Not Happily Ever After? Part 2 of Resolution Solutions

Not Happily Ever After? REAL Marriage: Respect, Part 2 in the Resolution Solutions Series from Becoming His Eve

And they lived happily ever after!

Isn’t this the end to all good fairy tales? The good prince gets the beautiful girl, and they live happily ever after in their castle.

I’m sure every wife envisions the happiest marriage on her wedding day. I even thought my marriage was going to be so different.

Reality paints a different picture. In the first six months of my marriage, Adam and I argued constantly, and spent a lot of time separately. Adam disliked his job. I couldn’t find work. Our marriage bed was rocky. My relationship with God plummeted. I refused to get up in the mornings, did little housework, and even contemplated threatened divorce. Doesn’t sound like happily ever after, hmm? 

Where are we now? We moved to sunny Colorado from dreary Pennsylvania. We involved in ministry in a fantastic church. I get up every most mornings (Adam lets me sleep in on occasion), and help my husband get ready for work. Adam is thriving at work as the general manager of his store. I recently found work. I enjoy regular, passionate, pleasurable sex with my husband. My relationship with God is much stronger. I enjoy my life. I love my husband.

I’ve recently updated my mission statement. Becoming His Eve’s mission is to affirm, encourage, inspire, offer instruction on, and uplift REAL marriage – marriage that is Respectful, Engaging, Authentic, and Loving. So what is REAL marriage really and how did RESPECT change MY marriage?

R-E-S-P-E-C-T

Every good relationship, especially marriage, is based on respect. If it’s not based on respect, nothing that appears to be good will last very long.” ~ Amy Grant

Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines respect as… 

a: a feeling or understanding that someone is important, and should be treated in an appropriate way

b: a particular way of thinking about or looking at something 

Disrespect starts in the thoughts and seeps into actions.

Ephesians 5:33 imperatively states, “the wife must respect her husband.”Why is this so important? Men crave respect. Respecting your husband is the best way to love him. When a wife disrespects her husband she communicates that he isn’t important to her, damages his reputation, wounds his heart, disrupts sexual intimacy, and attacks the very way he was created.

Your husband has given you a precious, priceless gift – his heart, home, and bed. Disrespect threatens to uproot your claim over these, and destroy your connection to them. When I argued with Adam, threatened, manipulated, and refused him, I was simultaneously ruining the foundation of our marriage by harboring disrespect.

Uprooting disrespect takes time,trust, and God. Adam and I are still reaping the repercussions of some of the things we struggled with in the beginning. We understand the need for time to heal. We trust each other to do the right thing. We strive to make God the center of our marriage.

Respect requires understanding. If you desire and seek to know God, respect will come naturally.

  • Jesus says in Mark 12:31,”Love your neighbor as yourself.”  You can’t get more neighborly than the person you share your bed with.
  • Romans 12:9-10 says, “Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Respect one another above yourselves.” In order for love to be sincere, it must be founded upon Jesus, the Bible, and respect. Respect requires you to put the other person before yourself. Treat your spouse the way you would want to be treated.

Your attitude makes all the difference.

  • Disrespect says… I expect you to read my mind.
  • Respect says… I’ll share my thoughts, opinions, and ideas with you.
  • Disrespect says… If I don’t get what I want, I’ll punish you by withholding sex.
  • Respect says… I won’t resort to punishing & will give of my body willingly.
  • Disrespect says… I’ll nag until it gets done.
  • Respect says… I’ll remind him once & be patient with his timetable of doing things.
  • Disrespect says… I’ll gossip with my girl friends about my husband’s failings.
  • Respect says… I’ll only speak positively about my husband with everyone. 
  • Disrespect says… I disagree so I’ll argue with you angrily until I get my way. 
  • Respect says… I may disagree with you, but I will keep a civil tone.
  • Disrespect says… I’ll hold onto a grudge. 
  • Respect says… I’ll choose to forgive you when you’ve wronged me.

Holiness, Not Happiness

Marriage isn’t about happily ever after. Marriage is about growing in holiness.

God calls you to put off your old self (for me this was my disrespect, laziness, and selfishness), which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires (selfishness may promise me big things, but it brings only destruction), and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds (be teachable), and to put on the new self (be restored), created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. (Ephesians 4:22-24).

Respect is like air in the marriage. Without respect, the marriage will suffocate. Found your relationship on respect and your marriage will breathe sweetly and deeply.

Share with Us

 How do you show respect toward your husband? What do you think about marriage being about holiness, not happiness? 

New Series from Becoming His Eve - Resolution Solutions: Getting Your Top Priorities Straight

The solution to staying motivated and keeping your resolutions is relationship with God, spouse, and self.  This post is Part 2 of the Resolution Solutions series, Priority #3a – REAL Marriage. The schedule has changed some for this series.

  • (Today) January 13th – REAL Marriage Respect
  • January 20th – REAL Marriage Engagement
  • January 27th – REAL Marriage Authenticity
  • February 3rd – REAL Marriage Love
  • February 10th – (to be determined as this is Valentine’s week)
  • February 17th – Making “You” a Priority is Okay
  • February 24th – Learning to Love Like Jesus

Come back next Monday for Part 3, Engaging Friendship in Marriage 

Related Posts: Crushing a Critical Spirit, Acknowledge “He” Isn’t Perfect and You Aren’t Either, Bashing Your Husband is Off Limits, 4 Ways to Better Understand Your Husband, and Transform Your Thinking

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4 Comments

  1. Kim

    This is what I am doing wrong in our marriage…we have been married for nine years and I have struggled in this area so much….so many things that are hard for me to understand and as a result hard for me to appreciate how he does things (or doesn’t do things)…very good reminders indeed, but feels so painfully hard to implement! That is where “Deny yourselves, take up your cross daily and follow me” comes in…

  2. Hannah, I love this post. It made me smile as I posted on Wednesday with a similar title, When You’re Not Living Happily Ever After. Your honesty and transparency is so needed in this day and age. Esp. with social media. Many hurting wives vent their disrespect for all to see and read, but this post points to a better way. Excellent job! Thank you!!

    • Thanks Debi. I wrote a post about Avoiding Temptation on Social Media. As wives, we need to be especially careful to be respectful toward our husbands in all situations, including our online lives. I’m so glad you’re working to show a different way also. Blessings!

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