Love in Ambivalent Times Part 1

I'm watching some tough stuff go down these days. Marriages around us are crumbling... The enemy is knocking at the door of families and someone is letting him in...

I'm a firm believer in the contrasts between a man and a woman. I've often said the man is the head of the house, and the woman the heart. In order though...for the head to work...the heart has to pump...so don't stop the heart. From ancient Greece to ancient Rome, women were viewed as possessions. Christ was probably seen as so ridiculously radical in that He had a female following. As time moved forward, the voice of women grew louder...and rightfully so. Women had a right to take their place as human beings in the world with equal privileges to men. The ability to be educated, the right to vote, equal pay...all those things were important. HOWEVER...somewhere we've crossed the line. We've taken our plight possibly too far. I turn the TV on today and there is a commercial on about every 5 minutes dumbing down the man. Sitcoms parade stupid fathers across our screen and we glorify the single mother, but we rarely praise the single father when it's the mother who walked away from her children. We've challenged the simple gift a man can bring to the table...by just being a man. The result? Men are tired and walking away.

We've created a mess...but at the very beginning...at the root of our relationships...exists this little lie we've termed 'love'. Eye's lock for a moment, a brief exchange of words takes place, chemistry ignites and VIOLA it's love. Seven years down the road you wake up one morning and you make no eye contact with the other, a brief exchange of words takes place, anger ignites...and you leave for work...only to pick up your evening where you left off that morning....and viola...divorce looms in the air. As little girls we read stories of our night in shining armor coming to rescue us on a white horse. No where in that story do we find the princess fighting for equal pay and rights...she just wants to be rescued and then go have babies. We've learned that love is something that invokes an emotion and a feeling. It's the butterflies you feel when your lips first touch... When you're a little girl no one tells you that feeling goes away. No one tells you the real story is, you wake up in the morning, look at your spouse and CHOOSE to love them, because that is what is RIGHT. No one tells you someday, God is going to come knocking to give in to the answer of your prayer: Lord just make him a better man...Lord just do what only you can do... And when He comes to take His place in your home, you don't get to throw the right of women in His face...but you have to sit at His feet...listen...and oh...here's the word you hate...be OBEDIENT.  Yep, all of a sudden...love is all about making a choice to stay, and it has nothing, nothing, nothing to do with the butterflies you lost so long ago. Wake up, keep praying, and move out of the way...God is going to do some work...on BOTH of you.

I could go on all night, but I need to get to what is really nagging at me. I have friends (as I've mentioned before) who's husbands are throwing their hands up and walking away. I've heard things like: 'He said he just doesn't feel any love for me.' & 'He isn't willing to give it all up to have us' & 'I know he loves his kids...but I know he doesn't love me'. IT   IS   MAKING   ME  CRAZY!

Men, PLEASE listen up...I can't imagine how hard it is to stand in the face of an angry woman and say "I'm not leaving and I want to make this work". It must be horribly difficult to choose to walk into a room where your wife is standing KNOWING she doesn't really want to have anything to do with you...but seriously...God created you with the skills to buck up and put your boxing gloves on when it comes to a battle! Men! We need you to fight for us. We need you to show our children what it looks like to have a redeemed marriage where two people are in love because they chose to stay and work it out. I'm not just saying this because it seems right...and it is...but because I've been on the wife side of this and my husband...(poor guy) has been on the receiving end of a lot of my anger. He didn't give up. He pursued me, learned to listen to me, took time to get to know me again, and realized that sometimes you have to be willing to lose everything you thought that mattered...to hold on to a family that matters most. LOVE IS A CHOICE! Love is about being obedient to Christs call on your life as a man. He didn't create you to only be a monetary provider. He created you to be a provider...period.  I am begging you...don't let satan win the battle over our families. If you're here, if your standing on the edge of walking away or staying, or if you're trying and you just don't know how to reach her...here are some things that worked for us:

1. Fasting - power packed prayer to redeem your marriage. There are plenty of articles online about fasting and how to prepare for it. I'd dive in today!
2. Listen - I know you want to fix everything, but listen and then say something like this: 'I can't imagine how frustrating that must be. Maybe we can figure something out together to make this easier. Would that help you?' If she says no, then that means she just needs to vent...if she stares at you with a blank face...it probably means she 'see's' that you 'hear' her.
3. Take her out on a date and ask her questions like it's your first date. You'll be surprised how much she's changed...
4. Flowers
5. Tell her all the time she's the only girl for you...she needs to know this...

That sums it up for now. Don't give up. If you have...make the choice to stay. DECIDE to love. Be apart of the statistics of the ones who made it! Go to war! Fight for it! Give it all you've got!

Ladies...I have a word for you...but it's going to come in part 2 of this lovely post. In the meantime..you can post your hate mail right here. I look forward to your comments.

As always,

Love you much,


1 comment:

Sharon said...

Hey sweet friend! I LOVE what you've written here! It's not the easy in marriage that makes one strong... it's the stuckness when it wasn't so easy to stick! I love my man more today that I ever have... and a lot of it is because we never gave in and gave up. It's the struggle and the fight "for" that made our marriage what it is. Too many people miss out because they bow out too quickly and they fail to truly faithfully and determinedly invest. Your post reminded me of a favorite verse of mine: "Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and FIGHT FOR your brothers, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes" (Neh 4:14). Life is a fight! Marriage is a fight! Anything worth having is a fight! We are all fighting for... or against something! In our marriages, we need to do more fighting "FOR", than fighting "against" each other! There is so much more that I can say... but thanks for saying what you did. :) Amen sister! I've seen way too many houses that have fallen down, and way too much hurt... I am in this battle with you and praying for so many that are in the throes of the battle and wanting to just walk away. Oh... one more thing. I had a friend tell me once what her counselor told her one day while discussing her marriage. He told her, "Rhonda, anything harder than marriage is divorce." Wow! Powerful statement! Marriage isn't easy. But good grief, look around, obviously neither is divorce! Another friend counseled another friend of mine and gave her this advice as she was contemplating leaving, "That's fine if you decide to walk away, but know this, you're only trading one set of problems for a whole new set of problems." Wow, how right he is! I think we need to decide which side of the fence we're on... and once married, be deteremined for forever to stay on your side of the fence.

Preach on, dear girl! Maybe someone needing it greatly will hear you.