Growing Spiritually in Marriage

I asked for topics to blog about last night and a young lady requested I write about growing  spiritually in marriage. This is my last blog of four which I have written today and quite possibly the one which scares me the most. The reason it scares me is I’m not exactly sure I have this one figured out yet and I’ve been married for twenty-eight years. But let’s press on and see what comes of it.

You have to realize in marriage there is a chain of command. First there is God; He has to be put in the forefront of your relationship, everything should be centered around Him and what He has for your life. Secondly, there is a hierarchy in marriage and please don’t let this offend you, but the husband is like the president and his bride is the vice-president. Now before you ladies get mad at me, this is not due in any part to him being better than you ; it’s just the role God has given men.

Women are not and never were designed to be servants to men, but helpers called alongside their husband to help fulfill what God has called them both to do. Ladies shouldn’t look at their role as subservient to their husbands, because they were called alongside to be co-laborers with him. Men, don’t talk down to your wives because they’re women; they are usually smarter and obviously better looking than you after all.

Once you have the order of things correctly in place then you can begin. I recommend praying for each other daily. Having said this, do I practice what I preach? Not as often as I should I’m afraid to admit. But the truth of it still stands, praying for one another is a foundational truth which you should implement into your marriage if you haven’t already. Plus it’s kind of hard to be mad at someone you are praying for.

Secondly, share Scriptures and the things the Lord is showing you with your spouse, and let them reciprocate. Oh, and just a note about this, when your spouse is sharing with you, don’t interrupt, let them finish before adding your own two cents. When you do this, don’t preach at each other, just talk about the things of God. Once you’ve introduced children into your marriage this will carry over and you will be amazed at what all your kids will learn just from listening to the conversations you and your spouse have.

I remember many times desiring to have a family prayer time; I would gather everyone in the living room, put on some worship music and we’d begin. Most times within a few minutes we’d have utter chaos; the kids doing their own thing, Cheryl praying and I’d be trying to orchestrate some holy moment while wrangling the kids and trying to get them to sit still for a few moments. More often than not I walked away from those moments feeling like a failure.

One thing That would always make me laugh was what people thought our family was like, they would comment on how we must be so spiritual at home. I think some of them actually thought we floated around on clouds in our living room. It was always a shame to let them down, but my marriage and family is no different from yours, we all make mistakes and have much learning to do. We are spiritual, not perfect.

I think the thing which will really make your marriage strong spiritually is to daily work at improving your walk with the Lord and do whatever it takes to help your spouse do the same. Having a spiritual marriage doesn’t mean you walk six inches above the concrete; it means you live the same way every person on the earth does, you just do it a little bit better because you’re following the Creator of all things who leads, guides and directs you.

Marriage…It’s Not Just About You Anymore Bubba

One of the most misunderstood aspects of marriage is the thought that it is a 50/50 proposition. Seriously nothing could be further from the truth. Marriage is giving yourself 100% of the time to your spouse regardless of whether they every give back to you or not. It is an agreement you made in front of witnesses stating you were giving yourself to this person and no other.

The reason so many people find this difficult is because of an unwillingness to stop being selfish. Selfishness is the root of almost every problem a marriage will face, and if you were to look at your actions in your own marriage honestly you would agree. Too many husbands spend their time pointing fingers at what their bride is doing instead of focusing on the areas in their own lives where they could make changes.

Many years ago, I began writing down all of the Scriptures I could find in the Bible about who my wife was supposed to be. I was a baby Christian at the time and newly married, but didn’t really like a few things about my bride so I was going to use the Word of God to make her change. (As I said, I was a baby Christian, I know better now.) Anyway, as I began quoting these passages several times a day, something happened; Cheryl didn’t change, but the way I began to view her did. It wasn’t too long after this our marriage really began to get better and the little things which had ticked me off were no longer doing so.

I’ve seen too many marriages where the husband points out his wife’s flaws, but overlooks all those he has. It’s the plank of wood versus the speck of sawdust story Jesus told in the Bible. (Matthew 7:3) I feel pity for these husbands, I have heard the stories about how little sex they are getting, how they feel all their wife does is complain about how little they do around the house or with the kids and so on. I pity them because the biggest problem they have in their marriage is themselves and their selfish ways.

The reason men don’t give 100% in their marriages is because of fear they are going to be seen as a whipped man by their peers. I gotta tell you right now, I could care less what any other man says about me in regards to my relationship with Cheryl because they are not the one doing life with her, I am. Most of the time men who give me crap about doing so much for my bride, do so because they feel bad for not giving as much to theirs. And the rule of thumb is; if I’m not doing it, you shouldn’t be either. It’s like when your coworkers say you’re making them look bad, I like to reply, “No, you’re making me look good.”

Stop being selfish and take care of your bride men, it is the best investment you will ever make in your life, I guarantee it.

 

 

 

Are You Being Your Bride’s Superhero?

Let me ask you married men a question; do you know your wife’s love language? You know the things you do which show her you really love her? Just saying, “I love you.” isn’t enough, she needs to see something which proves your love as well.

In my home, I’m responsible for taking out the garbage. I see to it all our refuse is put in the trash container and placed by the curb to be picked up on Fridays. If our trash  can is piled high with its contents balancing precariously on top, this bothers my wife. Taking care of this household chore is just one of the many things I do which shows her I love her.

Guys, if you’re like me, you probably worked pretty hard in the beginning when you dated her; pulling out all the stops to impress your girl. If I was a betting man, I’d say you did a lot of crazy things to show her how much you wanted and desired her. The problem is we often stop doing these things after saying, “I do.” Too many men get upset after the wedding because the lovey dovey stuff seems to end and the nagging begins.

When I say nagging what I really mean is, she is telling you the things which bother her. Generally when someone is complaining about something, it’s not so much because they want to make your life miserable but more likely at a deeper level they are really telling you what bugs them.

The best thing would be if we actually just said what we mean, but in my married life I’ve found a lot of times I have to look for clues as to what is meant. It’s probably because she doesn’t want to just nag me as she wants me to find out what it is she needs.

In the movie The Breakup, there is a great scene about this. The couple is arguing about household chores:

Brooke: “I want you to want to do the dishes.”

Gary: “Why would I want to do the dishes?”

And this is the story of married life; the wife wants you to do something and we as men are usually clueless to what she is really saying. You see it wasn’t about him actually doing the dishes as much as his willingness to do them. This willingness to do something is usually at the heart of all disagreements.

Finding out the things my wife likes and doing them and figuring out what she doesn’t like and not doing these makes me out to be the superhero she needs me to be and what man doesn’t want to be his bride’s superhero? And part of this means I’ve got to be looking for the things which show her how much I love her.

This is why I lift the toilet seat and put it back down, why I put the dirty dishes in the dishwasher and generally look for things to do which say to her heart, this man of yours really loves you. It’s all about the relationship and I want ours to be the best.

Guys take some time and listen for what your bride is really saying to you. It will take work to be her superhero, but it is doable and in the end worth it.

You Made a Promise, Now Keep It!

The conversation started like this, “Dave, I’ve met a girl.”

“What do you mean you met a girl?” Wondering as I said it, because he was already married.

“It’s a girl I knew from high school.”

Mentally scratching my head I thought, “Well, this can’t be good.”

This conversation happened many years ago, (no names to protect the innocent) and as he continued telling me about this girl he knew from high school who had turned up in his life again, I was shocked. This was WAY before Facebook too, so reconnecting with old flames isn’t a new thing.

At the time of our talk he had finished college, had a good paying job and was married.  He told me she had contacted him out of the blue; just to catch up you know, totally innocent.  But as the phone calls increased, they decided to hook up.  He made up a story about a hunting weekend, packed all his gear and ended up at the old girlfriend’s house for two and a half days.

“Man, it was the best sex I’ve ever had Dave.  I think I’m in love.”  He told me all of this in confidence, and it was knowledge I wished I’d never been given.  The more I thought about this in the days which followed, the more it ate at me.  I couldn’t help but think about his wife; who thought their marriage was great, never realizing all the numerous hunting and fishing trips he was taking as often as possible were really romantic liaisons with another woman.

We talked again a few weeks later, and you would’ve thought he was back in high school the way he talked about this new girl in his life.  He explained how they had dated in school, but a miscommunication their senior year caused them to break up.  He said, “I would’ve married her back then if it wasn’t for this.  I’ve gotta leave my wife and marry her, she’s my true love.”

I couldn’t take it any longer and said, “What about your marriage vows, you know, to have and to hold in sickness and in health until death parts you?”

“Yeah, but I didn’t know she still loved me.  I would’ve never gotten married if I’d known.  My high school sweetheart is the one I should’ve been with all along.”

“Man, cheating is wrong!  You made a commitment to your wife, and you should honor it.  You need to cut it off with this other girl now.”

There was more to this conversation; which involved a lot of yelling, cussing and him trying to make the case for why cheating on his wife was okay, me countering it with why is wasn’t, but when it was all said and done, what we had left was a broken friendship.  He went his way, and I went mine.  I heard a few months later he had left his wife and moved in with the old girlfriend.  I’ve got no idea where he is today.  His ex-wife remarried and is living happily ever after now with a great family.

I am an opinionated, self-righteous loud mouth at times.  I think if you have read my blogs you’ve probably figured out I am not a man who minces words when it comes to things I’m passionate about.  I don’t apologize for this, it is who I am.

One of the things I’m very passionate about is marriage.  Having been married for almost twenty-eight years to the same woman, I can tell you it is by far one of the best things I’ve ever done with my life.  Being married is also one of the hardest things I’ve ever done; it takes a lot of work to make it great.

Cheating on your wife is wrong no matter what spin you put on it.  When you married her, you committed to stay with her forsaking all others; ALL.  This is pretty cut and dry, it means you will stay with her for the rest of your life.  Now some guys look at this as imprisonment, but then they don’t understand what marriage really is all about.

Marriage is about giving yourself completely to one person; and I’m not just talking about sexually, although this is one element of it.  When you give yourself completely to another person, you look out for their interests before your own.  You make sure their needs are met before meeting your own.

Many times you will hear people say, “Marriage is 50/50.  This is not true; to make your marriage work you have to give 100 percent.  This is why so many men fail in their marriages.  Now understand; I am speaking in general terms here, if this doesn’t apply to your marriage, then great, but more often than not the problem in marriages revolve around the husband.  After all, he is the head of the family, and the leader.  If he’s not leading well, then the marriage won’t be doing well.

I’m not really sure why I get so worked up about infidelity, but I know I hate it!  I hate what it does to the relationship between husband and wife.  And if there are kids in the mix, well it causes the problems to grow exponentially.

If your marriage isn’t what you want it to be guys, then make the necessary corrections in what you’re doing so it will be.  It’s not rocket science, give one hundred percent, taking care of the needs of your bride and she will reciprocate, I promise you.

 

 

 

 

 

Wham, Bam, Thank You Mam

Today I’d like to talk about something men hate, but let me forewarn you ladies, you may not like what I have to say at first, but I think if you will read this through to the end, you might end up agreeing with me.

Wives, when you tell your husband during sex, “Just hurry up and finish.” You might as well be saying, “You’re not worth my time.”  Now before you get mad at me, hear me out.  Sex is supposed to be the most intimate time a married couple can experience together.  It’s not just about the sexual act; it’s about connecting with one another on a level you share with no one else.

I know a lot of men who think sex is just about getting their rocks off, having a sandwich and then going to sleep.  But there is so much more and guys who only use women as their release valve really haven’t figured it out, regardless of what they think or say.

Having a positive sex life with your spouse takes time and effort on both of your parts.  If you tell your husband often to just hurry up and get off of you, I have a couple of questions to ask.  Is it because it’s painful?  Is he too rough?  Does he only pay attention to you when you’re having sex?  Are there things in your past you’ve been holding on to and possibly transferring to him when it comes time for sex?  Do you climax during sex, or is all about him?

I understand I’m speaking in very general terms here when I say this, but many women could go the rest of their lives without ever having sex again and it would be perfectly fine with them.  Women usually aren’t as interested in sex as men are; therefore it’s up to us men to start working on things before ever making it to the bedroom.

I heard a man say one time, “Sex begins in the kitchen.”  He wasn’t saying to have sex in the kitchen, not that there’s anything wrong with that, but what he meant was, before ever getting her to take her clothes off, sex begins by doing little things around the house without her telling you to do them; like emptying the dishwasher, taking out the trash or maybe giving her a break while you get dinner ready for the family.

I heard another speaker tell his audience, “When it comes to sex; women are like crock pots and men are like microwave ovens.”  Yeah, I know there seems to be a kitchen theme here, but stay with me.  A crock pot cooks your meal, but it may take all day to get it ready, where a microwave can cook your food in under a minute.The point he was making is it takes women longer to get ready for sex than it does men.

Guys start putting money in the bank so to speak by loving your bride in nonsexual ways.  Do little things around the house, rub her feet or back with no strings attached or bring her little gifts for no reason.  Loving her well before the actual sex act takes place will bring so much more passion to your lovemaking and will make it much more amazing for both of you.  And if you love her well before climbing into bed with her, she probably won’t be saying to you, “Hurry up and get off of me!” when you are having sex.

Now you know what I think, tell me what you think.

Sex

Sex.  This one little word has more power than just about any other.  It has set kingdoms on fire, toppled powerful men and has captured the minds of every boy once entering puberty.  It’s been described as dirty, only to be used for procreating and makes people feel uncomfortable when it is discussed in a group setting.

Before I was married, my knowledge of this subject came mostly from the movies I watched.  Oh, there was that one time when my mom handed me a pamphlet about it.  Can anyone say awkward?  Most of the movies I watched drove home this thought; women are as horny as men, and they want to have sex just as badly as men do.

My actual experience has taught me differently.  Obviously I’m speaking in general terms here, I’m sure there are a few women out there who like sex as much as men, but for the sake of this blog we will assume most women are not this way.

My knowledge about sex when I got married was you slide tab A into slot B as many times as possible until you got a release.  No one ever told me slot B should be experiencing a release as well.  A friend gave me some advice which helped me as a young married man, and continues to this day, he told me, “David, make sure momma gets her cookies before you do.”  What this means is don’t just hop on, finish and then hop off.  If you are not bringing your wife to orgasm every time, then perhaps you need to rethink your strategy here.  Sex should be pleasurable for both of you.

What I’m not going to do is tell you what you should do; sex will be different for every couple.  What works for me and my bride may not work for you and yours.  The main thing here is you should be looking for ways to satisfy her before satisfying yourself.

You should never compare your sex life with other couples, and you really shouldn’t talk about your sex life (in detail) with other guys.  One thing I’ve learned from listening to men talk is they will lie about their sex life.  They will lie about the frequency, what she does and where they do it, usually anything to make themselves look better.

Sex with your wife is a special thing; one which should be only between the two of you.  If you talk about her in front of others, it disrespects her.  And if she happens to be there when you are talking about your sex life with others, it can embarrass her.  The only time you should talk about your sex life is when she has given you permission and you are trying to help another couple.  And then keep it simple; again don’t really go into detail.

A lot of guys who have talked to me tell me their sex life is nonexistent; maybe anniversaries, birthdays, or some other special occasion, which is sad.  I once heard a guy say he bought a years supply of condoms and it was a 12 pack; I thought to myself, “Wow poor guy”.

Maybe your sex life is like this, with a lack of frequency. My first question would be how are you treating your bride.  Are you helping out around the house, or with the kids, or do you roll over at night, nudge her and say, “Hey, wanna do it?”  Don’t be a gorilla, be tender with her and help out around the house.  Take out the trash without being told to, talk nice to her and give her a hug or foot rub without any strings attached.

After she’s had a hard day; send her out to get coffee with some friends while you stay home and take care of the kids for the evening.  When you do these kinds of things, she will notice and it will pay you huge dividends later.

One last thought here, if you have not been doing things like this to love her before having sex with her, don’t expect the first time you do it for her to strip off her clothes and attack you.  It may take time and effort on your part.  Don’t quit just because you don’t see results right away.  She may be watching to see if this is just another ploy for you to get into her pants.

If this is your only motivation for making changes, you will never see a great sex life in your future.  Believe me, a great sex life in marriage is possible, but it does take consistent effort and work from you.  Do this however, and it won’t be long before you’ll be sliding your tab into her slot.

Now you know what I think, what do you think?

 

 

 

 

 

Guilt-free Sex

I remember one day back when I was an eleven year old boy; I was home and bored and went looking for an adventure.  This ended with me going through my dad’s dresser drawers.  The thoughts of getting caught only heightened the excitement with each drawer I opened, ending with the fourth drawer on top and something inside which changed my life forever; a picture of a naked lady.

My adventure had paid off and as I thought, “Wow!” in my nether regions there was an exclamation point of another kind.  A desire was awaked there which I had never experienced before and one which has not abated to this day.  This was the day I was introduced to the desire of a woman.

One night not too long ago, I was perusing Netflix and came across a movie entitled “Hot Bot”.  I could tell it was going to be about sex from the half naked girl on the title screen, and I wish I could tell you I skipped right over it in one of my holier moments, but I didn’t.  I started the movie; wondering what exactly I was going to see, but just a few minutes into it there was a topless girl,  so I stopped the show and turned off my television feeling a little bit guilty for having watched even those few minutes.

The one thing about this movie which did get me to thinking was this notion of having a robot around just for sex.  Truthfully I don’t know what the exact story of this movie was, but it definitely seemed to revolve around having sex without any type of entanglements; like being married or in a committed relationship.  It did get me to thinking about the idea of guilt-free sex though and is there really such a thing?

Men are hard wired for sex, and we are aroused by what we see more than any other form of stimulus.  It is part of how we as men were created and if it weren’t for this attraction to the opposite sex we probably wouldn’t be very interested in girls in the first place.

Now before my female audience says all men are pigs; I’m not saying women are here just for men’s pleasure and to be objectified.  It’s true the female form is beautiful, alluring and a work of art, but this does not give men the right to leer, stare and see her only as an object to be conquered.

A committed relationship should be the first requirement for all sexual encounters between a man and a woman.  Yeah, this is probably not a popular thought in the minds of men who think multiple sexual encounters is where it’s at, but it is the truth.  To be brutally honest, if you are only using women to “get your rocks off”, then you’ve missed the whole point of sex.

What is the point of sex then?  Sex isn’t the focal point of a relationship; it is the end result of a man and a woman sharing their lives together.  As a man and a woman do life together; sharing in both the successes and failures it brings, sex helps to cement the fact they are in it together and not alone.

Extramarital affairs, viewing porn and sowing your wild oats may sound like a great life, but the end results usually produce guilt.  Not to bore you with the science behind what goes on in a man’s brain when sex is involved, but there is this chemical called dopamine which is released into the pleasure center of the brain.  When you have a sexual experience, this chemical gets dumped into your brain, resulting in the euphoric feeling you have.

The problem with sex outside of a committed marriage relationship is it takes more and more stimuli to get the same amount of dopamine into your system.  If you watch porn, then after a while you will need to watch more provocative things to get the same reaction.  And once the new wears off of the affair you’re in, you will need more; a new partner, or doing stranger things than at first to get that same fulfillment.

What you will find with all of this however is guilt shows up every time.  You may not recognize it at first, because of the excitement of what you are doing, but eventually guilt will worm its way into your brain.  Even the most desensitized person will recognize it after a while.  Whether or not you admit it to yourself is another thing altogether, but as you lay in bed in the dark of night alone with your thoughts, you’ll begin to see how unfulfilling all of these things are.

Is there guilt-free sex then?  The answer is yes, and it is found in the committed marriage relationship of a man and a woman.  Two people on the journey of life with all of its ups and downs, committed to staying with each other no matter what comes against them. Giving their bodies to each other through sexual fulfillment and no other, keeping the marriage bed undefiled.

Can you do this?  The answer is yes most definitely.  Men, you have what it takes to be the lover your woman needs; stop objectifying her, and look to her needs first.  If you are viewing porn, then commit to stopping; it’s not helping you and in fact actually hurting you.  If you have had, or are in an extramarital affair, get out of it.  Get into counseling with your wife, work out the problems and make your marriage work.  It’ll be worth it, I promise!

If you need help in any of these areas shoot me an email and let’s talk.  No condemnation, because listen you do have what it takes, and there is way more to you than meets the eye.  You are destined for greatness, let’s see you get there.

Now you know what I think, tell me what you think.