I might be obsessed with blogging about marriage and how important it is to make it the partnership it could be. I suppose, though, of all things I could obsess about - this isn't so bad.
I woo and schmooze over how amazing Brent is as a husband and father. Just tonight he gave himself a Hello Kitty tattoo because his daughter asked him to. That alone should make your heart melt for him too. (But keep your melty heart hands off, people.) And even though he sometimes does things that make me want to pull my own hair out for fun (like clean his glasses with my face cloth, spread dishes over the counter/stove instead of putting them in the dishwasher or even stacking them, and a host of other quirks) I will continue to fawn over him as my husband, and as one of God's best creations ever.
It works like this: when wives are crazy about their husbands, their husbands don't think their wives are crazy.
When Brent and I had been married for about seven years (insert seven-year-itch jokes here), we were in some troublesome waters. I would lie in bed and night and think about who would get the house, and how we would share custody of our cats, when we split up. Because it was obvious we were going to split up. Things were bad. Really bad.
Then I read a little book called "Love & Respect". I do believe I'm still married today because of that book - and a heap-load of dependence upon God.
I'm not saying husbands are perfect. I'm not saying men aren't jerks. I'm especially not saying women should bend over backwards and put up with harmful treatment. What I am saying is: a little respect goes a long way.
I cringe when I see some women (especially in the church!) berate, degrade, and mock their husbands. The very men they expect to carry them through their own trials and pamper them when they have a bad day, they are all too eagerly dragging through the mud. It breaks my heart. I used to be there...I used to do that... and I nearly destroyed my marriage as a result.
I heard a challenge on the radio today, and I'd like you to join in with me. Spend the next 30 days not uttering a single criticism of your spouse. And....(yes, there's more)...tell them one thing per day you're thankful for about them. It's very fitting with Thanksgiving around the corner, I think.
Your marriage matters. This is a person you fell in love with and couldn't imagine spending the rest of your life without. This is a person you stood beside and vowed to care for and honor. This is a person who loves you like crazy. (And loves you when you ARE crazy.)
I'll never forget those words Brent spoke to me one morning as we made the bed, not talking to each other, in the midst of our discord after I started reading and implementing that book. He stood up, looked at me, and said, "Whatever you're doing....it's working." And that was that. My heart started beating faster and I knew... I realized... I had been doing it wrong for far too long.
So - spouses - make sure your spouse knows they matter. And make sure they know they matter more than the stuff about them that drives you nuts.
And Brent - you are my knight in shining armor. You are my hero. You are my soulmate. You can clean your glasses on my face cloth any day if it means you'll stick around with me. I love you, Brent Ryan. Mushy mushy gushy goo.