Today’s Quote: “Her soul is Alive. And we are drawn to her.”- Stasi Eldredge
Today’s Song: “When We’re Together”- Mark Harris
Let’s just get right to it today.
These are three bits of wisdom that I want to share with you, because I think that paying attention to them can make a Godly marriage even that much more awesome and amazing.
1. Keep The Mystery Alive
One of the things that most attracts men to women is their “mystery”.
It’s been so since the beginning of time.
A guy looks at a girl and sees a beautifully complex being, which he knows he will never be able to fully figure out.
A lot of times, left to our own devices, we "cheapen" ourselves by giving our guy every last precious ounce of ourselves. We think that the more that we give of ourselves to a guy, the more he will love and cherish us.
So we just lay everything out, like a showcase.
We give ourselves away sexually because we are sure that it will lead to a deep, lasting and more complete relationship. We feel that it will make him fall more deeply and completely in love with us- because that’s what it does with us toward him.
But we need to remember girls, that guys are not like us.
They are conquerors.
And as heartbreaking as the reality may be, the same emotions that follow sex outside of marriage for us, are not the same for guys.
Many girls can trace the beginning of some very intense and foreign emotions back to the time that they started sleeping with their guy.
Where they suddenly became more serious and committed but their guy seemed to go in the other direction.
It makes me so sad to think about because it is so confusing to us. Our sexuality becomes something like a curse when we do it outside of God’s will.
But the happy news is that when we do it God’s way, the sexual dichotomy between a man and a woman works perfectly.
Because, there is also something about a man, that if he earns and wins a woman the right way, and they save that union for their wedding night, there is a very strong sense to treasure, protect and cherish that woman with everything that is in him.
It’s such a beautiful bond.
It’s God’s perfect design, and he lays it out so plainly before us, but for some silly reason, generations upon generations of girls keep pouring through thinking that we know better.
And here repeats the same story over and over and over:
Guy shows girl affection,
girl falls for guy,
gives guy too much of herself too early,
guy is way too immature to handle what goes along with this,
and here we are again.
Time Out: If you’ve slept with one or more guys, don’t feel like you’ve blown it. When my husband and I started things over God’s way, we struggled to not fall back into sexual sin and we definitely messed up more than once! But thanks to fervent prayer and repentance God was able to restore us to a 6-month period of dating, with nothing but kissing, until our wedding night. And it was SO worth it. So worth forsaking the easier way, for God’s way. God is all about offering us a new start whenever we ask for it. And He offers us His supernatural strength, even in these areas, if we keep asking for it, and are willing to do the work to keep ourselves out of tempting situations.
Girls, there are some very important "muscles" that a man needs to build, and can only build through a woman making him wait and fight for her heart.
Girls, hold on to your mystery, especially before you are married!
And even after you are married there are different ways to keep your mystery alive, which is what we are going to talk about now.
Keeping that spark alive.
(And it’s a direct byproduct of “The Biggie’ that we talked about 2 days ago.)
There is a different kind of depth about a woman who is close to Jesus.
Not only because she is ever evolving and growing, but also because the deepest and most personal things about herself are kept for Him alone.
Not that she doesn’t share openly in her relationship. But she is even more intimate with God, which adds a whole new element of beauty and mystery for a man.
As God-following, God-fearing women, we have the potential to have God’s covering and His dignity on us so long as we continue to put Him first in our lives.
He is the only one capable of giving that kind of depth and beauty to a woman’s heart and face.
A sort of peacefulness, confidence, and restedness that can only come out of a woman whose soul has found it’s true home.
True beauty and allure.
Thank you, Jesus!
Thank you that you offer discernment for those of us who tend to just puke our hearts out on the table and expect our guys to know what to do with that.
Thank you that you offer us another way, a way that is wise and brings life to our relationship.
Oh God help us to not need to talk about everything with our man.
But that we would save the best things for you. The things that are closest to our hearts. To give you our first offerings. Our innermost heart.
And that we would also learn to save some stuff for our girlfriends. Stuff about periods and diets and other things that make our men want to tear off their ears and flush them down the toilet.
Give us discernment, Lord. Make us whole women who are then capable to relax, be ourselves, and enjoy our men.
Thank you Jesus for your ways! Thank you that you heal our shame and clothe us in righteousness. (Isaiah 61:10)
2. Under-promise, Over-deliver, And Don’t Talk About It After The Fact.
This is just a little something that I’ve found helps to bring life and depth to my marriage.
Saying less, and doing more.
A small example would be like if my husband asks me what we are having for dinner, I will say something quick and simple like, “chicken and rice.”
And then when he comes to the dinner table he will discover his favorite breaded fried chicken with rice, green beans and garlic, a tossed garden salad and hot buttered rolls.
When he grins ear to ear with delight and says something like, “baby, you are amazing.” I just smile with a quick thank you and kiss on the forehead, and get on with it.
No big thing. And it’s really not a big thing. I love to spoil that man!!
But if I just go talk, talk, talking everything up all the time, then the end product is never such a pleasant surprise.
Or if I keep bringing up something that I did that was awesome- it kind of takes some of the awesomeness out of it.
Under-promise, over-deliver, and don’t talk about it after the fact.
3.Don’t Use Your Influence For Your Own Agenda
This is huge.
Doing marriage God’s way is tough. It is very sacrificial.
God’s call on a woman in marriage is sure to shake up her life and priorities, and a lot of that comes in the form of self-sacrifice.
All of the sudden we begin to find our own needs and desires taking a backseat to someone else’s (soon multiple someones).
Through this kind of self-sacrifice, something happened in my own marriage that never had crossed my mind would happen. As my head was down and my focus was on doing the things that God was calling me to do, I suddenly began to realize that I had slowly become a woman of greater influence. Apparently the steadfastness and reliability that God was blessing me with (so contrary to my nature) was beginning to count for something big with my husband. And other people as well.
I could see that my opinions and advice had become much more highly valued, particularly with my husband.
He started to seek me out for advice more, and when I spoke of things that were close to my heart he would listen with great care and concern.
Because I was being more carful with my words. I no longer just puked every thought and feeling out all the time with no discretion. Not that I never did that any more, but God was giving me much greater discernment.
And even still when I say things out of anger or frustration, I can see my husband deeply mulling them over. There have been so many times where I have had to say something like:
“you know what babe, that was me saying that out of my own frustration. I am so sorry. That was not from the Lord and I pray that you can still make a good clear decision without that outburst affecting it, because really that was just me being selfish.”
I think that’s a really important thing to say sometimes!!!
After you go off on him about not doing anything about something. Or not standing up to someone. Just wanting to see things done a certain way that we want them done.
That is so our nature.
And just owning up to that when you need to own up to it, humbling yourself when you need to be humble, that stuff goes so far.
Listen, girls, I want to be GOOD for my husband.
I want to be that kind of wife who prayerfully builds him up and encourages him to be the leader and make decisions based on what Jesus would have him do. Not on what Audry is envisioning their life should be like.
It’s a common and very human thing for a wife to do- to use her influence with her husband to accomplish her own agenda.
Don’t do it!
We need to remember that God’s agenda for us, and our marriage, is so much bigger and better than our own, and we need to be encouraging our husbands to seek Jesus out for direction, not us!
And watch how God will elevate your position, particularly in your husbands heart, when you do things His way, and use your influence for what’s good in the eyes of the Lord.
Time Out: I hope that you hear my heart and know that I’m not trying to imply that we are inferior, and somehow are looking to men to define our value. Not at all! I’m just trying to be realistic about what goes down inside of a lot of marriage relationships, and encourage you to do it God’s way!
There is so much blessing to be experienced between a man and woman who both love Jesus.
Maybe your heart is aching for such a relationship right now.
Be patient, dear sister, and enjoy each season of your life as God wants it to be.
Savor your singleness and the time and space that you have to grow right now.
Use it, well!
Draw closer to Him.
Lean on Him.
And when the man that God has in store for you does come along, he will be the best, most unexpected surprise in the world.
And so will you!
Today’s Dare: Today I dare you to do some sort of light physical exercise. Go for a walk, or something else that will get you outside (whether permitting) and moving. As you’re doing it, let your mind get carried away in some of these new principals that you’re learning about marriage. Think about what things you really need to work on, or what things are really kind of a drastic change from how you’ve always thought about relationships.
And again, let yourself get excited! You’re healing! And there’s a man out there who God is preparing for you, as He is preparing you for him!
And don’t stop POFUing everday! No matter how good or how high you’re feeling. It is God and God alone who is healing and moving you forward. And if you want to continue, then you need to continue letting yourself be putty at His feet.