Wow, has it REALLY been over a month since my last blog post?! My goodness! What a month this has been! And what a major case of writer’s block I have had!!
However, I HAVE been reading… a lot. I’m currently in the midst of reading 4 books - at the same time! One is in my bathroom (I read a page or two at every sitting), one is on my nightstand (I read a page or two in bed at night, waiting for Jason to join me), and both the third and fourth are in my school bag (I read them on my breaks. I get a few pages read each day in one or the other).
It’s the third & fourth books that I want to focus on right now, because they are the ones which broke my writer’s block today!!
One is called “Sacred Marriage” by Gary Thomas. It is about marriage making us HOLY rather than HAPPY. Majorly convicting stuff… I’ll have to get into some of the concepts at a later point in time. The other is called “The Husband Project” by Kathi Lipp. It is a practical guide to showing love to your husband each day (similar to “The Love Dare“).
So, I was reading “The Husband Project” today during my student’s music class (because I had accidentally left the other book in the classroom) and I was hit with conviction. The ideas from working toward a HOLY marriage combined with the suggestions for loving my husband…. and I thought, “Wow… I need to share this!” So, here goes….
“Try walking in the door of your home and see what you notice as you cross the threshold. What’s the vibe that your house gives off? Does your home give you a hug or a panic attack?“ (The Husband Project; p. 64)
When I walk into my house, I see a small, cluttered kitchen table to my right, a coffee table straight ahead that’s covered in books, papers, and other miscellaneous items that have yet to find a home, a couch that’s covered in coats & haphazardly placed pillows directly behind the coffee table, and a pile of bags, books, and shoes next to the hope chest/shelf right across from the couch. Not a pretty picture, even after I think I’ve straightened up (which I haven’t been doing much of these days, unfortunately). So my house gives off a definite panic attack.
It feels like it is against my nature to keep a clean house. I’d rather nap than clean, any day! Somehow I missed out on whatever gene my sister got… because she is AMAZING at keeping a neat and clean house. Not me… there are almost always dishes in the sink, clutter on the kitchen table, and dirty socks on the bedroom floor (mine). In the summer time, you’ll find no less than 5 pairs of shoes throughout the living/dining room area on any given day (I once counted 10 pairs).
Personally, I have no problem living this way. Eventually, I just don’t SEE the clutter any more. I know it’s there, but it begins to bother me less and less (ask any roommate I’ve ever had, they’ll tell you my propensity for messiness). Unfortunately (well, fortunately I suppose), I’m married to a man who prefers neatness. (Not that he himself is very neat… he just notices when he makes a mess!) He is NOT happy living in clutter. He is usually the one who strongly suggests that it’s time to pick up after ourselves.
Since reading “Sacred Marriage,” however I’ve been realizing that this issue goes beyond what is “natural” or even beyond what is going to make my husband happy. It’s about pleasing God - and in the process, becoming Godly.
Now, a clean house won’t make you Godly (I don’t really believe that saying “Cleanliness is next to Godliness”), but if a clean house is important to your husband, by serving him you are serving God. Therefore, a clean house CAN be an instrument in bringing you closer to God.
If you are a naturally messy person (like I am) it may take a lot of effort for you to keep a clean house every day. In fact, you might spend hours making it “just right”… only to have your husband come home and not notice the change. Your motivation should not be to please your husband or to get praise from him. Your motivation should be to serve God. Service takes work, sacrifice, and often goes unnoticed on this earth.
My advice (which I will be following to get rid of the mess in my own house) is to do the following:
- Pray for God’s eyes to see the areas in which you can serve your husband. (i.e., cleaning the house, giving him some alone time after work, having sex more often, or listening to him talk about his day to name a few suggestions)
- Pray for God’s strength and energy to serve your husband in at least one way each day.
- Make time for whatever area it is you feel convicted in. (i.e., plan extra time for making a nice dinner, put the kids to bed earlier for some extra alone time for just the two of you, shut the computer down for a few hours to get chores done around the house, etc)
- Continue to seek the Lord for approval, not your husband. Not all men are observant. They may not notice any changes taking place… but God does. Remember, your goal is HOLINESS, not necessarily HAPPINESS!!
This book has truly changed my perspective on almost every area of my marriage - even my thought processes! I highly recommend you buy it, read it, and live it… and then tell me all about it!
I can’t wait to hear from you…. it’s been so long! Leave your comments below & stay tuned for more … coming soon!
Keep on Striving,
PS - Looking to buy “Sacred Marriage“? Buy through any of the links on this page to support this ministry!
|Sacred Marriage: What if God Designed Marriage to Make Us Holy More Than to Make Us Happy
By Gary Thomas
The title expresses a radical thought for today’s marriages! Chapter by chapter, discover how marriage works to develop Christlike character - forgiveness, love, respect, perseverance - in each of you. This book will enrich your marriage in unexpected ways.