
2. Sacrifice what I want to make her happy and comfortable.

Now, there are some who will say, "Yes, but Jesus wasn't always a nice guy.  He overturned tables and used a whip in the temple."

True, but when Jesus cleansed the temple it was an extreme situation, AND his Dad told Him to do it.  He was being obedient.  Other times He instructed the church and left it to them whether they would obey or sin. 

There has never been a time when God told me to use harsh words or violent actions to make my wife submit.  I can't make her do it.  She must choose to submit. 

Are there areas where God has urged me to improve and grow my marriage?  Of course. 

Did my bride go along with every one of them?  No. 

Was I able to make her submit?  Of course not. 

Am I going to go ahead with my plans anyway?  No. 

In the meantime I wait and lead patiently and considerately, calling out sin when I see it, and asking for forgiveness when I need it.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

This Week's Top Ten

The christian marriage blogosphere is filled with all kinds of advice for husbands and wives, sometimes it's hard to decipher the good information from the bad. 

So, each Saturday I'm going to post a weekly "top ten" list of the best blog posts for husbands and wives, starting today. Some weeks my picks will be more husband-oriented and sometimes more for wives. 

BEWARE - Sometimes it will cover topics many churches are afraid to talk about.

Always it will be a collection of posts from solid, Bible-based marriage blogs covering topics that are important in God's holy covenant of marriage. 

So, without further ado, here are this week's top ten ....

Do Not Disturb
Ticket To "Ride:" Marriage Edition Here are some new rules for playing this game as a couple.  What a great date-night idea!

Encourage Your Spouse
Encourage Uniqueness What's unique about your spouse? 

Manna for Marriage
Who is getting your crumbs? What are your priorities in marriage?  Is your spouse your highest calling, or is he/she getting the leftover "crumbs?"

Mission: Husband
It's HER fault I'm not happy! "... your wife is NEVER going to meet your every need."

One Extraordinary Marriage
Seven Keys to Marriage SUCCESS  Seven excellent tips for a great marriage.

Passionate Christian Marriage
The Mystery of Marriage A unique way of looking at headship and submission.  I think I finally understand!

Peaceful Wife's Blog
Do Not Expect Outside Support When wives submit to their husbands, people get angry.

Square 1 Ministries
The Plow Husbands - are you fallow or plowed?

Warrior Wives
Submission In Marriage  Wives - are you putting God on the stand?

Engaged Marriage
Using Your Unique Gifts for a Stronger Marriage Do you and your spouse put your strengths to good use in your marriage?

Happy reading!