Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Peace and Tranquality In The Home

I don't know about you, but when my wife and I have an argument I am not that productive until we make up; especially in the area of studying God's Word and writing sermons. A key factor in marriage relationships is that it is important for men and women to live according to the proper roles as outlined in the Bible.

A friend of mine named Chris Humphreys wrote an article. It is to good not to post for the world to see. It sounds humorous at times, especially near the bottom, but for the most part I think it is a good formula to live a marriage relationship by.

A good friend of mine sent to me recently some directives from the pen of the popular Puritan preacher Richard Baxter about how husbands and wives can strengthen their relationship between themselves under the Lord. It is very good food for thought and action, and there is no way I can outdo or outsay what Baxter has written, but I wanted to share with people my simple three ideas for maintaining peace and tranquility in the home. This is repetitive stuff, but when you get old like me, one repeats himself a lot. When you get old like me, one repeats himself a lot.I've been to many marriage enrichment conferences in the past, and some were beneficial and some were not. Since I operate by the KISS principle (keep it simple, saint), I've reduced all marriage advice down to three easy-to-remember three-worded sentences. This is written with husbands in mind, since I am one. I need to remind myself of these three sentences, because they are always relevant, and because my wife's birthday is fast approaching. Husbands need to say these three sentences all the time, but there are some annual markers that keep us on our toes even more so, like the wife's birthday, Valentine's Day, the anniversary, Christmas, etc.Here we go. The first sentence that all husbands need to say to their wives all the time is:1. "I LOVE YOU." Now it is just as important to know when and how to say it. In other words, it probably is not a good idea to say those words with your head buried in the newspaper or magazine. For some reason, wives like eye contact. It is probably not a good idea also to say it at halftime when your team is ahead by four touchdowns. It would be a good practice to plant a kiss on her, hug her and say these words when your team is down by four touchdowns at halftime. And in cases like that, it is okay for a grown man to cry at the same time.You have to say those words on a daily basis on various times during the day. And you have to really, really mean it. After all, we are told in the Good Book that husbands are to love their wives as Christ loved the church. And as we read the Good Book, we see that God has told us on numerous occasions how much He has loved us.Don't fall into the trap that many husbands fall into when they think to themselves, "Well, my woman knows I love her. I don't need to say all that romantic mush. She knows that I love her by all the things I do for her. After all, I bought her a toaster last Valentine's Day, didn't I? And besides that, last week I picked up my dirty underwear and socks at least three times and put them in the dirty clothes hamper. And just yesterday, while she was freaking out in the kitchen, I bravely went in there and killed the spider for her. What more does she want?"We need to say those three words: "I love you." You might be surprised how far that will get you, husband friend.2. "I WAS WRONG." Again, it is just as important to know when and how to say it. If you only say it half- heartedly when you want a fight to end, and you want to wave the white flag of surrender, then your motivation is out of whack, and wives can pick up on those things. Or combining this sentence with the first sentence above, if about the only time you embrace her wife and say "I love you" is after you have done something terribly wrong or stupid, then wives can somehow put two and two together. She may give you that piercing glance after you say "I love you", and begin to ponder and ask, "Okay, what did you do or forget to do this time?""I was sorry" won't cut it. There is a big difference between saying that you are sorry and admitting a grievous wrong on your part. "I am sorry" carries too much unsaid baggage with it that wives again can pick up on. For example, "I am sorry. . .(that you are making a mountain out of a molehill.)" Or, "I am sorry. . .(that I ever brought up the subject.)" Or, "I am sorry. . .(that you don't see things my way, which is the only way.)" You get the drift. "I am sorry" is too overused and underappreciated.Instead, you should say, "I was wrong." To say those three words have to involve a lot of pride swallowing, which is hard for a man to do, but very necessary at times. Again, the Good Book talks a lot about how God gives grace to the humble, but He resists the proud. If a husband is not known for saying for those three words, then it might be good practice for him to stand in front of the mirror each morning while he is shaving saying those words out loud over and over again. I hear the word of protest from many husbands. "But what if I was not wrong? Why should I say that at all if I was not the one in the wrong?" O dear husband friend, that is where you are wrong. You are wrong whether you realize it or not. If you think you are not in the wrong, that just proves how wrong you are. So go ahead and swallow your pride and say those three words. The sooner you see that, the better off you will be. It will work wonders in bringing peace and tranquility in the home.3. "HERE'S THE MONEY." Unlike the first two statements, it does not matter how or when you say this. Actions speak louder than words in this case, and money talks. Money is better and sweeter than plastic, which too many husbands and wives use too much anyway and launch themselves into the stratosphere of credit card debt. The marriage vows were not "Until debt do us part." Give her the green stuff and ample of it. She will beam with inexpressible joy. It is in giving that we receive.If you practice saying and doing these three simple sentences, then you can possibly forego reading all those marriage books your wife has been telling you to read for years. Marriage is really not that complicated. We can sure complicate things though when we forget to tell our wives that we love them, and when we are not willing to own up to our faults, and when we fail to give them monetary evidence to back everything up."Marriage is like a pair of shears. It is often moving in opposite directions, but it is so joined together, that it will cut anything that comes between them."

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