Over the past couple weeks I started reading a small book by Lysa TerKeurst. Lysa is the President of Proverbs 31 Ministries, which is a wonderful ministry to women. She also oversees women’s ministry at her home church, Elevation Church in Charlotte, NC. This is a woman that I do not know personally, but love deeply. Things she writes pierce my heart, growth my faith, and teach me lessons.
The book is called “Capture His Heart” and it’s about a wife’s relationship with her husband. I’ve been giving this a lot of thought lately. I need more development in the area of being a better spouse. There are many things I do well, but many days being the wife I’m called to be isn’t one of them. I have these shortcomings that get in the way of the person I want to be to John. I can be bossy, prickly, selfish, and I don’t communicate my expectations very well. I’ve learned too that unmet expectations lead to disappointments…disappointments lead to some other not so nice things. Sometimes things come out of my mouth before I even think of the effect it will have on him.
It’s easy to point my finger at John and get into the “well, if only he would…” (fill in the blank). But, what this book I am reading is teaching me, and what I have heard preached by our pastor at Lifepoint, is that it isn’t about what I need him to do or be; it’s about who I am and what I need to do. I have control over my circumstances (and my mouth)…I don’t have to be some sort of victim. I don’t have to sulk when my needs aren’t met or expect my husband to read my mind (rocket science, I know!).
This week I listened to a Podcast by Andy Stanley of North Point Community Church. The message was about marriage and relationships (just what I needed!). He made this statement in the message, sort of a question really. “Are you what the person you are looking for is looking for?” If I want John to be patient, caring, affectionate, attentive, etc. then I need to be those things to him. There was that information again—that it’s not about him, it’s about me!
This realization is difficult to digest at times. There are moments when I want to wallow in my own pool of “poor me.” There are hours of my day that I want to play the “blame game.” However, that isn’t what love really is and if I truly love this man (which I do) I need to step up my game. I want to be what he’s looking for. I know he’s not looking for a wife that keeps a mental list of the last time he unloaded the dishwasher, took over with the kids, paid me a compliment, or cooked me dinner.
I’m going to set aside some time this week to get in touch with a better picture of what it is that he’s looking for. I think I know what his desires are, but I certainly don’t want to assume. I’d rather have him tell me and then I can work on doing a better job to meet his needs.
I know too that when I push aside my pride and can allow myself to say “it’s not you, it’s me” the rewards will be greater. I don’t feel good about myself after I have said something hurtful, or have had my expectations not met. It may be more work to meet his needs, but I’ll have a sense of accomplishment and feel like a better person, a better wife, for having put his needs before my own.
One of my very favorite pieces of scripture is 1st Corinthians 13:4-8
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails.
If I insert my name where it says “love,” I can’t go wrong. I’ll never be perfect, and neither will John. I will mess up. I will still have moments when I’ll say things I’d rather take back. This scripture though reminds both of us that we won’t keep record of those moments. We will forgive each other and move forward.
I certainly don’t have all the answers. I’m just a wife that wants to be better and bring glory to the gift I’ve be given.
Thank you for reading.