Thursday, June 25, 2009
Love and Respect: Marriage Class 4
I won't try to sum up the contents of this weeks class. Instead of Emerson Eggerichs speaking, his wife (a psychologist I think) spoke about what men and women could practically do to apply some of the love and respect ideas that we've been learning.
(Sorry, I didn't link this to their blog...just thought I'd show their pictures.)
There are three things that I am going to work on. Now on two of these, mind you, my mind is already throwing a little revolt. My heart wants to do what's right, but my mind is full of the "yeah, but what if's". For example, the first item that I am really going to work on is supporting Scott's parenting efforts with the kids even if I don't agree with his current tactic. This is a hard one for me, perhaps for all moms, because mother bear instinct comes out to protect our cubs from anything we perceive to be unfair. "But what if hubby is getting after a kid about something that I usually allow them to do"? Well...what if that happens? It probably will. I could choose to come to my child's defense at the expense of my husband's efforts, or I could let my husband (who loves his children and wants the best for them)give the child a rule they aren't used to and negotiate with him about the fairness. "But what if I think he is speaking too harshly to the kids?" Well, this will probably happen too. My dad spoke more harshly than my mom did and I have no ill feelings about that. I know there are times when hubby thinks I speaks too harshly to the kids too. Teaching myself that there is more value in respecting hubby's heart with regard to parenting his children than whatever value I can add by inserting myself into those parenting moments may be tough, but I think it will be worth the effort.
Okay, #2 thing that I am going to improve upon is my respect toward him and our finances. I think I've set myself up as the gatekeeper and head warden with our money. Any big idea that hubby might have to better our family is first judged against the "Does Lisa think we can afford it" test. What if I let hubby dream through some of his ideas for awhile and let him determine if we can afford it or not? He and I are both a bit unsure of this one...perhaps the way we have it is a good checks and balance system with regard to the family coffers. But, I think only good can come from me stepping back a little and not being the first person to bring up the financials. If hubby wants that checks and balance system, he can ask me what I think about the practicality of the finances. Then I'll tell him. =) Besides, it will be a good thing if I willingly place my security in God and my hubby more than my control over the checkbook.
#3 is the one that I feel the most convicted about. Any resistance that my mind can come up with has no leg to stand on. I am going to be a friendlier force in my house. I think that I have the greatest ability in our household to set the tone. I think this one is a little harder to tie directly into the "respect your husband" mantra, but they brought it in through the husband's need to be liked by his wife. I think I often communicate frustration to hubby, like "Oh look, there is your motorcycle helmet AGAIN on my kitchen counter" or "Hey, someone AGAIN was eating string cheese and stuffed the wrapper into the sofa cushion" or "Looks like someone is drinking from the milk carton AGAIN". The trick, I think, is still finding away to request that he not do those things without being a source of negativity. Sarah Eggerichs pointed out that this will be a daily battle, but learning to view your negative comments as wrong instead of seeing yourself through a "look what I have to deal with" mentality is the key. Every day you will find negativity and unfriendliness creeping into your speech and every day you have to decide to be a friendlier person. I want this for my kids as much as for my hubby.
There is one last class. Stay tuned for my final installment of the Love and Respect marriage class next week. I'll post the info about their books and marriage confrence in that post in case anyone is interested. It's been great.