3 key things I learned from my mom about being a wife

Sixty-plus years of marriage is worth something when it comes to marriage wisdom.

Although I could write a book (or two) about all I’ve learned from my parent’s marriage, I’m choosing these 3 major ones that I learned from my momma.

R-E-S-P-E-C-T: I didn’t hear her bash him, discuss his weaknesses, tear him down or tear him up. If there was an issue going on between the two of them, she didn’t advertise it and she certainly didn’t share it with us kids. She was consistently showing him the kind of respect that made her children want to do the same. What dad said mattered. What dad thought mattered. She made him feel important by making what he did and what he enjoyed important. She did her best to help him work the farm, she worked with him, not against. She didn’t make big decisions without him and she didn’t do things behind his back.  She didn’t attempt to control to get her way or manipulate either. She wasn’t perfect, but she really had the respect thing down pat.

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Lack of controlling: Mom was fortunate enough to have a man who loved her and thought of her, was considerate of her, but I think too, that is because she didn’t back him into any corners. She didn’t demand that she get her way or that he make her happy. Mom opened her Bible every day and from the truth of God’s Word she would draw her strength and contentment. She didn’t place unreachable and unattainable expectations on her husband. Dad was free to be the leader of the home, she didn’t challenge that, therefore, he was secure in his position – it wasn’t threatened by a women who was full of fear and because of that, attempted to control what she could. Even when her husband had a made a decision that she didn’t agree with, she allowed him the final word and final say. There were times, she was glad that she had listened to his wisdom and there were times, he made a wrong choice…but she didn’t beat him up or criticize him…she continued to show that she believed in him, making him feel more confident, allowing him the space in the role as leader of the home.

She Didn’t Rush: Mom had this thing about being late- she never was and it was incredibly disrespectful in her mind to be late. Dad not so much. He’d stroll into the house a few minutes before it was time to leave, still needing to get cleaned up. Those were the most irritating moments to her I think. But when it came to decisions, she didn’t rush or pressure him. He needed time to think. When she asked about something or brought something up…she had already been rolling it around in her mind…she’d thought of the possibilities, solutions, angles…he didn’t have that advantage and she respected that. She gave him space to consider and she also took into consideration his wisdom, she invited him to speak exactly how he thought…even if he didn’t agree with it. This was also true when it came to things that needed to be done around the farm and house. Sometimes, she had to wait and sometimes she was pleasantly surprised at how quickly her husband responded to a need she saw.

There’s a book worth of things I learned from my mom and certainly worth taking the time to examine and write it all down. But these three things were so key in their marriage – still is. She loved him – but I think most wives would say that. What I’ve observed and what she’s said is that respect is so very important to a man. She believed in him…and even if there were doubts, she trusted God to teach him. She knew that ultimately, dad would pay the consequences of the choices he made. Thankfully, she married a very wise man who cared deeply about his family and his faith. Still, the fact that she didn’t challenge or threaten his role as leader allowed him to not only grow but have the desire to lead.

No matter where you sit with your husband today…or how far gone it seems…God is a God of redemption and grace. He is a God of second and even third chances. If you have failed at respecting or anything that resembles a Godly attitude towards your husband, repent, ask God to show you what love truly looks like in your marriage, invite the Holy Spirit to guide you and move on…

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May friendship, encouragement and grace abound!