Friday, February 15, 2013

Smile...and really, just shut up

Red-headed-step-child asks: "How does one shut down the hideous rebellion that rears it's ugly head in the stupidest situations?"

It begins with your countenance. Go to your favorite online Bible source and search for every passage that contains the word countenance. I'm not going to do this for you. You go and do it for yourself. And while you read, pray that God convicts your heart of your countenance.

Your face, ladies, it starts in your face. You literally need to change your face. Do you smile because you're happy or are you happy because you smile? If you don't know, smile. Smile all day long. Smile all day long every day for a week. Smile through your eyes, not just your lips. Cast off all thoughts of "I don't feel like smiling." This is not about your feelings. I don't care if everyone around you thinks you're crazy, smile anyway.

Train your eyes. STOP rolling your eyes.

In basic training, Drill Sergeants get right into a Private's face, "Are you eye ballin' me!" "Your disrespect shows through your attitude Private, drop and give me 20!" When RLB was a Private First Class, he had a First Sergeant who was just awful. He hated RLB with a passion and the feeling was mutual. RLB wore the darkest sunglasses he could find because he knew his eyes would tell too much. Whether he was smirking with them or glaring, RLB knew that this man would flip his lid if he saw his eyes.

So much of our disrespectful behavior towards our husbands comes through our eyes. They hate it, ladies...absolutely hate it, would love nothing more than to smack your disrespectful face. It's that contentious heart you're displaying. That smarmy, sarcastic, cynical attitude that pours out through your eyes. The most gentle man can be brought to rage from one flippant eye roll from his wife. It's disgusting. Stop that!

Next. Shut your damn mouth. Your brain runs 100 mph and often times it's headed in the wrong direction. Control your tongue and take your thoughts captive. Give yourself a time out. There's nothing wrong with that. After your husband has said something that you feel the need to respond to, stop, and say to him, "Give me just a minute." Then, go somewhere else and pray. It doesn't matter what he has said. Train yourself with the simplest of things. Do you want to be right or do you want to be happy. If you want both, go to God, pray for wisdom. Read your Bible, pray for wisdom. Shut your mouth and calm yourself.

If your husband has said something that sounds like he's angry with you, go back to him after your time out, when you know you can ask calmly, "are you upset with me?" And then listen. If what he says gets your brain going again, excuse yourself once again and repeat the actions: open your Bible and pray for wisdom. Wait until you are calm. Go back to your husband and ask, "what could I have done differently to not upset you?" Then listen. Repeat the same procedure - AS MANY TIMES AS NECESSARY.

If your husband has said something that upset you, do the same thing. You know what can calm you. For me it's prayer. It's a quiet room and quiet contemplation on God's Word.

We're so quick to judge our husbands when we really are being overly sensitive. Men don't like homes that are not tranquil. It is quite rare that they will provoke contention intentionally. Most of our disrespect towards them comes from either conceitedness or misunderstanding. If you are conceited ladies, if you are haughty, go to God in prayer and ask that he help you overcome this. It is so ugly, it is bad for all of your relationships and it is bad for your health. Ask God for a humble heart.

Recognize your own solipsism and actively work on controlling it. There are other perspectives in life than your own. Through conversation and observation become aware of your husband's perspective. Agape love is selfless love. When selfish thoughts consume you, "what about me...what about my feelings...what about what I want?" When you're about to start complaining,  stop and think of a petulant child. Then look in the mirror. You're not smiling are you. Is it too much to ask that you try for one week to think about him, what is he feeling, what does he want?

If you are willing to take these steps towards changing your heart, you will begin to notice somethings. You feel better. You sleep better. If you're like me you'll be moved to tears. With awe and wonderment you'll look back and think - if only I had done this sooner. The change has been within me. It is not fake. It is not rule following. It is the transformation that God promises.

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. - Romans 12:1-2

16 comments:

  1. Looks like I've got homework this weekend :)

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  2. I really hope you all are taking the time to read the blogs RLB has listed on the right. Sunshine Mary continues to have excellent conversations going on with her posts. Ladies, it is so worth the read!

    These comments from donalgraeme are so true for men. God bless these men that pour out their hearts for us to hear:

    Why would any sane man go forth an slay a dragon, only to be reviled for it? Only to find that the woman he seeks to “rescue” has been “rescued” many times before? Only to find that the woman refuses to respect him for what he does, but instead feels entitled to his service without recompense?

    On the flip side, there is nothing that I would not do for a good woman.

    For a good woman I would walk a thousand miles barefoot through sharp needles and jagged stones.

    For a good woman I would endure blistering heat and soul-chilling cold.

    For a good woman I would suffer torture and humiliation.

    For a good woman I would give up all my wealth and the trappings of this world.

    For a good woman I would go forth to slay a dragon, though it would likely be my end.

    I would storm the very gates of Hell itself, and do battle with the Evil One, just to win the heart of a woman who was beautiful and chaste and God-fearing.

    I have yet to find such a woman.


    http://thewomanandthedragon.wordpress.com/2013/02/15/can-marriages-with-no-physical-attraction-be-saved-should-they-be/#comment-16624

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  3. I just caught up on your blog (from the beginning) yesterday, and have been following vicariously through my husband on VD, Alpha Game, and all the rest. It's been.... interesting reading :) This just seems to be a concept harder to absorb into my thick head. I haven't read Sunshine Mary's blog yet, but my husband has been mentioning her a lot lately, along with your blog.

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  4. It is much like becoming a Christian. It is very simple. It's a decision. It is faith. It is a vow. And, it is HUGE!

    A rebellious Christian woman is still a Christian. The decision is to obey God's command for biblical marriage by submitting to your husband as unto the Lord (doing so out of obedience to God, not out of an estimate of your husband's worthiness). It is very simple. That does not mean it was easy. It is surrender. It is vulnerability.

    RLB and I were just talking and he asked is this what it took for me (what I wrote above). I told him that once I surrendered to God and prayed for him to transform my heart, He has overwhelmed my heart. It was a decision...a very simple decision. It was an act of faith and trust in the Lord that He will make right what had been so wrong in my heart.

    Read Psalm 23. Pray on those words. Read it again. I'll pray for you as well.

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  5. Here's David J's comment on The Woman and the Dragon:

    ...After years of such rebellion, and with the blessing of two Christian counselors, I took steps to separate in hopes of just such an awakening. Her response was to blow up the 29-year and 4-child marriage, filing for and eventually obtaining a divorce.

    And, in response to a woman who loves her husband, who can't fathom blowing up their marriage, David J says:

    So, right now, your husband and your marriage are in good shape. But what about if/when you’re no longer “totally into him” and you CAN imagine living without him because you no longer love him and wish him well? It will still be true that if you pull the trigger you’ll destroy yourself (and him), but what will keep you from doing so given the change in your feelings? As things stand, it won’t be the law, and (in the vast majority of cases) it won’t be the church or your female friends. This is the conundrum faced by all Christian men (including your husband) whether they realize it or not. I didn’t realize it until the last 2 years of my marriage — she was from a Christian home, was an active Christian before we met at a conservative Christian college, said all the right things about submission, was a virgin, etc. But eventually her feelings trumped the Bible, her respect became (or perhaps always had been) conditional and deteriorated to contempt, her contempt necessarily meant (to her) that I hadn’t loved her as Christ loved the church, and therefore (she believed) she was entitled to a divorce. Until those last two years, I would not have believed she would seek a divorce for non-biblical reasons, given her lifelong testimony and the Christian/biblical culture in which we were immersed. But she did. Will you be different? How do you know? How does your husband know?

    http://thewomanandthedragon.wordpress.com/2013/02/13/on-lamenting-distrust-between-christian-husbands-and-wives/#comment-16371

    It is so important ladies that our commitment be made independent of feelings. It must be out of obedience to God. Storms will arise, feelings will change.

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  6. "It is so important ladies that our commitment be made independent of feelings. It must be out of obedience to God. Storms will arise, feelings will change."

    I know far too many women who need to take this to heart. Myself included most days...

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  7. Great post.

    From a man's perspective: the advice to "be nice" is something that women, not men, should be told.

    A pleasant disposition in a woman never, ever fails to extract the very best from her man. Be nice to him. Be pleasant, feminine. Be respectful. Request. Do not demand. Present things to us. Do not smack us in the face with them. Submit. If you're not submitting, you're resisting.

    And smile. Yes, please smile. Or at least don't scowl.

    And by all means, feel your feelings. But recognize the following:

    1. Your feelings are real, but they are not the truth.

    2. It is not productive or helpful to make decisions based on your feelings.

    3. Your emotions do not require a response from your husband. Neither he nor anyone else needs to analyze, address, figure out, repair, or change anything based on your feelings. If you need to feel it, then feel whatever the hell you need to feel. That does not mean that HE has to feel it or fix it. When you're done feeling it, we'll do what needs done.

    deti

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  8. Bah, I read too much and lost the quote, but somewhere someone asked something along the lines of would you rather be right or happy? I will NEVER forget the day that it finally dawned on me that I was more concerned about being right than I was about the happiness of my marriage and my husband. It felt like someone slapped me upside the head and my stomach fell from beneath me. It was stunned. What's more, I stopped. I didn't need to be right any more. It it unimportant. I stopped pushing up against him and instead went along with him. It's difficult to just let go, but once one does, the difference is amazing.

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  9. Only one thing I would add:

    Ladies, you will screw up. Life is not about perfection, but getting close to zero defects makes life smoother.

    (Says me who slept through church).

    Your husband loves you. He is not your drill sgt: do not fear him. Most of the time he wants the problem fixed, you happy, and the home peaceful.

    So do not belt yourself up if you make a mistake. Confess it to God and to your husband -- confessing to your husband should be a barrier about making big mistakes.

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  10. stg58/Animal MotherFebruary 16, 2013 at 8:28 PM

    Well, ya lost another one. My wife was initially totally stalking your blog, now I have been informed that I am "not allowed" to read your blog and SSM because you and SSM are too judgemental.

    I am sure you will miss her.

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    Replies
    1. It might be time to grow a pair. I won't lie. It won't be easy. It is simple. You have to actually confront what you value in life and who you will listen to. Pray. We will pray for you and your family as well.

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    2. stg58/Animal MotherFebruary 17, 2013 at 7:20 AM

      I obviously haven't listened to her, RLB. I don't take orders from her. I read what I want to. I point out her inconsistencies to her on a daily basis. If she wants to leave, oh well. Someone hotter and younger will take her place.

      Delete
    3. I think my husband would die of laughter if I tried telling him he couldn't read a particular site O.o

      Delete
    4. stg58/Animal MotherFebruary 19, 2013 at 9:42 AM

      Maybe I will leave the blog up on the computer "accidentally" and then explain to her why she doesn't control the intellectual content of my knowledge feed. Then explain to her if she feels the blogs to be judgemental it is because they are very applicable.

      Delete
  11. Spent the entire weekend painting the garage and laundry. Walls and ceiling had been relined. Two undercoats and still a top coat to go. Both nights, i retired wearily to the desktop to work my second job, a part time one.

    Some wives would have bitched that its not finished yet.

    Mine repeatedly said how good its looking, and thanked me for using the weekend to do it.

    Definitely a good beach:
    http://dalrock.wordpress.com/2013/01/31/a-tale-of-two-beaches/

    - an observer

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  12. I have found that in every case where I have acted as I should, instead of acting how I feel, that the feelings follow the actions. When I act as a loving woman would act, I begin to FEEL love. So yes. Shut up. Do what is right. Don't be a slave to your feelings, ladies.

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