The Peasant Queen

She was born to be royal, but you’d never know it by he way he spoke to her. Jane dreamed her whole life about the day her prince would arrive and sweep her off her feet. On the day she met Aaron, her heart leapt for joy when he talked about the things he wanted to do in his life, because they mirrored the dreams she wanted to pursue as well.

Their courtship wasn’t a long one and within a few months his romantic proposal in the countryside caused her to fall even more in love with the man of her dreams. Soon the two were joined by their family and friends in a celebration of their love and as her father walked her down the aisle towards her waiting knight she couldn’t help but think about how perfect her life was.

A few months later as she was dusting one of the wedding pictures on her mantle, she noticed the smile on Aaron’s face in one of them and it made her wonder what why he rarely smiled now. “It must be some I’m doing, because he looks so happy there,” she thought.  Holding back a tear, she dabbed at her eyes to keep the moisture from falling down her cheeks and continued cleaning.

One night at a party with friends, she watched as he laughed and joked with his buddies. It seemed as if the man she married had returned, but on the drive home afterwards when she mentioned how much fun the party had been, he was sullen and had very little to say in response. Later, as she was removing her makeup and getting ready for bed, he asked why it was taking her so long? “Hurry up Jane! I’ve got to get up early tomorrow, so I ain’t got all night to wait for sex you know!”

This became her life; work all day at her job, come home and make dinner, cleaning up the mess and taking care of his laundry, while he sat in his chair like a king on his throne watching television. As the months passed, the words he spoke to her, when he actually did speak were always harsh and filled with comments about how she had changed, didn’t do things around the house very well and wasn’t the same girl he’d married.

After many years of unhappiness; which involved Aaron ruling the roost with an iron fist and speaking mostly hateful things to Jane, she finally made the decision, packed up her belongings and left him. Dazed and confused as she drove towards her parent’s house she came to the conclusion Aaron must have been right all those years when he said she was just lazy and just didn’t know how to manage a house very well. And instead of living as his queen in a happily ever after story, she left him feeling like the peasant he saw her as.

This story, while a work of fiction, is one which happens around the world on a daily basis. Men speaking harsh words, never thinking about what they are doing to their brides. If men want their brides to act like queens, they need to stop talking to them as if they’re peasants. What I mean by this, is your wife responds to the words you say to her. There are so many marriages that endure abuse; it may not be physical, but is emotional and is just as bad. 

Men who treat their wives this way are really shooting themselves in the foot. The man who belittles his wife or puts her down in an attempt to motivate her to do things the way he wants her to do them is not loving her well at all. Women respond to the words we say guys; both good and bad. Speaking kind words always go further than when you speak harshly.

Many years ago when  I was first married, I didn’t like some of the ways things were going in my fledgling relationship with Cheryl. I decided my bride needed to make some changes, so I set out to change her. I started looking in the Bible for things a Godly woman was supposed to be and wrote them down in a little notebook which I then carried in my shirt pocket and read out loud to myself several times a day. Things like, Proverbs 31:10 which says, Who can find a virtuous and capable wife? She is more precious than rubies. Then I would personalize it by saying, Cheryl is a virtuous and capable wife, she is more precious than rubies to me.

I found about fifteen to twenty Scriptures I felt would make Cheryl a better wife to me, you know things I was expecting God to change about her in order to make my marriage better. I’m not saying my motivation was right, so don’t vilify me as a horrible husband just yet. For about the next thirty to forty five days I faithfully confessed these things multiple times a day expecting a change to take place in Cheryl. And do you know, she never changed once? But, the change which took place was inside of me.

I began to see her differently than when I had started my journey of confessions to make her a better wife. What changed in me, was I actually began to see her like God did, and once this happened, our marriage got better. I didn’t  need to see a change in Cheryl, I needed to change the way I was seeing Cheryl. And when I did so, I saw her as the queen she actually is and began responding to her through my words differently.

It has taken years for her to understand I speak the truth when I tell her how beautiful she is, how great a person she is and what a fantastic mother she has been to our kids. But I now really see her the way God does and that changes everything about how I act around her and how I treat her. I’m so thankful I made all those confessions about her so many years ago, because it has made being married to her much better. She really is all those things the Bible says she is.

Fellas I will tell you this, if you’re speaking to your bride like some peasant girl, even jokingly, stop it now and address her like the queen she actually is. Speak what God’s Word says about her, and I promise you will see a huge difference in your relationship with her and you will be amazed as you watch the transformation take place in her right before your eyes.

Time to Get Your Hands Dirty Dad

When my son Micah was a baby, we visited my parents one weekend when it became apparent he needed his diaper changed.  It fell to me to do the deed, and as I carried him to the other room to begin the necessary arrangements to make him more presentable, my dad said, “It’s so different now than when you and your brothers were little.”  I asked him what he meant, and his reply stunned me, “Well I think I may have changed three diapers between the three of you boys the entire time you wore them.”

I thought about this as I was cleaning my son, and truthfully it disturbed me just a bit.  Now this is not a slam against my dad, he’s a good man, but it shocked me to realize he hardly had any interaction in this area regarding my brothers and me; instead, leaving it all to my mom.

I know a lot of dads who get their hands dirty when it comes to raising their children.  Men today don’t shy away from being present in the lives of their progeny like the men of my dad’s generation and before.  Back then the thought was men bring home the bacon, and women fry it up in the pan.  When a father interacted with his kids, it was usually because mom had said at one point during the day, “Wait until your father gets home!” And this usually included a spanking as well as a stern talking to.

The Bible plainly says in the last days the hearts of the fathers will be turned towards their children.  (Malachi 4:6)  I find this interesting because the Jewish culture is very family-centric, and fathers and mothers both play a very prominent role in raising their children.  God must desire men to play an even larger role then.

Men who sit back and let their wives do all the work with their children really should rethink their role.  A lot of men want to come home from a long day’s work and relax from their labor.  And don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong in wanting this, but your kids need you too.  Maybe what you should do is postpone your relaxation until you’ve interacted with your kids.

I heard a man say once in regards to his kids, “I’m not my kid’s babysitter.”  I think he missed the point.  While it’s true he’s not a babysitter, he is a parent, and as a parent he should be right in the middle of his kid’s lives.  Children need both of their parents in their lives to become mature, productive adults.

I’m not saying you should never have any time for yourself, because we all need a little me time, or time spent with friends.  It’s like the flight attendant says when giving the preflight safety instructions; put your oxygen mask on first, then take care of the people with you, because you won’t be able to help those around you if you’ve passed out due to lack of oxygen.

Men, take a look at what influence you are having with your kids at home.  Do you get your hands dirty by being present in your kid’s lives each day?  Are you helping your bride to raise your kids, or are you letting her do everything?  Make the adjustments necessary, and you will begin to see a huge change in your family.  Your kids need you dad, get in there and do what you can, even if you have to wear a hazmat suit while you change those dirty diapers. Your children need your presence in their lives.