Monday, October 29, 2007

My girls at home!

Whitney is not home with us, but will be this weekend as we host a missions conference which will bring many alumni, friends and others interested in missions to the Tulsa area.

In our world today, one of the difficulties that we men have is pouring into our wives as we should. I guess this comes to light right now because of several situations which point directly to our failures as men.

This is not only linked to married men. Single men who are involved in dating relationships struggle with it as well. We are often the ones who are most childlike in our attitude and approach to many things in life, so it seems somewhat ironic that God would desire for us be the spiritual leaders.

I do not believe that when God told us we should come to Him with the faith of a child, that He meant we should be selfish like we were when we were children.

Many of us tend to put ourselves first...even before God. We are most attuned to personal needs, and so invest in making sure they are met. Next, we are generally driven to perform in areas where reward is apparent.

We put in a full days work then may of us take it home and keep on working. Those who don't often get involved in things that bring joy to self. Left out of this equation is our significant other. We in fact, are showing them how important they are by these choices we make.

Many godly women are praying for and waiting for their husbands/boyfriends to step up spiritually, and model Christ...not just at church, or with friends, but in the home.

Often the very things that have attracted them to us are no longer nurtured as we pay little attention to their needs or what God is showing them. We often do not keep channels of communication open for them to share with us. Sometimes we go through the motions, but our lack of attentiveness to what they say, our failure to respond to their needs, our tones of voice in conversation, even our body language betrays where our mind really is.

We want their respect. We want them to be proud of us. We want them to enjoy what we enjoy. The problem is, we invest so little in them, that it is difficult for them to be motivated to these things. We are seeking significant return with no further investment. This is not a recipe for a successful relationship.

We must learn to truly listen to what they are saying...both what they are saying and what they mean.

Many of us are tired at the end of the day, and want to come home and slip into cruise control. We are not looking for conversations that run into emotional realms. We want to disengage from things that require our significant effort with no apparent pay off. We seem to be of the opinion that they should just love us for who we are and how we are and not need us to do more.

We forget the dreams they have. The goals they are working towards. Our expectation is that they will convey these things to us when needed, and that it won't require us to truly be involved. That we can somehow sit on the sidelines watching our hi-def tv's or listening to our iPods and occasionally holler empty words of encouragement is enough in our minds.

They want full scale partnership.

These two ideas conflict and will not resolve until one or both move. Too often, the movement is away from us. If we won't get involved, then they become somewhat disillusioned. In our day, the result that has become the norm is dissolving the relationship.

Most of us believe we are no where near this extreme measure. Many of us are closer than we think.

It is time for us to invest in the relationships that God has given us. We must consistently put Him first. If we are truly doing this, then the rest of our priorities will come to order. Our jobs are important, but not more so than the relationships He has drawn us to.

A large part of denying self, taking up our cross and following Him, is learning to put others needs before our own. Considering others to be more important than self. This begins with our walk with Christ. The first tier of practice after that, is with our wife. We are good at practicing if it is for something we want.

We need to learn to practice for the things that God desires for us. For most of us, this requires a paradigm shift in how we view our relationships.

If we learn to invest in her, hear her heart, and participate in her view of things, we will find much more fulfillment in life than if we just keep satisfying self alone.

It's time for me to go practice!



At 4:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a female, and a wife, I know that you are speaking words of wisdom!! "Practice" (defined as: to do something repeatedly in order to improve.) being a good partner and your relationships will improve!!!


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