Monday, January 9, 2012

Resolutions as a Wife


My Husband and I

A guest post by Jennifer Allen

When the new year rings in my husband and I like to sit down together and write goals for the coming year. We have personal goals, and mutual goals for our life together. After three blessed years of marriage I find each year I begin with the same goal: Loving my husband to the best of my ability. 

If you are a married Christian we share something in common. We are told in Titus 2 to be sober, to love our husbands, and if we have children to love them as well. The practical reality of showing love to our husbands can vary greatly from marriage to marriage, but let me share some of my personal goals to achieve this in my life.

1. Grow in my walk with God: It is foolish for me to assume I can love my husband with Charity, the pure love of Christ, without walking with Christ himself. My living faith and devotion to my Savior will touch every other aspect of my life, including my relationship with my husband. The more I am full of the love of Christ, the more I will bless my husband with that love. For it is a love not born in selfishness, trying to get the most out of this relationship for my sake alone. It will be a mutual love that seeks to encourage and bless the other. I must daily make stop for quiet time with God. In becoming a woman with a heart set after God I will bring blessings to my husband's life.

2. Be in prayer daily for my Husband: I know well the power of prayer. God will hear the supplications of His children. God has done mighty things in the life of my husband and I through prayer. Some time ago my mother had given me a sheet of paper she printed out and laminated for me. It was Praying For our Husbands, 31-Day Plan. It is my desire this year to follow these prayer suggestions each month. Far too often as a perfectionist, goal oriented, list loving person I fail to stop, drop to my knees, and pray to God for my husband. God knows what is best for my husband. It would be a really good idea to ask for His wisdom instead of running ahead with my own thoughts!

3. Find Marriage Role Models: No doubt about it. Marriage is a scary prospect in this day and age. The rate of divorce is astronomical. With marriages failing all around me I want to look at marriages that have lasted and find out why. God himself has shared plenty of wisdom as to what makes a marriage work. So reading His Word concerning marriage is a must. Are there godly older couples who have been lovingly married 20, 30, 40 years or more? I want to read what they have to share, or speak to them in person. I want to find older Christian women who will encourage me to love my husband, even if the days get tough or trials come. I want to use discernment in reading books about marriage. There are many voices and many ideas as to what the perfect Christian marriage looks like. I want to avoid taking advice that encourages me to make an idol out of my husband. Such as implying he is right in any situation, I am to follow his directions even if he is telling me to do something that is very clearly a sin, or that teach the wife is always the one in the wrong if there are serious problems in the marriage. I want to be encouraged to repent when I am wrong, and be honest with myself in seeing how that sin affects my husband.

4. Guard my heart for my husband: As Christian's we are taught to keep ourselves physically pure for the one we would marry. I knew before marriage that this started with an attitude of the heart, it extends into my marriage as well. That desire for purity is to keep my heart set on my husband, the one God gave me. Physical adultery is not the only way I can be unfaithful to my husband, that is only an outward action of an unfaithful heart. In my single years I would be amazed to listen to or see married women openly lusting after men who were not their husbands. Movie stars, other women's cute husbands, some model in a magazine, a man in they met in the gym. Yes, they would talk about these men, look at them in magazines, watch movies they were in, go to a concert they were putting on, or flirt with the man in person and ignite the "flames" they were allowing in their hearts. It is a fire I never want to play with. Their hearts were not set on their husbands alone. I want to guard my heart for my husband, and him alone. I made a covenant with him I never want to forget.

5. I want to find practical ways to show love for my Husband: Just as my husband loves to make me happy and find special ways to say "I love you" I want to do the same for him. I love to get him special treats, fix his favorite meal, play a game together, talk about our dreams and goals in life, or send a love note with his lunch. This aspect would vary in every single marriage since most are not exactly the same in personality and taste. One example is before we were married I had a list (with my mother-in-laws help) of the foods my husband likes the most. It is still a delight to me to prepare meals that taste good to him. 

6. I want to look beautiful for my husband: I want to remember I am dressing myself for three reasons: 
1. For the Lord (His desire for me to be modest and chaste in heart and outward appearance)  
2. For my husband 
3. For my personal taste (colors, styles I like etc.) 

I love clothes! I am able to sew my own clothes, and I enjoy frequenting thrift stores and clearance racks. However, my taste in clothing is quite different than what my husband thinks is beautiful on me. So I want to careful not to have a closet full of outfits that are for "me" and none for "him". I want to look beautiful in his eyes. Again, this would be very different in each marriage! An example is I have come to like wearing dangly earrings. My husband on the other hand thinks I look best with my engagement and wedding ring. No other jewelry needed! I wear those dangly earrings for me, but when I'm thinking of looking beautiful to my husband, they are left in the jewelry box. 

7. I want to remember that life is not all about me: My mother taught me from a little girl in so many ways to remember that "life is not all about you." How true that is! I am not in this marriage to be a taker, but a mutual giver. I want to read this ABC's of marriage often and take it to heart. I want to take joy in the husband God has blessed me with in this year ahead.




ABC's of Marriage

Accept one another as he or she is
Be sensitive to each other's needs
Compliment each other regularly
Don't go to bed angry or with an argument unsettled
Express your love and appreciation for each other daily
Forgive one another totally and unconditionally
Give 100% of yourself to the marriage relationship
Honor one another
Identify areas of conflict and work on root causes
Judge not
Keep courting
Listen to one another
Measure up to your God-assigned role in the marriage
Never drag up past mistakes
Open your heart to one another in honesty and understanding
Pray together
Quit nagging
Renew your commitment to God and to each other
Speak the truth in love
Treat each other as friends and lovers
Undergird one another in child-rearing, work and responsibilities
View your marriage as a covenant before God
Worship together
X-ray your heart with the prayer, "Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me,
and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting."
Yield yourselves daily to the will of God
Zero in on common goals and interests and enjoy each other for life

"Except the LORD build the house, they labor in vain that build it"
(Psalm 127:1).  





Jennifer Allen is The Modest Mom's sister. She is a seamstress for The Modest Mom. She is happily married to the love of her life and still trying to convince him he is the most wonderful man in the world! 

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3 Comments:

At January 9, 2012 at 8:34 AM , Blogger Kasey @ TFOMplus2 said...

Caroline, I am new to your blog, but want to say how much I have been blessed by it! And congrats again, on the birth of your little one!

Honestly, we'd all do well to adapt your list of 7 focus areas for the new year. I especially like the idea of making sure I have some outfits "for my husband". We, too, have different taste in clothing and accommodating his preferences is important. Thank you for the reminder!

 
At January 9, 2012 at 1:47 PM , Blogger sodalo said...

Jennifer,

Amazing post! thank you for the list for praying for our husbands. Do you happen to know if there is one for husbands to pray for their wives?? i wouldnt give it to my husband necessarily, but i have three boys - two of whom are already praying for their wives (future, unknown yet wives). I think a list like this would be a great guide for them as well...

again, thank you. i've heard over and over - pray for your husband, pray for him, pray pray pray - and i do - but sometimes i feel as if i am only praying those things i wish would change "right now", but this great list gives me something to pray for in a general and at the same time specific way - and helps take me out of my own "brain" a little bit... thanks!

 
At January 9, 2012 at 2:48 PM , Anonymous Jennifer said...

@ Sodalo- I did a quick look and found this 31 day prayer list for husbands to pray over their wives. It is found at:http://www.gslcnm.com/PrayforWife.htm

I'm glad what was shared was encouraging! Have a blessed day.

 

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