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

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Best of 2013

I've been reflecting on the year at Genuine Husband.  It's been a time of tremendous growth for me personally as well as for the blog.  It's humbling to know that so many people read these pages and are touched in some small way by what is written here.

As I looked back on a year of writing I felt the need to recap some of the most popular posts from 2013, so in case you missed some of these, here are the 15 most read items from the year.     
15. What She Needs From Me 
 Four tips for helping home time run more smoothly for your wife.

14. A Short rant and Rebuttal 
My answer to an angry comment from an upset reader.

13. The Power of "No"
 The word "no" has a special power over husbands.
12.My "AHA" Moment
 The moment I knew I had to change.
11.No. I Will NOT Read your Blog
 Someone thinks I stink as a husband.
10."Mr. Steady" vs. the Doormat
 Peacemaking is fine, but is it really necessary to let people walk all over you?
9.Love Is ... A Clean Garage
 How well do you speak your wife's love language?
8. Love Is A Feeling ... NOT 
 It's okay to rely on your feelings ... to a point.

7. It Depends 
 Do you become weary of fighting the same fight over and over?

6. Don't Ask, Don't Tell: 4 Reasons Husbands Don't Express Themselves 
Some things to consider when you feel the need to speak your mind.

5. The Whole, Not Just "The Part" 
My whole body belongs to my wife, and hers to me.

4. Is She Better Off With You or Without You?
Getting married was a sweet deal for me, but what did my wife get out of it?
3. The Introvert Husband 
I'm an introvert, and I'm okay.

2. Mostly We're Just Afraid 
What are we afraid of?

1. An Intimate Look At Psalm 139
I can't hide from God.

Friday, December 27, 2013

A Kid's Perspective On Marriage

In the Art of Marriage workbook there was a little piece called “a kid’s perspective.” In it four children expressed their ideas about marriage:

Gwen, age nine: “When I get married I want to marry someone who is tall and handsome and rich and hates spinach as much as me.”

Arnold, age six: “I want to get married, but not right away because I can’t cross the street by myself yet.”

Steven, age ten: I want to marry somebody just like my mother except I hope she don’t make me clean up my room.”

Bobby, age nine: “First she has to like pizza, then she has to like cheesecake, after that she has to like fudge candy, then I know our marriage will last forever.”

While I got a definite chuckle from these opinions, I also gleaned a bit of profound truth from them.

These children are young enough to be truthful and candid with their answers.  They do not mask their feelings or pretend to like something that is yucky.  They answered the question correctly.  In their innocence they nailed it.

Gwen has her mind fixed on someone whom she finds attractive (a rather important factor if you ask me) and who will be financially equipped to care for her (and perhaps some children).  Also, he must share a common interest (her hatred of spinach).

Arnold understands that he isn’t ready for the altar.  He still has some growing up to do.

Steven is looking for the same qualities his dad found in a girl.  He wants someone who will care for him and take care of the daily hum-drums while at the same time will understand his need to be himself, messy as he is.

Bobby is looking for a best friend – someone who likes them same stuff he likes (pizza, cheesecake, and fudge candy).

All of these are excellent things to look for in a spouse.

And then it happens.  We fall in love and all those things go out the window and with them go a bit of honesty and truth.  We let our hearts lead us down the primrose path and leave reason behind.

It happens to (almost) everyone who has been in love.  It happened to me.  I’m sure it happened to my wife.  The phenomenon of “falling in love” causes many people to overlook the many things that would otherwise cause problems down the road and instead focus only on his “deep blue eyes,” or her “captivating smile,” or “the way she kisses me,” or “how he looks in those boots and tight jeans.”  

While I will be the first to admit the difficulty in peeling our emotions away from someone who causes our eyes to go all googly, I’m also going to go out on a limb and say that God created attraction so that men and women will fall in love and make babies.  However, it’s important to balance the “feelings” with brainpower and common sense.  If a man and woman find each other physically attractive but share hardly any common interests or morals, any lasting marriage between the two will be difficult at best.

That is why I find such wisdom in the ideas of the four children above.  It is also why I am so thankful to God that He sent me a lady with whom I share a love of music (though our tastes differ), a desire for a comfortable home (though our styles differ) and a strong Christian faith (though our approaches differ).

Yes, there will be things to work on for the rest of your life together (sex, parenting, household duties, lifestyle choices, personality differences), but we must always keep in mind that marriage is a life’s work, a difficult and challenging undertaking That said, it is good to have a foundation of both heart and mind at the very beginning.   

Be as honest as a child and you’ll start on the right path.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Insulation Follow-Up: What's the Big Deal

This is a follow-up to my previous post, Insulation: It Isn't Always What You Think. In that post I explained that part of a husband's role in a christian marriage is to protect the marriage against things that would cause harm, physically or spiritually. 

What's the big deal you might say. People are tempted every day and they learn to cope with it.I

That is true.  Most people can put aside most serious temptation and steer clear of devastating sin.  Additionally, most serious sin issues are avoidable.

That was not the point. 

Here's the point.

While there are some husbands who want what they want just because they are caught up in their own selfish, sinful ways, there also are those who want what they want because they are seeking deeper intimacy with their wives and they recognize the enemy's eagerness to pounce on them in a moment of weakness. 

These are the husbands who wake up in the middle of the night with lustful thoughts and they can't make them stop.  These are the ones who have pornography on their hard drives and watch it whenever they have a few spare minutes.  These are the one who are prone to fall into sin when they are tempted at a weak moment.

To these husbands, that little thing, that little issue, that little "something" is a very. big. deal.  Not just because they aren't getting their way (see the above paragraphs) but because an important layer of protection has been stripped away leaving them exposed, and their main source of physical defense is no longer on his team.

Some husbands need their wives' in very specific ways to protect the marriage and stay away from sexual sin.

That was the point.