3 Things That Make Your Hubby LOVE Coming Home!

 

Being in military ministry, we work closely with young military families. Megan and her husband Mark had been married about two years, and had the cutest little 14 month old boy, Josiah. Megan was the typical young army wife, who married with stars in her eyes and ended her marriage with daggers in her hands. But at sometime between the stars and the daggers, we had the privilege of working with them for a few months.

I stopped by Megan’s house one day to visit. Brushing the crumbs off the couch, I sat and began to talk about the Lord. I tried not to notice, but toys and trash mingled together on the floor, and the coffee table was a mountain of who-knows-what. Her boy walked around clad in typical Tarzan fashion, in a diaper – a very smelly diaper! That was in itself not too bad, except after a time it started to bother me that no effort was made to change the boy. But the dog was very interested in the contents of the diaper, going up to little Josiah and licking the edges of his diaper at every chance he could. Of course, the family pet turned and licked the boy’s face!

Though that was disgusting enough, soon the boy found a long-lost bottle of mysterious liquid (complete with floaties of unknown origin!) and walked around drinking it!! While Megan’s back was turned, I relieved the boy of his bottle and took it to the kitchen sink, where I’m sure it remained for quite some time.

No wonder they were having marital trouble!

Someone once said “Cleanliness is next to godliness,” and after that experience, I began to believe it!

Want a happy marriage? Keep your home in order. Or at least WORK on it. Never just “let it go.” I’m preaching to myself here, because these things are a real challenge for me. My sister, who grew up sharing a room with me, could tell you how horribly messy I am/was, but the Lord has done great things for me. Here are some things I have learned:

Keep your home CLEAN! Or a semblance of clean. Divide your home into 4 zones and clean each zone during its week. That way, your whole house gets a good cleaning at least once a month. And if you don’t get to all of it this month, no worries – it will come around again. For ideas for creating your own house cleaning schedules, see HouseCleaningTips.com, and for a template and printable, see this great article from Money Crashers.

Keep your home NEAT! Work on organizing and putting things away. All of these points are a struggle for me, but especially this one. I am the Queen of Clutter. My son told me once that I was the most “organized dis-organized person” he knows! But through systems such as the Flylady system, the Lord has helped me to make a lot of progress. In fact, I really got a blessing the other day when we had a bunch of people over for Memorial Day and my daughter commented, “You guys are so organized! You’re doing such a good job making this huge meal for a big crowd!” I would never have been able to do it pre-Flylady!

Keep your home nicely DECORATED! It doesn’t have to be a Martha Stewart home, but there’s a lot you can do with thrift store items if you know what to buy and where to put it.

I am Decoration-Challenged, so I try to get some help for this one. My oldest daughter is really good at it, as are some of my friends, so I ask them for help. Generally, I just let them come up with ideas and I do it, knowing that I know nothing of decor! But you probably don’t have that problem. Maybe you’re really good at it, so here’s your chance to let your creativity shine!

Pinterest is probably your best place to get decorating ideas! Though I’m not on myself – I know I’d be swallowed up and never heard from again – I’ve stalked it a few times myself!

I didn’t mention this before, but your body is another “house” you need to take care of. Even the smallest effort to eat right, get some exercise, and dress up for your honey will be appreciated. Check out these posts here for some pointers, as well as some ideas from Trim Healthy Mamas and Crossfit Mom.

Beware perfectionism – don’t turn into Mrs. Law! I can hear it now: “What??!?” (voice rising) “You left your COFFEE CUP ON THE END TABLE??!!!??!” No, no, no! This is to be an IMPROVEMENT for your family, not a DESTRUCTION! Get the kids in on the clean up, and sit and enjoy your nice place, but let The Man be The Man. Believe it or not, he will eventually see the effort you are making, and begin to clean up after himself.

Don’t let your stars become daggers! Make the extra effort to work on your home and marriage, even just a little bit each day, and you’ll see tremendous benefits!

Don’t just take a journey…take a COURAGEOUS journey!

What systems do you use for cleaning and organizing your home? Do you have any decorating pointers we can use? How about some ideas for better fitness and nutrition?

Also, check our Facebook page for “Destinations” (assignments for the day) to pump up your journey!

Linking up with: Monday: Alabaster Jar, The Better Mom, and Moms the Word,
and Happy Wives Club

Tuesday: Titus Two Tuesdays, Mercy Ink Blog, The TimeWarp Wife, Messy Marriage

Wednesday: To Love Honor and Vacuum

4 Things That Will Send Your Marriage to the Divorce Court…and how to prevent them

John and Katy seemed to have it all. When we met them about 15 years ago, they had a beautiful, spacious house, several happy children, and an excellent income. It came as a complete shock when we learned of their divorce a few years ago. When we spoke with John recently, we discovered that Katy had  made some fatal mistakes that sealed the doom of their family.

What were they, you ask?

1. She was never satisfied with anything he did.
2. She criticized him to others.
3. She acted superior to him
4. She never made any playful gestures toward him.

Ever get the feeling she was just plain bitter toward him? I did. So, even though I was surprised that they got a divorce, I can say now, looking back, that I guess I saw it coming. Those times we got together were basically just “I-can’t-believe-he-can-be-so-stupid” sessions. If I had known then what I know now, I might have been in a position to provide some encouragement and help to their family.

How can we prevent bitterness from taking a horrible root in our marriages? Beth @ messy marriage.com has a great article about forgiveness, as does Sheila and Jolene @ thealabasterjar.com. In addition to their ideas, My husband and I found a few more to prevent that visit to the divorce lawyer.

1. Prayer – pray together every day
2. Play – goof around a little bit daily
3. Preen – make the extra effort to try to look good for the other.
4. Perseverance – dedicate ourselves to each other, and the permanency of marriage.

Over the next 4 weeks (or so!) we’ll be looking at these points in detail. It’s time to put a stop to the wreckage Satan is trying to make of our Christian homes, and be on the offensive! If you’re married, you may as well go ahead and throw yourself into it, and make it the very best marriage you possibly can.

Don’t hold back and be critical, like Katy did. Make up your mind that you will do everything in your power to chase away that Divorce lawyer.

Don’t just take a journey…take a COURAGEOUS journey!

 

Have you seen any of your friends’ marriages collapse? What do you think happened? How could it have been prevented?

 

 

Linking up with: Monday:
Alabaster Jar,
The Better Mom,
Raising Arrows
What Joy is Mine

Tuesday:
Titus Two Tuesdays, Mercy Ink Blog, The TimeWarp Wife

Wednesday:
To Love Honor and Vacuum

Garbage In = Trashy Marriage

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I enjoy jogging, but I especially enjoy jogging with other people, my family members. It helps the miles go faster and easier if I have someone to talk to. But I DON’T like going for a run with someone who’s going to complain.

Every once in awhile, my running partner has gotten up on the wrong side of the bed, can’t find their running clothes, can’t find their shoes, don’t know where their socks are, have trouble finding a water bottle, and insist that it’s too cold. When we finally hit the road, they commence complaining. Too cold – too hot – too windy – too fast – too slow – feet hurt – legs tired – sidestitch – you name it! Even a two mile run can seem like forever when there is a complainer by my side! And by the time I’m done, I wish I had never gone.

Just as it discourages me to listen to a complainer about running, it can be very discouraging to listen to some of the negative voices that exist. When it comes to marriage, we need to be very careful who we listen to. If garbage comes into our minds, we will have a trashy marriage. Who wants that?

Here are some things to be wary of:

1. Well-meaning, but misguided relatives. You know the ones I mean. Those that take you aside privately and ask you if your husband is really doing everything he can, or if he’s being too commanding or … the list can go on and on. These folks may be genuinely concerned, but remember, they only have part of the story – the side they see. If you show anything but complete solidarity with your husband, they will come back again and again.

2. Friends who are having troubles with their own marriages. These friends want someone to talk to that they can share the complaints they have against their spouse freely. Statistics show that those who have a relative or close friend who is going through a divorce have a higher possibility for divorce themselves.

But what if they really want help? One way you can tell is by giving them a few suggestions. Tell them of a book to read, a website to visit, or a pastor to talk to. Then, when they come back to you with the same list of complaints, simply ask them, “Did you read that ____,” or, “Did you talk to the pastor about this?” If they respond that they didn’t, it’s a strong possibility that they’re just using you for a sounding board. Talking to you isn’t going to help them, either. It’s best for you just to remove yourself from the conversation.

3. TV shows, videos, etc. which portray the man as the weak, selfish, thoughtless, stupid one and the woman as smart, powerful and caring. Those shows will fill your head with a wrong perspective on true biblical marriage.

4. Friends who ride an emotional roller coaster. Some people have dramatic highs and lows. When they’re up, they’re really, really up, and when they’re down, you’d think the whole world was collapsing around them. We’d like to think that we can help to even them out, but more likely is that we would end up riding their roller coaster with them.

5. Allow news media very sparingly. I have a dear relative who lives by the news. Not surprisingly, she’ always up or down depending on what’s going on. Yes, sad things happen every day, but, as my husband always says, “If there’s nothing you can do about it, it will only waste your energy.” Personally, I have enough ups and downs of my own making to add to it all the troubles of the world!

I can hear it now, “Oh, no! Lisa, you’ve just eliminated all my friends and everything I do!” Well, I doubt that’s really the case, but even if it was, isn’t your marriage worth it? Did you commit “till death do us part?” “Forsaking all others?” Others is not just other men. That’s only a part of it. It’s other people, other philosophies, and other garbage.

The other day, I got to run with my daughter, who is often quite enthusiastic about running. It was great to see the miles go by as we looked at the beautiful scenery and talked. And when we were done, we felt as though we had conquered the world!

Maybe we did.

That’s the way it is when you have an encourager by your side.

How did you do on your last assignment? I know I had trouble digging it up, and I’m still working on it. Here’s your new assignment:

What is Your Song? You know the one I mean, the one you and your man adopted as the one that was written and sung just for you? Yes, that one! Find it somewhere and play it a few times, remembering back to some great times in your relationship.

Linking up with: The Alabaster Jar, Better Mom Mondays, Titus Two Tuesdays, Mercy Ink Blog, Raising Arrows, What Joy is Mine, Time Warp Wife, To Love, Honor, and Vacuum