Sunday, June 10, 2007

Sacred Influence, part 5

The following are key passages from Sacred Influence, Chapter 5

Chapter 5
The Zarepheth Legacy
How You Can Learn to Appreciate an Imperfect Man

This presents you with a spiritual challenge. You will have to fight the natural human tendency to obsess over your husband’s weaknesses. When I urge you to affirm your husband’s strengths, I’m not minimizing his many weaknesses; I’m just encouraging you to make the daily spiritual choice of focusing on qualities for which you feel thankful. The time will come when you can address the weaknesses – after you’ve established a firm foundation of love and encouragement. (60-61)

Philippians 4:8
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

Obsessing over your husband’s weaknesses won’t make them go away. You many have done that for years – and if so, what has it gotten you, besides more of the same? Leslie Vernick warns, “Regularly thinking negatively about your husband increases your dissatisfaction with him and your marriage.” Affirming your husband’s strengths, however, will likely reinforce and build up those areas you cherish and motivate him to pursue excellence of character in others. (61)

Nurture Instead of Condemn

God challenges you to maintain an attitude of concern and nurture instead of one of resentment and frustration. (62)

Give Your Husband the Benefit of the Doubt

Many women accuse their husbands of being uncaring or unloving when, in fact, he may just be incompetent! He’s not trying to be stubborn, uncaring, or unfeeling; he just honestly doesn’t know what you need or what he’s supposed to do. (63)

Respect the Position Even When You Disagree with the Person

Ephesians 5:33
However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

Your husband, because he is a husband, deserves respect. You may disagree with his judgment; you may object to the way he handles things – but according to the bible, his position alone calls you to give him proper respect. (65)

Give Him the Same Grace That God Gives You

Form Your Heart Through Prayer

Practice praying positive prayers about your husband. (66)

But over time, thankfulness makes a steady and persistent friend of affection. (67)

Drop Unrealistic Expectations

If you don’t die to unrealistic expectations and if you refuse the cross, you’ll find yourself at constant war with your husband instead of at peace. You’ll feel frustrated instead of contented, and disappointed instead of satisfied. (69)

Your Husband Isn’t a Church

My husband is a man, not a church, and it’s not fair to ask him to be all things to me. (71)

Ask God to Change You

As soon as you recall your husband’s weaknesses – the very second those poor qualities come to mind – start asking God to help you with specific weaknesses of your own. (72)

Get Fresh Eyes

When your husband feels more respected and appreciated at work than he does at home, a precarious situation erupts. Eventually, his heart may gravitate to the place he feels most cherished. (74)

In the midst of living with this kind of frustration, it can be easy to forget the things that first drew you to your man: his sense of humor, his thoughtfulness, his spiritual depth, or any number of other strengths. Though you may become blind to these qualities, that doesn’t mean everyone else will. Respect is a spiritual obligation and discipline. Give your husband his due! (75)

1 comment:

meredith said...

Heya, this stuff is really good! I especially like the part about not expecting your husband to be all things to you. He isn't the church! It can be easy to forget that, particularly when suffering comes and the temptation is to lean on him rather than on God.
You are reading good material -- looking forward to celebrating with you at the wedding in less than TWO WEEKS!
M x