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March 17, 2010

Would someone light a match?

match Tomorrow marks 4 years of marriage for me and my wife (get that guys, I even remembered the day before my anniversary).  Things have been great, my wife and I have a great marriage.  A couple weeks ago, my wife made a comment though that kind of stopped me in my tracks.  After I walked out of the bathroom after stinking it up she said,

“Can you light a match, you used to do it all the time, but you don’t anymore.” 

For the uninitiated, women’s poop doesn’t smell, but men are known to lay down a few stinkers and nothing shows her you care more after you drop the duece is getting rid of the green fog by lighting a match…There is something about the lighting of a match that gets rid of the nasty smell.

After she said it I realized the implication, I had forgotten to be considerate of her in the small things. (I’m pretty sure) My wife would tell you that we have a great marriage and that I am a good husband, but somewhere along the way, I had forgotten the little things.  A good friend of mine before I got married gave me some sound advice, he said,

“Take a walk…when you have to fart, go in the other room, she doesn’t need to smell it.”

  Another one that I hadn’t been doing a good job on…  I even know a couple who has been married for over 10 years that has never farted in front of each other.  In fact, now it has become kind of a competition…(ok, the bodily functions will cease to be discussed after this).  Wouldn’t that be something, have a competition to see who could be more considerate of the other person?

It wasn’t even just bodily function related, things as simple as cleaning the dishes after dinner.  We have a rule in our house, whoever cooks does not clean the dishes, but somewhere along the lines between the kids, owning our own business, and the myriad of other things we are involved in, that rule has gone by the wayside as well.  Here is what I realized though, if the little things are slipping then you have a problem…because you don’t see the little things slip away…they just slowly slip away and then one day you realize that you have nothing left.  (Please don’t read into what I just said, Mandy and I are great, our marriage is not in trouble).  But after Mandy pointed out that I wasn’t lighting matches anymore, I realized that I needed to step up my game…I needed to start treating her again like I did when we were dating.

Our pastor is doing a marriage series right now (I asked Mandy to take me off the children’s church schedule so that I could make it to every sermon, I have to miss this weekend’s because we will be in St. Louis, but I built the website, I know where the secretary puts the sermons…) and 2 weeks ago, he said something that really stuck out…He said (and it was our assignment):

  • When you think something good, SAY it.
  • When you think something special, DO it.
  • When  you want something special, BE it.

Well, here is me trying to BE it.  I have always loved this quote by Mahatma Gandi

You must be the change you want to see in the world.
– Mahatma Gandhi

It is a quote that I have tried to live my life by, in my business, in my ministry, but I had forgotten to do it in my marriage.  It is easy when during a bout of intense fellowship for when Mandy says something in a tone that I don’t like for me to fire right back…that’s not the way it should be.  Christ called us to give up our lives, to love her as Christ loved the church…(yeah guys, the Ephesians passage doesn’t stop at Ephesians chapter 5 doesn’t stop at verse 24, the heavier stuff comes after it…)

Wives and Husbands

22Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. 23For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

25Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church— 30for we are members of his body. 31“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” 32This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
– Ephesians 5:22-33 (NIV)

For those of you paying attention in the audience, she has the easier part of the deal, she just needs to submit to you (which if we are doing it right, it should be easy for her to do, because let’s face it, how hard is it to submit to someone who you know without a doubt loves you, is willing to die for you, and has your best interests in mind) we, as husbands, have to be ready to lay everything down (notice I didn’t just say die, I meant work, ministry, everything needs to be an

item that is chopping block material if it is what is needed)

.

Here’s the kicker, I’m excited to step my game up, because what could be better?  I want to have a good marriage.  Early on, Mandy and I decided that each year, we wanted to go to at least one marriage seminar or do at least 1 focused thing on our marriage each year.  After the debacle that was last year’s marriage seminar (don’t bring someone who is not going to bring what the Bible has to say into a Christian Marriage ministry event), we didn’t go to the annual Madison Family Ministry this year, but we are excited to be going to the [DVD] [Book] small group that our pastor is offering.  We have been to the live event but are super excited to go through it again with a group of close friends.  I would recommend it to anyone who wants to work on their marriage.  Mark’s story is a good story on how he got into doing marriage seminars (our pastor knows Mark so I know the story) but I’ll let him tell you some day.

Sorry this was such a long post, but I wanted to 1. kick myself in the butt and get myself going & 2. encourage people who might read my blog to do the same.  And for those of you who are wondering, I get to take my wife to the restaurant she has always wanted to take her husband to down in St. Louis, it is the restaurant that her dad took her to on her first date ever.  (Smart man by the way, he took her on her first date so she would know how she was supposed to be treated on all the dates that followed.  I’m going to have to use that one with Carrie)

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