Heather Marshall on October 14th, 2008

In case you haven’t noticed, it’s been a little while since my last post.  Main reason:  I’ve been in California (internet-less) since Thursday!!

Jason & Heather Marshall in San Francisco

I was at an internet marketing event, the first ever Christian internet marketing seminar called Illuminate Conference.  My husband was one of the speakers, and I was looking forward to learning and hearing new marketing strategies as well as networking with other believers.

Let me just say, I was NOT disappointed!! There was great lineup of speakers, and we got to hang with a bunch of awesome marketers, ranging from the newbie to the most successful… plus, it didn’t hurt that the hotel sat right on the San Francisco Bay, and we got to see a bit of the city while we were there. :)

One of my take-aways from the weekend comes from Monikah Ogando, who got us up out of our seats and led us through some uncomfortable exercises.  I would like to take one of these exercises, and apply it to our marriage.

We live every day in a cycle created by our choices.  We choose to do (or to NOT do) ___(A)___, and as a result ___(B)___ happens.  That’s our choice.  That’s in our power.  Let me give you an example.  I choose to hit the snooze too often (that’s my A), and as a result I am late for work (my B).  Or I can say, I choose to exercise daily (A), and as a result my body is healthy and strong (B).

The sequence of events triggered by Choice A can go on almost indefinitely.  What we need to decide is if we hit (Z)… will it be worth the choice we made in (A)?  In the first example, the situation may end in a loss of a job, a destroyed marriage, or depression.  In the second example, the situation may end with a longer life, fewer illnesses, and the ability to do what you’d like for many, many more years.

It’s your choice.

Let’s do an exercise relating this idea of choice to something in your marriage that you don’t want to do, or that you don’t want to fix.  Let’s follow this sequence of events as far as it will go (ending before loss of life - yours OR your husband’s!).

We’re going to follow this pattern:

“I have to ___(A)___.

If I don’t___(A)____, then ___ (B)___ .

If ___(B)___, then ___ (C)___ .

If ___(C)___, then ___ (D)___” ….. and see if we can take it all the way to (Z)!

I’ll start.

I have to do the dirty dishes, even when they smell.

If I don’t do the dirty dishes, even when they smell, then they will get moldy.

If they get moldy, then the house will start to smell too.

If the house starts to smell too, then my husband will realize I’ve been shirking my duties.

If my husband realizes I’ve been shirking my duties, then he will get mad at me.

If he gets mad at me, then I will get defensive.

If I get defensive, then we will start a fight.

If we start a fight, then we will say things we don’t mean.

If we say things we don’t mean, then I will start to cry.

If I start to cry, then I will give the silent treatment.

If I give the silent treatment, then our differences will not get resolved.

If our differences do not get resolved, then bitterness and resentment will grow in my heart.

If bitterness and resentment grow in my heart, then my marriage will no longer be joyful.

If my marriage is no longer joyful, then I may start to look for a way out.

If I start to look for a way out, then I may end up in an affair or divorced.

If I end up in an affair or divorced, then my marriage will be destroyed.

I didn’t even make it to (Z) officially, but do you see the slippery slope?  Now, I know that the Holy Spirit can intervene and change our hearts and our lives at any point, but I want you to see what could happen when left to our own devices. It’s really not pretty, is it?

Once you have gone through your (A) - (Z) as far as you can, compare the (A) to the (Z).

Ask yourself this question:  “Would I rather ___(A)___ or ___(B)___?”

So, would I rather do the dirty dishes even when they smell or see my marriage destroyed?  Hmmmm….  dishes it is!!

Feeling run down, tired of the mundane housework chores?  For every grungy, menial job that you have to do, for every act of submission that you do (even when you want to rebel), for every single one of these choices that we make each day… think about where it could go, where it could lead.  Which would you rather?  Pray and ask God to give you the strength to make the RIGHT choices….  He will!!! :)

Make your list…..  see if it doesn’t change your perspective!! It did mine!!

I’d love to hear your (A) to (Z) list… or even just your final outcome.  What’s your (A), the thing you just don’t want to do?  And what’s your (Z), the result if you don’t do (A)?  Share your thoughts in a comment below…

Keep on striving!

Heather  :)

…..More to come on our choices!!

PS - Have you signed up to receive the Striving Wives newsletter?  Be the first to receive updates, contest info, and other exciting happenings here at TheStrivingWife.com.

Related posts:

  1. Choose Your Words Wisely (Part 2)
  2. Small Victories + Every Day = A Striving Wife!
  3. Choose Your Words Wisely (Part 1)
  4. Are You Striving To Encourage Your Husband?
  5. Striving For the Goal….

6 Responses to “Choose to be a Striving Wife”

  1. OK, here is my “If, Then” exercise. I’m actually having a tough time with this topic of keeping my tongue in check today so I thought I’d apply it to the exercise and see whats the worst that could happen!

    I have to choose to hold my tongue when I’m upset sometimes.
    If I don’t choose to hold my tongue when I’m upset sometimes then I will almost definately say something mean and unneccessary to my husband.
    If I say something mean and unneccessary to my husband then he will develop low self esteem and become bitter towards me.
    If my husband develops low self-esteem and becomes bitter towards me then he will resent me and his low self-esteem will prevent him from reaching his godly potential.
    If my husband resents me and his low self-esteem prevents him from reaching his godly potential then barriers will be built between myself and my husband and God and my husband.
    If barriers are built between myself and my husband and God and my husband then my marriage will weaken.
    If my marriage weakens then it will become strained and more and more difficult over time.
    If my marriage becomes strained and more and more difficult over time then my husband and I may eventually become so distant from one another that divorce becomes an option.
    If my husband and I eventually become so distant from one another that divorce becomes an option then the next step could be divorce.
    If my husband and I divorce then our marriage has died.

    Crikey, that’s an eye opener!! I can already see that my negative words have an effect on my husband’s already low self-esteem and I try my hardest to keep my frustrations to myself but boy, it’s hard!! This exercise might help me remember to not let the devil get a foothold in my marriage, though.

    Thanks, Heather!!

  2. Heather!

    Thank you so much for posting on my unfinished, still ugly-looking blog. It was soo great meeting you this weekend! I look forward to all you have to offer this crazy world known as the Internet! Keep in touch, and I hope to see you again soon! In the meantime, I will keep myself updated on YOU via TheStrivingWife.com ;-)

    Cheers,

    James Wedmore

    P.S. Tell Jason I say hellooooo!

  3. Wow! What an eye-opening exercise. I will need to do this one on paper, I think, but I’ll be back to share.

    Thank you for sharing this with us. Your blog is truly being used by God to help all of us wives who are striving to be Godly women in our marriages (and elsewhere, because if we are Godly in our marriage, it will reflect in our other relationships).

    Hope you’re having a great day!

    Love,
    Erin

  4. Wow! This is a great blog! You have deffinetly inspired me! I am a mommy to a wonderful little baby girl. Her father and I are still together, but not yet married. It is very difficult at times..being that we are practically married and deal with the same issues as married couples. We are planning to get married next year, but I want to learn more on what it takes to be a godly wife. My time is now, and I want to show him that I can be the godly woman he wants and deserves. God has blessed us so much. I want to lean more towards God and only rely on him to be the Head in my relationship. Thank you for your Blogs..they are so encouraging!

  5. Wow, Heather, you really drove it home with the exercise we did at the conference. I am so glad it was so impactful for you, but even better - that you’re paying it forward.

    So glad we got to connect in San Francisco. I’m looking forward to great things from The Striving Wife!

    Hugs,
    Monikah

  6. Thanks Heather, that’s a great exercise! It’s a great motivator, in fact I could probably use that at school as well! I’m a teacher in secondary schools and sometimes the teenagers just don’t want to do the work, they’re all “why do we need to know about atomic structures?” or “why do we need to label a plant cells?” now I can say to them if you don’t A then B then C etc etc

    Emma
    (England)

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