Today I am pleased to introduce you to my friend, Elise Parker. I met Elise through the God-sized Dreams book launch team four years ago, and is one of the few bloggers I'm met in real life. She knows the ups and downs of marriage and raising a family and I was so excited when she agreed to write for this series.
*****I was the chaperone on an 8th grade trip to Williamsburg, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. You can imagine the scene…Three big busses full of loud, excited, hormonal teens rumbling over highway and byway, and me, one of the few “lay” chaperones, along with a few teachers. I wasn’t at all interested in watching Ace Ventura on the bus monitors, so I happily plugged myself into a series from one of my favorite bible study teachers, Joyce Meyers.
The Triumphant Marriage was the topic. Thick in the years of raising a gaggle of preteens, tweens, and teens, our marriage was ripe for a little boost and I knew Joyce would have some choice wise words. So I settled into the four-hour trip, ready to glean some marriage goodies from Joyce.
One of the things Joyce asked, which has stayed with me to this day, was the question, “Do you think you’re the prize?” (Click to Tweet)
I didn’t have to think about it long, Why yes, Joyce, yes I do! Joyce went on to describe a little more about what she meant. Did you think you are the “better half”? Did you think your husband is lucky that you’re his wife? Did you think you’re actually better than him?
I knew Joyce was onto something. Come to think of it, I definitely believed I was the prize. Chris was lucky to have me…lucky that I tolerated his underwear on the floor, his inability to load the dishwasher the “right” way, his stress level…oh I could name hundreds of little things that made me feel superior to my husband. (Click to Tweet)
Joyce was pointing out an all too common negative view of husbands. As I listened further, it didn’t take me long to realize that I had a very bad attitude, that I was way too critical of my husband, that I disrespected him. I had even gotten into the habit of dissing my husband when I got together with some of my sisters and friends
Bad-mouthing my husband made me feel better than and therefore justified in criticizing my husband. And it also led to me undermining him, in front of the kids to make matters worse. Oh boy, I was definitely in need of an attitude shift.
I confessed and apologized to my husband when I returned home from what was otherwise a really fun trip
. My husband hadn’t thought much about
the way I treated him and sadly had gotten used to my disrespect.
We talked a lot about the images of men in media. Disrespect is common.
Men are often made fun of for being buffoons, unable to care for their children, and always making a mess of everything when mama’s away. These images of men as idiots are portrayed through many a sitcom, movie, even advertising, including Homer Simpson of The Simpsons, the oblivious dad in Jimmy Neutron, and more. And did you know there is even a Facebook page dedicated to idiot husbands? I mean there is some very funny stuff there and I’ll admit to a chuckle or two as I scrolled through, but there are also demeaning comments that only further disrespect.
So what are we supposed to do? Well, first, ask yourself, if you are disrespecting your husband? Do you think more about the things he does wrong? The things you don’t like about him? Do you indulge in demeaning conversations about your husband with friends and family? Do you think you’re “the prize?”
If you answer yes to the above, try this from Philippians 4:8:
“…whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
It sounds pretty simple, doesn’t it? But if you’re in the habit of entertaining critical thoughts about your husband, then it will likely take some effort to change that habit to thinking about the right, lovely, admirable things about your husband. In fact, write a list of the things you like about your husband. Concentrate on those excellent things and I believe you’ll start to appreciate your husband more for who he is. Then you can exchange a few criticisms with a few complements.
As Christians, we are called to build one another up. Let’s make sure we do that right in our very own homes.
Resource: A really powerful book on the topic of respecting men is Love and Respect: The Love She Most Desires, The Respect He Desperately Needs, by Emerson Eggerichs. He and his wife also conduct marriage conferences and you can take their course online too. Check out their site.
About Elise: Elise Daly Parkerbelieves everyone has a story that matters, that God forms our dreams, and He will make them come true! Anchored in writing and editing for over 30 years, Elise is a freelance writer and editor, speaker, writing coach, and MOPS Mentor Mom. She is newly navigating life at home without kids and with a wonderful husband. Her future itinerary includes a grandbaby. You can connect with her on her blog, Facebook, and on Twitter.
Thank you Elise!! And all of the guest contributors on this series so far. Your words have been grace-filled and thought-provoking. Next week we will have Valerie Sisco. She is a writer on her blog, Grace with Silk. She has an eye for beautiful things, and her words will leave you looking for beauty in the ordinary around you. Valerie will be giving us a single lady point of view, so make sure you come back next Wed!
Are you all caught up. No worries! You can catch up here: Intro-Post 1, Why Giving Up Porn Is Risky-Post 2, For When Your Man Feels 'Less Than'- Post 3