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Welcome to my blog: Today's Lady Virtue. This site is for women--wives, mothers, singles, widows, family, friends, etc.! My heart is to share loving encouragement coupled with timeless truths from God's Word, the Bible, to enlighten, uplift, and empower women of today. At Today's Lady Virtue we're about "Reclaiming Virtuous Womanhood today the Time-tested Way!" Here you will find a variety of posts from poems, to "Put into Practice" principles, to pictures and more! I invite you to voyage with me on the quest to become Today's Lady Virtue.

Monday, February 15, 2010

The I's of a FruitLESS and FruitFULL Marriage


Reminder: These ABC's of a FruitLESS or FruitFULL marriage are intended to be fun and though-provoking not "gospel" or absolute.  I think they are useful for providing visible contrasts in our behavior and can help spotlight areas that we are doing well in (or need improvement in) our marriages.

I is for INSISTING     the annoying action of “broken record” repeating of what one wants; involves a disagreeable and unsubmissive spirit or attitude

I is for INTERESTING     the pursuit of new activities/hobbies in order to avoid boredom in marriage

Sometimes it is so easy to get carried away with what WE want and what WE think is the right course of action. We bug and bug our spouses about the matter and won't let it rest until we have secured OUR way. 

Here are a few items that I think we could easily tend to INSIST upon in our marriages...

1) Honey-do's (You all know what I mean...the LIST of things we would like our husbands to take care of...Honey Do This...Honey Do That...)
2) Spiritual Acts of Service (We NEED to get involved in a Bible study, serving at church, a certain ministry, getting to know our neighbors, etc.)
3) Involvement with the Children (50/50 egalitarian or progressive movement interaction in our households--We divvy up the household workload and the responsibility of having children with our husbands to ensure that BOTH Daddy and Mommy are taking care of exactly their fair share of the responsibility with these.)

None of these things are bad.  In fact, it is a good thing to have a handy husbands that can take care of business around our homes.  Likewise, it is a real blessing to serve Christ alongside of our husbands.  Moreover, partnering together to give our children special training, necessary discipline, and spend quality time with both their father and mother is no doubt challenging; however, it is one of the richest blessings here on earth.

The problem here goes back to one of our recurring themes: Motives, Methods, and Manners Matter!  The way we handle our "issues" with our husbands can easily be a make or break situation.  When we choose to address our concerns with constant INSISTENCE, we put our relationship with our husbands at risk. 

INSISTING is mostly a form of one-way communication and does not allow much room for negotiation--or better put, relationship.  If we cannot discuss the situation using two-way communication (talking AND listening), resorting to one-way INSISTING instead, well, we don't really have a relationship.  Our establishment is actually a bit more like parenthood than marriage ("Do this because Mommy says so"...NOT..."These things are meaningful to me, honey.  What are your thoughts on and/or solutions to the matter?")

When we choose to aggressively (or nudge-nudgingly), loudly (or subtly), and/or disagreeably INSIST on getting OUR WAY...well, we can push away our husbands.  They may withdraw from the situation to avoid a conflict.  They may argue back--maybe even say hurtful words that make us even more angry.  Some men may DO what we want them to DO...but they most likely didn't do it out of love because they were pressured into it by our INSISTENCE.   

If we are married women...our interests are not our own...we belong to our husbands...we are one flesh.

33"But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world—how he can please his wife— 34and his interests are divided. An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord's affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world—how she can please her husband. 35I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord." 1 Corinthians 7:33-35
4"Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others." Philippians 2:4

Here is a KEY that I see!  
R E L A T I O N S H I P!!!  
Let's aim not to INSIST but to INTEREST.
What does that mean?  
Should I stand on my head?  
Should I blow my kazoo?  
Tell me, tell me what to do!  
Anything, really--is what I'd say.
Try something new.
Try something old.
Try something fun.
Try something bold!
Take a risk.
Go outside.
Remember to listen and laugh!
Go on a date.
Connect everyday
In a meaningful way.
Set up a surprise!
The limit is the sky
Keep it INTERESTING, that's WHY.

My hubby and I enjoy a variety of activities together.  We love to try new adventures together and add to our *collection of memories together.  These journeys keep our marriage INTERESTING.  They unite us and help us remember why we love each other.  They keep us close at heart.  They reveal new ways we can fall in love with each other all over again.  They keep us from getting bored in our marriage.  They help us to prioritize each other amidst the busyness of life on earth.  They cheer us up because not one of them seems to occur without a fit of laughter...
"A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones." Proverbs 17:22
 * Backpacking, Yahtzee, Hiking, Family Nights, Mountain biking, Downhill Skiing, Cross Country skiing, Scuba Diving, Tent camping, Sports events, AGGIE FOOTBALL, Kayaking, Fly-fishing, Whitewater rafting, Reading, Saturday Morning Breakfast, Family dinners, Bedtime Fun, Tennis, Golf, Boating, Movies, Campfires, Coffee and Chocolate, Family Bible study, Coin Shows, Road trips, etc.!  

Of course there are activities that we love to do more or find more INTERESTING than others; however, each one of these are among the myriad of 
INTERESTING things that keep our marriage INTERESTING.
Should I ever get Alzheimer's Disease--my guess is that THESE are the memories I will recall even if I can't remember what I ate for breakfast, where I placed my glasses, or where I live.  

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