Love and Respect in a Marriage

When you hear the word submission in reference to marriage, do you cringe?

When you think of submitting to your hubby, do you want to revert to flight, fight or freeze?

You’re not alone.

There’s a lot of confusion on what breaks up marriages or what make a great marriage. No one wants to have a mediocre marriage, right? I don’t want a marriage that says, “Oh, honey, I tolerate you.” Been there. Done that. Sometimes on a daily basis.

Even in the big ‘C’ church we get confused about submission. We women of The Whole House don’t have all the answers. We’re just some women who have some stories to share. Prayerfully, they will encourage you. Anne shares on our recent podcast how her marriage almost ended in catastrophe because she misunderstood what love and respect really are. She admits she didn’t understand true submission.

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However, each man among you [without exception] is to love his wife as his very own self [with behavior worthy of respect and esteem, always seeking the best for her with an attitude of lovingkindness], and the wife [must see to it] that she respects and delights in her husband [that she notices him and prefers him and treats him with loving concern, treasuring him, honoring him, and holding him dear]. Ephesians 5:33

 

Submission gets a bad rap.

Look at the above verse in context.

19 Speak to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, [offering praise by] singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for all things, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; 21 being subject to one another out of reverence for Christ.

This set of verses precedes the instructions for husbands and wives. We are to be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ. It’s often overlooked.  We women are better at being subject to others, right?

  • Sure, I’ll make a couple dozen cookies for the bake sale.
  • Of course I’ll lead that small group.
  • Yes, I’ll watch your kids so you can go shopping.
  • I’ll make those curtains for you.
  • I would love to clean up after that event. No problem.

It’s all well and good until we stick the word husband in there.

22 Wives, be subject [d]to your own husbands, as [a service] to the Lord.

Then the claws come out! “No one is going to tell me what to do,” we cry.

Why is that? And what’s love and respect got to do with it?

What is Love and Respect?

“We believe love best motivates a woman and respect most powerfully motivates a man. Research reveals that during marital conflict a husband most often reacts unlovingly when feeling disrespected, and a wife reacts disrespectfully when feeling unloved. We asked 7,000 people the question, “When you are in a conflict with your spouse or significant other, do you feel unloved or disrespected?” 83% of the men said “disrespected” and 72% of the women said “unloved.” Though we all need love and respect equally, the felt need differs during conflict, and this difference is as different as pink is from blue!” loveandrespect.com/

 

Be sure to join our Marriage Habits E-course (starting July 16th) here.

21 Days to a More Confident You E-Course

It takes 21 days to make or break a habit. Let’s BREAK the habit of self doubt and low self esteem and MAKE a habit of standing strong in our God given confidence and be unapologetic about it.

Being YOU is MORE than enough!!

This e-course will guide you with:

– scripture; to help you see yourself through the eyes of Christ

– movement; to celebrate our body’s ability to just move

– mindful eating; to help develop self awareness when it comes to food

“Confidence is all about being positive in what you can do and not worrying about what you can’t do.”

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Jessica is a daughter of God, wife, mother and entrepreneur – in that order. Her passion has, at times, been her stronghold. This has left her feeling obligated to share her struggles along with her victories to help others attempting to overcome the same hurdles. She specializes in helping women practice self love through movement & self awareness. It took her a long time to see herself through the eyes of Christ and if she can shorten that duration for others, she’s living her purpose.

The 3 tools that helped me get out of the cycle of dysfunctional eating/yo-yo dieting (which lead to a whole lot of self loathing) and find my peace with my body are what this e-course focuses on.

Scripture – It wasn’t until I was able to see myself the way God sees me that I was able to free myself from the stronghold of vanity/image issues and live in peace knowing that I am enough. Exactly where I am, I am enough in HIS eyes. Only time in scripture pointed this out to me. I withdrew from anything that wasn’t serving any purpose in my “recovery” and dove straight into daily devotional time. I deleted some of my social media accounts and the ones I did keep, I vowed to stop engaging with as much. The first thing I check in the morning switched from my Facebook feed, which usually set the tone for my entire day (which always ended in me being offended by something), to my Bible app. First, the verse of the day, and then devotional time. The words of my father now set the tone for my day and his tone is always that of love and acceptance and CONFIDENCE. Meditating on his words daily help to reassure you that, with him, you can not fail. Psalm 46:5 says it all… “God is within her, she will not fail;”

Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.

1 Peter 3:4

Movement – I had to have a long conversation with myself. I had to convince myself that I needed to move my body with more PURPOSE instead of just moving my body more… I had become a slave to movement. My life revolved around burning a certain amount of calories or taking a certain amount of steps or whatever, instead of my life revolving around God. That is first and foremost.

1 Timothy 4:8 says it like this; “For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.”

I went from overtraining to finding balance and peace in my workouts by extending grace to myself, coming to a realization that ANY movement, especially movement that I enjoyed, was good enough no matter how many calories I burned. Workouts should be fun, something you enjoy and celebrated!! Aim for at least 30 minutes of movement a day. ANY KIND OF MOVEMENT. What do you enjoy doing? DO THAT!! Self love through movement. That’s our goal here.
Mindful Eating – Just like I became a slave to movement, I became a slave to eating. What I was eating, when I was eating, what it weighed, what carb count it had, how many calories, YOU KNOW THE DRILL. I was OBSESSED. I would restrict myself to the point of starvation, binge and then self loathe. That was my cycle. A cycle of disordered eating. Sound familiar?

During the peak of my disordered eating episodes, I was consumed with food in one way or the other 19 hours a day. The only time I wasn’t was when I would sleep. I would wake up starving but force myself to fast until noon. I would be craving something as simple as broccoli and deny myself of it because it didn’t fit into my “plan”. Read that again, MY PLAN, not God’s. Do you think that anywhere in God’s plan for us there’s self loathing to the point of physical starvation? No.

As a matter of fact; John 15:15 says I have been chosen and God desires me to bear fruit. He wants you to know that YOU ARE GOOD ENOUGH. He equipped you with everything you need to bear fruit, to be plentiful. A plentiful tree is not starving in any aspect of it’s nutritional needs.

I had to make a decision. I had to let go of the controlling relationship I had with food or I had to let this continue to consume and ruin my life from the inside out. I know it sounds dramatic but being stuck in a dysfunctional cycle of eating and dieting can take a pretty hefty toll on all aspects of our lives. I wasn’t going to let that happen so I knew I needed to become self aware of my damaging actions, triggers and fears associated with food and I started reading up on intuitive eating. Intuitive Eating is an approach developed to help people heal from the side effects of chronic dieting. … An intuitive eater is defined as a person who “makes food choices without experiencing guilt or an ethical dilemma, honors hunger, respects fullness and enjoys the pleasure of eating.

I have not mastered this yet but I am a whole lot better at eating without any guilt whatsoever than I was even six months ago. It is not always easy but it beats dieting up one side and down the other. Why don’t more people speak the truth about intuitive eating? BECAUSE IT DOES NOT SERVE THE DIET CULTURE’S NEED TO MAKE YOU ASSOCIATE FOOD WITH GUILT. God would not want us to harbor guilty feelings for giving our body nutrients via a sandwich for lunch instead of a salad. So why would we give society the power to do that to us?

By listening to our bodies and adapting to intuitive eating habits, we learn to rid our fears and guilt associated with foods and focus on fueling our bodies with what it is NEEDING and when it is NEEDING it. Notice no where in there did I say “what your bodies WANT”. We will explore that difference throughout this course.

Interested in joining 21 Days to a More Confident You? Hop on over here and click!

Adopted Children Are Not Excessively Thankful (They are just kids)

*This is an excerpt from the Five Things E-course that is currently taking place!

 

1.3 Our children are not excessively thankful, in fact, sometimes quite the opposite.

“Your kids must be so thankful,” a lady remarked to me after our recent adoption.

“No, not really,” I replied.

She looked shocked, “but you think they would be because you rescued them from THAT orphanage.”

* * *

Our children are not excessively thankful, in fact, sometimes quite the opposite.

I understand what the kind lady thought. Common misconception. Adoptive children, you’d think would be full of undying gratitude. Thanking parents for rescuing them with round the clock obedience and gushings of “thanks, Mom and Dad, you saved me from life in an institution, foster care or, fill in the blank. Wishful thinking. Not an accurate picture.

Things are not as they seem.

First of all, kids are kids. They may momentarily turn into thankful beings and then turn around and be disobedient. Totally normal.

Children who are adopted and taken from traumatic beginnings, i.e. hurt children may behave at the opposite end of the spectrum.

If a child has been abused, he has been given the message you are not valuable.

If a child has been neglected, he has been given the message you do not exist.

If a child has been rejected again and again, he believes he will be rejected again.

A child who has not attached to anyone does not have the ability to self-regulate his emotions or his physical appetites. All of these traumas mentioned put a child into survival mode, that is the child will do anything -lie, cheat, steal, reject, to survive EVEN IF HE IS IN AN ENVIRONMENT WHERE HE NO LONGER NEEDS TO DO SO. There new normal doesn’t replace old habits. Let’s not forget the old normal was their life, for good, bad or worse. Just because they have been ‘rescued’ doesn’t mean they wanted to be.

Son Gregory used to speak in an ugly, angry tone to everyone. He destroyed his siblings belongings, lied cheated, stole and made sure his needs/wants were met HIMSELF. Every night at bedtime, he told Jerry and me that he was going back to Poland to live in the orphanage.

No, he was not thankful. He didn’t know he didn’t have to live in survival mode anymore. He pushed us away to protect himself.  After some building blocks of attachment, his focus changed (when he felt safe). It didn’t happen overnight. He didn’t (and still doesn’t) thank us profusely.

When things look out of sorts, don’t give up!

And (at the age of six) he dictated a letter to me for Jerry:

Dear Dad,

I never go back to Poland, I promise. I love you.

Gregory

Like I said, if you expect adopted children to be thankful, think again. Some of them have  bursts of thankfulness, like any other child. Others, depending on the level and depth of their pain, will act ungrateful and form a wall of protection around themselves to survive. Be patient. Keep connecting. Those of you who work with adopted/foster children at church or school, don’t take their fussiness, meltdowns, shutdowns, pushing, shoving, lying or stealing, personally. They aren’t trying to make life difficult. They are trying to survive at their present level of brain development and according to their ‘felt’ safety.

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