Thursday, July 14, 2016

10 Ways to Have True Intimacy with Your Spouse

Recently, I have had this want to grow closer to God. I don't want to just be knowledgeable about the bible, (although inspired by my sister, I am on a quest to read the bible from cover to cover. As we all know, I am an avid reader and after talking to her about it, with all of the books we read...why not just read and study the bible from Genesis to Revelation? I realize that this will take a long time, but I am up for the challenge!) I want to really know God and connect with Him on an intimate level. I want my prayer life to be more than just praying in the morning and asking Him for the things of the day.

Well to help me on my journey, I am three videos into this wonderful series from RightNow Media:

It was exactly what I was looking to have an intimate relationship with God when you have a busy life. Sometimes we get so sucked into our routines and busy schedules that we forget that we just need to sit at Jesus' feet and listen to Him and connect. Mary and Martha's story can be found in Luke 10:38-42. Mary and Martha were sisters and Jesus goes to visit them. Martha is busy prepping and cooking, while Mary sits at Jesus' feet in awe and completely attentive; not worrying about her sister's fretting and the work that needed to be done. Martha fusses and complains to Jesus about Mary's attitude. (Isn't that just like sisters? Martha actually tattled to Jesus about her sister!) And Jesus says: 

So what does this have to do with marriage? Well, I am glad you asked. After this morning's video...I got to thinking. How many of us do this very thing in our own marriages? We want a deeper connection with our husbands, but we are just going through the day to day motions. 

While listening to the story about the sisters, I realized I am like Martha. I focus my attention on what needs to be always growing to-do lists and forget sometimes to just sit next to my husband and enjoy his company.

How many of you have long to-do lists? I am currently enjoying my summer off and have at least 20 summer projects to do that I want done before the summer is over. Everyday I create a to-do list with chores to accomplish before the day is over. There is always clothes to wash, dishes to clean, beds to make, supper to cook...and it all needs to get done. 

How many of us want a deeper connection with our husbands? All the things on our to-do lists are important, but not more important than connecting with him. Let's go even deeper than just about true intimacy? 

Intimacy is defined as a close familiarity or friendship; a closeness. Synonyms include togetherness, friendship, affection. I strive for that with K. It is so important to me. I don't want to lose the connection we have and sometimes it happens when the day to day and trials of this life take over. It feels like we are robots operating in what we call this life. 

To have true intimacy with our husbands should be at the top of our to-do lists. It isn't just a sexual thing; although that is also important. True intimacy should be a part of our everyday lives so we don't lose what is important to us. 

Here are some ways to achieve true intimacy with your husband:

  1. Listen to him when he talks. Really listen to what he is saying (no distractions. Put down the phone. In fact, put it in another room. I find this helps me.)
  2. Have a real conversation with no interruptions at least once a day (about anything!)
  3. Pray together
  4. Lean on him during a rough time (this is so important. Speaking from personal experience, if you are going through a tough time, lean on him. Tell him about it, even if you feel he won't be able to understand. K has been my rock recently. I couldn't have gotten through it without him.)
  5. You know how big I am about hugging. Hug the man! He will appreciate it! Hug him for at least 20 seconds.
  6. Have a day (as often as possible) that there are no electronics allowed. No phones, tablets, t.v., nothing. Do something together that requires you to rely on good ole fashioned fun. (dancing, put a puzzle together, karaoke contest, adult coloring contest)
  7. Hold hands. In the car, on the couch while you watch t.v. Make sure to touch each other.
  8. Pray for your husband daily. Thank God for him and ask God to watch over him. (I am currently doing a 30 day prayer challenge all about my husband.)
  9. Be honest with him. If he hurt your feelings, tell him. If you want him to do something, ask him. Don't assume he knows what you are thinking. Keep the lines of communication open.
  10. The next time you have a disagreement, let him win. If that's too hard, find a way to compromise. Or better yet, at least be the first to say you are sorry.
I hope these tips help you to reach a great level of intimacy with your spouse. I know it will help me to remember to put K at the top of my list. The next time you are making your to-do list, put your spouse at the top of yours!

Until next time, have a great day!

Friday, July 8, 2016

Trudging Through A Year of Biblical Womanhood

When I don't like a book, it is so hard for me to get through it. I have a hard time getting to the end. It's like a race you are trying desperately to reach the finish...who am I kidding? I know nothing about races. I don't run...

Anyway...I started this book in April. I am a pretty fast reader. I try to read a book every two weeks; not ways possible but I try. So not even halfway through this one, I was desperately trying to finish this book. I really wanted to like it. I have grown to like year long journeys. I find them very inspiring. This book, however, was not inspiring. 

Rachel Held Evans embarks on a year long journey of the Bible. In this journey, she will practice Old Testament customs and learn more about herself and her Christian faith. Or so we are led to think. What starts out as a month by month task list devoted to particular virtues (Grace, beauty, submission, valor etc) ends up a whine fest drowned with overtones of sarcasm. I was highly disappointed in what I thought was going to be an informative guide into the Old Testament beliefs but it was overshadowed with studying other religious practices and her own spin on her beliefs and interpretations.

What I did like was her honesty about the Proverbs 31 wife. Because let's be honest...She is one hard woman to copy. She is the epitome of the perfect wife and how we should be, but impossible to copy. And Rachel makes her own frustrations known. What she resolves is to use the Proverbs 31wife as a guide and not to try and copy her. We are our own wives and some days dishes will stay in the sink or supper will be two hours late. We shouldn't look at her and focus on our failures, but highlight our victories and take pride in what we do and not what is lacking.

I also completely related to her fears of motherhood. She rents a computer baby for two days to test motherhood, but relays in detail her thoughts and fears on the responsibility of being a mom; which was like reading my own fears. Although I hope to one day be a mom, like Rachel I fear the change parenthood brings and the responsibility it carries.

I think some of my biggest problems with this book was even though she devoted a month to a certain topic, some of them, like submission and domesticity were done with mockery and "her dragging her feet". Her whole view on submission was lacking for me. She used a book with how to be a good wife instructions and I agree that some of them were far off (taking your husband's shoes off? Really??)  but because this was so out of character for her, her husband was reluctant and weary of it. She had to clarify with saying "this is for the project". Submission is looked at like a curse. What is wrong with wanting to help your husband? With taking joy in caring for him? I do agree that marriage is an equal partnership; but I don't think there is anything wrong with submitting to him as Christ calls us to do.

So unfortunately, this will definitely not be on my top 10 list. It might make my most disappointing list...but some aspects of the book were interesting and she did have a good sense of humor. I would rate this book 2 stars.

Until next time, have a good night!