Category Archives: Loving Your Wife

New Ways to Speak the Five Love Languages

This post is sponsored by Groupon. All opinions are my own! Affiliate links may be included; thanks for reading to support this site. 

I need a translator. Stat.

For the sake of my marriage, someone please tell me how to speak nailguns and caulk and lawnmower repair.

Early in our marriage, I had a predominant love language called “gifts”. I enjoyed giving things to people, and I enjoyed receiving them as well.

My husband’s love languages were words of affirmation and touch. Obviously, I’m not very good at those. (That’s the rule about love languages, don’t you know: you can’t be great at your spouse’s.) My husband failed in the gift department, but at least we were square.

new ways to speak the five love languages

Somewhere along the way (ahem, kids), my love language morphed into acts of service. My husband still spoke words of affirmation and I still stank at that, but he has tried his best to become a physical servant…

And he’s excelling at it! So much so that I was thinking my husband wanted to work on a project to avoid me. Well, true to womanly form, I like to change my mind, and I think my love language is saying, “I give up on how clean the house is; just sit down and spend some time with me!”

His love languages haven’t changed. 😀

As I was browsing the Groupon Goods page, I noticed that you can actually find ways to speak every love language with the products there. No, not just gifts!!

When I browsed I noticed:

Gifts: Duh. There are gifts upon gifts upon gifts for every kind of person. PB2, anyone?

Acts of Service: Does your husband’s love language involve a home-cooked meal or a clean home? I saw pots and pans sets and tons of organizational products that will help you translate your love to his ears.

Quality Time:  My favorite way to spend time with my husband is by doing something fun and new, preferably outdoors. The main Groupon site is a great place to buy adventure tickets, but I also think it’s easy to make your own adventure! Grab a hydration pack for your fun day or take a hammock to the park for something more low key.

new ways to speak the five love languages

Touch: OK, so this one should be easy, but let’s spice things up!! Make sure to spray the poopouri and put on something special (both items are sold on Groupon Goods!) to make intimacy a priority.

Words of Affirmation: Use the Love Talk journal my husband and I have used in the past – especially if words are not your specialty. Basically, you trade a journal back and forth with a note to each other. Great for the busy couple. I saw this beautiful leather journal my husband would love.

new ways to speak the five love languages

Maybe I’m alone as a woman – does your love language change like mine seems to? My husband, so sure and steady, just has to keep up with me haha! Making him feel loved should be easy, but it’s certainly not my mother tongue. I always need fresh translation tools like this. Do you see any other Groupon good you would add to the list?

Find more info about Groupon Goods here:

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My Husband is Obsessed with Caulk and Tires

My husband is addicted to caulk and tires. And I love it….let me explain.

Anytime a free couple of hours comes around at our house, I hear phrases such as, “The car needs new tires because blablabla.” <–I lack interpretation skills here.

Or, “I need to go to Lowe’s to get caulk for the repair on the trim.”

Umm… what is trim? Why does something that looks exactly as it should need repair? What is this caulk that you speak of!?

When that “caulk” thingie and “trim” thingie involves me planning out something pretty, like built-ins for our living room, I all of a sudden can speak in home repair lingo like the best of them. Pretty + function = happy. Functional gluey paste that costs money and time but doesn’t give me a visual boost = why do we need this?

Am I alone??

My Husband is Obsessed with Caulk

Photo Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/navfac/

There are times when I even get extreme in my questioning of my husband’s affinity for caulk. Sometimes, I get angry, thinking he just wants something to do to avoid us.

Then, I was reading in Ecclesiastes…

If a man is lazy, the rafters sag;

if his hands are idle, the house leaks. (Ecc. 10:18, NIV)

My thoughts went straight to my husband’s attention to caulk lines and cracks in our walls. I thought, Well, he sure is not lazy, and our house does not leak, praise God!

if a man is lazy the rafters sag

Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/andrewbain/

But this passage is about so much more than that. Ecclesiastes has many proverbs-like passages, which makes sense considering the writer is one and the same. But in this book, they are mostly in larger contexts communicating broader messages… which means they’re quite confusing to me, and I have to pull out the Walvoord and Zuck commentary (affiliate link)… plus a dictionary to figure out what their big words mean ha.

After all of that, I see that verses 16-19 contrast the difference between a state run by a wise king and a state run by a foolish king, wisdom being a synonym for righteousness and folly being a synonym for unrighteousness in this case.

We see that the wise king is self-controlled (v. 17) and by contrast with the foolish king, the wise king takes care of his kingdom and does not believe bribery or shortcuts will gain anything positive.

Kingdom with a good king

Source: CreationSwap

Considering that the whole book aims to teach that being fully connected to God is the most enjoyable act of life, the righteous king would also “remember his creator in his youth” (12:1).

My husband could be spending his time doing any number of things – he’s still young! We’ve spent half of our life together now, so I won’t say how young, but he’s young enough that he could commit to sports hobbies 10 hours/week or dude nights twice a week or fun weekends away every month. But he doesn’t. He spends his time taking care of the family God has blessed him with, like a wise and righteous king managing his state.

This passage also reminds me of our Great King – King Jesus. We have no fear that he will ever let the rafters sag or the roof leak. He never took a shortcut to His mission on the road to the cross. He bravely and with self-control took on the full burden of our consequence, taking no bribe nor succumbing to temptation. Wielding the supernatural caulk and tires that only the God-man can.

Marriage: It’s Not a Competition

I talked my sister-from-another-mister Chrissy into sharing some wisdom on the blog today while I’m on vacation! God bless you sis for putting it out there for us! I love her teachable heart – we can all learn something from this post. Give her some social media love and check out her blog about being a merchant marine wife!
I’m not a competitive person by nature but I’ve found myself competing with my husband. It started after I gave birth to our oldest daughter. I would get angry anytime he would call and complain that he was tired or worked hard that day.

“He has no clue!”
“At least he gets to sleep in peace every night!”
“How dare he call and dump all of his problems on me…he clearly has no idea how worn out I am!”

When we had our second child it only got worse. I became more bitter. I found myself angry at him but yearning to connect with him at the same time.

Marriage is not a competition
Thankfully God gave me some gentle nudging toward how selfish and wrong I was! I took a year long course called Biblical Womanhood this past year and my biggest takeaway was that my husband and I were created differently with different roles in mind.

Nurturing is in my DNA. I don’t have to try very hard to love my kids. It comes naturally. Those daily tasks I want to complain about so much… the middle of the night nursing, the endless laundry, the toddler tantrums, the same bedtime routine every night, the exhaustion… it’s just part of the package. In truth, my dream package. I’ve never had more fulfilling work than being a mother. Yes, it’s work, but it comes with a deep satisfaction.

Now my husband on the other hand. He has this huge weight of being the only provider for our family. Our entire livelihood hangs on his decisions every day. One wrong move or bad call and he will probably end up without a job (best case scenario) in jail or even dead. He sometimes works 24 hour days on a steel deck in blizzards and 15 ft seas. He goes without eating or sleeping if the job requires it. He is away from his entire support system for weeks at a time.

So when he calls to unload or tell me how tired he is, why am I angry?! Don’t I want to be that person for him? Would I rather he call someone else to vent about his day?

Instead of competing with my husband for who had the hardest day, who got the least amount of sleep, who works harder/longer. I want to help him up. I want to appreciate what he does for us. He showers me with appreciation. I get messages like this all day long:

“I don’t know how you do it. You’re amazing! Our girls are so lucky to have you!”
“I’m praying for you babe! I hope you get some good sleep tonight.”
“How was your night? I have a long day ahead but I will call as soon as I can!”

And he does.

So when that call comes, I want to love him, encourage him, respect him. I want to listen to what he went through. I still share my struggles but it looks less like a competition and more like two best friends catching up.

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor. If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10
Chrissy DoucetChrissy is a Stay-at-Home mom of two and wife to Merchant Marine. She sporadically updates her blog with posts on family life, healthy living, fitness and the occasional recipe.

Two Verses that will Change Your View of Your Husband

I don’t often think about how my husband views me; in fact, I’m confident in his love for me.

Maybe so confident that I neglect him. So confident that I don’t think about the temptations that surround him. Confident enough to shut my eyes and ears to how he serves me.
Change How You View Your Husband

I was literally startled when I read these verses in the Bible.

Like a lily among thorns
is my darling among the young women.

Like an apple tree among the trees of the forest
is my beloved among the young men. (Song of Solomon 2:2-3, NIV)

Am I like a lily among thorns to my husband?

That was the immediate question. And I knew the answer: I might be more like a thorn among thorns. 

Am I more like a thorn?

My husband is already in a patch of thorns!

  • the world’s troubles (John 16:33)
  • the curse of difficult work (Genesis 3:17)
  • bearing others’ burdens (Galatians 6:2)
  • his own sin nature (Romans 3:23)
  • among others!

When he sees me, does he see a lily? Am I:

  • a rare treat?
  • refreshing his eyes and soul?
  • soft and gentle?
  • lovely?

I long to be as a lily to my husband

To be perfectly honest, this verse is comparing Solomon’s bride to other women. My husband, like many, is surrounded by other women all the time! While I completely trust him, I want to be the woman that stands out from the crowd. 

What if I am more like a thorn among lilies?

Yes, he has a responsibility to serve and love me no matter what, but my marriage will be markedly more wonderful if I’m committed to making that responsibility a joy and a treasure.

Do I see my husband as a gift?

Imagine you’re walking through a forest, thick with huge trees. Vines, brambles, and shrubs cover the trunks of the trees and the ground on which you’re treading. Bugs are everywhere. Ducking under a branch, you wipe cobwebs from your face, and look up to see a clearing. In the middle of the clearing is one, single, random apple tree.

That’s the way I need to view my husband. Not random haha. No, he’s a find!

In fact, the bride says of her husband:

  • I feel safe with him and trust that he is capable (“I delight to sit in his shade.”)
  • Having sex with him is a sweet delight to me (“His fruit is sweet to my taste.”)
  • When we’re together in public, I’m happy to see how he treasures me (“Let him lead me to the banquet hall.”)

Can I say those things? Or instead, do I think:

  • My husband is like a child and truly needs my help. I can’t trust him to do anything right.
  • He disgusts me. OR, being intimate with my husband is the last thing I want to do.
  • I take every chance to belittle and tease my husband when we’re among others. If he pays me a compliment, I turn it back into an attack on him.

These two tiny verses are challenging me to see my husband as the gift that he is and to strive to be a lily among thorns for him!

Did these verses challenge you to view your husband differently?

 

The One Thing You Must Do to Enjoy Your Date Night

Enjoy Your Date Night

You wake up Friday morning, excited. You have a hot date tonight! With your man!

You confirm with the sitter. Make sure the kids have an appropriate dinner (i.e., something frozen). Get the Important Numbers list out. You and your husband are texting all day about the date, either making plans or excitedly anticipating the plans you’ve already made.

After a little thumb twiddling, you let the kids watch a movie so you can play dress up (and actually wear perfume!). He swoops in and sweeps you off your feet. And there you go!

Yayyyy…..

….

yyyy…

Hmmm… huh.

Meh.

As you go to bed that night, you think back on the date.

It wasn’t bad. But it wasn’t great. You went to one of your favorite restaurants – yay! You ordered an appetizer and ate it s.l.o.w.l.y. while you were talking about that thing that happened at the office on Monday.

Boy, that was tasty, you think as the handsome guy across from you is giving you the update on soccer practices and art previews from school this week.

The dessert is even better than the food… and the conversation, which is now centered on that issue with your uncle from forever ago. Humph.

Oh well. The conversation wasn’t that great, but we needed that time to catch up!

Your plan for after dinner was to go hear some live music and walk through the botanical gardens that are open at night, but you’re so tired, you both agree to go see the newest Bourne movie. (Good choice, by the way.)

Later you think, where did we go wrong? How did we not feel more – connected? Romantic? Flirtatious? Alive?

Here’s the one thing you must do if you want to actually enjoy your date night

Hold that thought (cruel, right?).

You might think I’m about to tell you to quit talking about the kids and school on your date, right? But you need to go back a little further than that.

To actually enjoy your date night, you must have a “catch up” time every day.

Yes. Every day.

As a couple, build into your routine a time each day that’s set aside just to listen to each other. Pour out any “business” (school and work) from the day. Lay out big decisions or worries you’re wrestling with. Pray together.

This might sound scary to you, or it might sound dreamy to you.

It might sound scary because it sounds like it takes a long time! It will at first, like most new rhythms. But once you’ve built it in, you’ll find that sometimes it only takes 10 minutes. Other times, it does take about an hour to really hear each other and care and pray for each other.

Plus, you actually have to hold off on turning on the TV… I know!

It might sound dreamy because it’s something you desire, but it would be difficult for your spouse to be on board with it. Let them know at a happy time (not during a fight) that having a certain time to be heard is important to you and makes you feel loved. Pray that God would make your spouse receptive and committed.

When you’re spending this kind of quality time together every day, you both expect it, you fight for it, and then when you have a date night planned, you can really have fun and converse just the two of you and re-learn all about each other!

And here’s one little bonus tip, especially for the tired and exhausted marriage couple:

Order coffee or tea at the beginning of your date

This sounds a little counterintuitive, maybe – don’t you want to sleep later? But, when we’re in those tired, tired seasons with littles, the first thing I do on a date is order a cappuccino.

If we’re paying for a sitter and spending time and money and energy to work at our marriage, then I want to give him my best – and my best comes with a shot of espresso! At this stage of my life, my caffeine sensitivity has been buried with months of no sleep, so I don’t have a sleepless night later, but even if I did, it would be worth it to build in special bonding time with my man.

And then I might feel more up to that music and garden tour instead of the movie I’d sleep through!

Thanks to my husband, whose sermon on Song of Solomon inspired this post!

Year of Fun Pledge – Free Printable!

Since the previous 2 years were rough, we’ve declared 2016 the year of fun! I decided to make a list of vows for the year. Some of these were really hard to write. Some of them might not make sense to everyone, but I still think we should all have something like this on our radar.

I’ve made a free printable of these vows, too! However, they are simplified so that they could work for most couples. 😀

year of fun pledge

 

All you have to do to get the free printable is sign up for my email list here.

And now, my own personal vows for fun!

1. I vow to laugh, especially at myself, with every opportunity.

2. I vow to say “Yes!” to spontaneous plans, rather than be my boring, comfortable, No-saying self.

3. I vow to teach our children that life can be enjoyable, regardless of our circumstances.

4. I vow to not get frustrated when I do something poorly, casting off perfectionism.

5. I vow to have more sex…because covenantal marriage is fun.

6. I vow to nurture our friendship by holding hands, looking into your eyes, and letting you in on my elusive thoughts.

7. I vow to pull as many pranks as I can think of. Be ready.

8. I vow to quit convincing myself you’re judging me for my performance and just be who I am.

9. I vow to let the wind mess up my hair.

10. I vow to kiss you every day until we fall off a mountain together.

That last one may seem strange – it’s an inside joke and totally appropriate for us. Don’t worry – the printable doesn’t include that part. 😉

Finding the Time to Pray Together


Y’all should know by now that I’m not good at sitting still and reflecting. (This blog is what makes me do that!)

I blame this for why I have such trouble with good, consistent prayer time. I feel like I wear so many hats that to be doing well at one thing, I have to put something else on the back burner. And so it is with my prayer life. I ebb and flow and have good weeks and bad weeks.

And the less I pray, the less I am connected to the Father and His will for my life. The more I pray – the more I want to see His work done. The more I want to love others. The more I crave the fruits of the Spirit.

Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. He said: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared what people thought. And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’

“For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care what people think,yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!’” (Luke 18:1-5, NIV, emphasis mine)

God gives us permission to BOTHER Him! You know that song (which I love because I remember singing it as a young believer), “You are God in Heaven and here am I on earth, so I’ll let my words be few…”

We don’t need to let our words be few! They also don’t necessarily have to be many. All I’m saying is prayer is important; prayer is vital; God wants to hear your prayers!

God already knows we are dependent on Him, but in prayer, we are opening our hearts to the reality that we need Him.

And I want to encourage you to find time to pray with your spouse.

For Brad and I, we had to get a little creative. Praying before bed wasn’t really working anymore because of baby feedings and sheer exhaustion. Early morning definitely doesn’t work for me (I’m usually taking my third nap of the night – otherwise known as sleep!).

I’ll tell you how we found the time. We fasted.

Brad had a great idea to fast from one thing each month of the year for 2013. For February, it was TV. In the evenings, it’s so easy to just plop on the couch and turn on the tube. Fasting from TV re-oriented our evenings in so many ways, but the best benefit we got was by finding a pocket of time for prayer.

Once both of the kids are asleep, we usually have uninterrupted time! We could choose to do dishes, turn on the TV, talk, take a bath (ahhhh), read a book, and on and on with our precious couple of hours. For us, the very beginning of that time pocket is the best for prayer. We’re not ready to crawl in bed, we haven’t turned our brains off yet, and it’s quiet in the house.

So if you have fallen off the marital prayer wagon, look at the natural rhythm of your day and see if you can find a pocket. If you can’t , consider fasting from something and using that time to seek God together.

Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Your Anger (including a suggestion for Pastor’s Wives)

When Brad and I were newlyweds, we made sure that we never let the sun go down on our anger.

In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry (Ephesians 4:26, NIV)

We took this as literally as possible. If we were not at peace with each other, we thought we had to stay up all night until we had resolved every scrap of our fight.

Right now I’m having a good belly laugh thinking about it. Then? Not so funny.

So in bed we would sit, with the bedside table lit. One of us (usually me) just wanted to sleep already. The other one was trying to figure out the quickest way to put a nice, tidy bow on our argument.

We were even less loving and respectful because we knew we had to stay up until we had really made up with each other, and we were taking it out on the other person!

It took us awhile to realize that if we got a little bit of sleep, we would wake up with a fresh perspective and have much more love and forgiveness and compromise to offer. Go figure. 😉

Nowadays, we usually fight in the evening because that’s the only time we can have a real conversation! Usually, we are all resolved and in love again when we go to sleep. But there are times where we have to come to a stopping point. I don’t think it’s a good idea to go to bed in a huff – hence the verse above. Both of you end up mad, miffed, confused, and not in a good place when you wake up.

But if we can’t resolve something, sometimes we just recognize that. “I hear that you feel hurt by this and want XYZ. I can’t seem to wrap my mind around XYZ instead of ABC. Can we think and talk about it some more (tomorrow/at lunch/whenever you can)?”

The verse says don’t sin in your anger. Don’t let the sun go down on your anger. Not “Don’t let the sun go down on your conflict.”

I heard a really awesome suggestion for this especially for pastor’s wives. A PW in our city said that early in their marriage and ministry, she would always seem to have a conflict with her husband near the weekend (i.e., before Sunday morning when he would have to preach and be focused on shepherding). When she realized they were always fighting on the weekend, she thought Oooo I bet that enemy just loves me getting all riled up and seeing us in conflict while my husband is trying to teach the Word of God.

And she made a resolution. She decided that if she felt hurt or upset by something near the weekend, instead of bringing it up and kicking off an argument, she would just wait until after church on Sunday to talk about it.

She was happily surprised when Sunday rolled around and she could hardly remember what little thing she was so upset about. So if you’re a PW, consider this! I have been trying this out myself, and I think (hope) it’s made a lot of difference in my husband’s Sundays.

How to Just “Let it Go” in Marriage

You know how you get into those “little fights” with your spouse? You know, the dumb ones.

You never listen to the radio station I like!

We haven’t seen my mom in 3 months!

You don’t load the dishwasher correctly! [Really ladies, who told us to say this!?]

Yeah. You know you’ve said it. Well, part of growing in marriage is growing in maturity (hopefully!). And as you mature, you learn that some things just aren’t worth fighting about.

So you try to let it go. But how do you know if you really have just “let it go”?

  • You don’t bring it up at the next fight.
  • It doesn’t fuel other ill feelings you have towards your mate.
  • You know how to laugh about it (Ha! That bowl is in there all cock-eyed. Ah well, we can run it through again.)
  • You forgot it happened. Truly.

Now, if you feel like you simply can’t do this – that you’re just not there yet – try this. Pick one of the “little things”. The next time it happens, I just want you to sit on it for a week. Just 7 days. Don’t do anything about it, and don’t bring it up. But anytime you think it is affecting your marriage – making your blood boil or just a huff and a puff – I want you to pray for your spouse.

Don’t pray that they will learn how to load the dishwasher. They won’t. Pray that they will have a heart for God. Pray that they will see tangibly how you love/respect them. Pray for discernment on how to serve them.

By day 7, I really think you forget that you were counting the days.

Obviously, there are some thing that are not  in the “let it go” category.

Things like

We haven’t had sex in a year!

You never listen to me!

Those are real problems that need addressed. Those are arteries. The dishwasher is just a tiny vein.

An Attitude of Gratitude in Marriage

A friend of mine, Mel, chooses a word each year to focus on. Something like, “Quiet” or “Praise” or something like that. And throughout the year, she tries to bring her mind back to that word.

Well, I felt like God was leading me to do a year-long focus for 2013, but apparently I’m more wordy than Mel because I chose a phrase.

Attitude of Gratitude

I wish wish wish I were a grateful person. My flesh is very negative.

I’m a

  • blame shifter
  • glass half empty
  • negative nelly
  • grumbler
  • exagerrator
  • excuse maker

I hate this about myself, but it’s the truth. And I don’t fight it very much. You know, for the sake of authenticity.

Well if I truly went authentic, I would also be a massive liar, a thief, an adulteress, and a murderer.

I don’t want authentic if that’s what it means. I want transformation. And transformation only comes through the power of the Holy Spirit.

So I felt God leading me to be renewed with an Attitude of Gratitude this year. But this is going to take faith. It’s going to take His power because I just don’t have this in me.

Saying thank you to someone is hard for me.

That’s how much I struggle with this. My mind says, Well yeah thanks for that but where were you when I needed xyz?

I’m ashamed of my flesh, and I’m ready to cast it off for a new wardrobe.

My biggest challenge for gratitude comes in the form of my marriage. And believe me, I have a whole heap of a lot to be thankful for there. So so many things (it would take a year to write it all out).

But when I wake up tired, it must be his fault. When I’m depressed, I’m angry at him. When he says, “I love you,” I sometimes don’t want to reply.

It is such a horrible reality it takes my breath away to put it in print.

Can you see why I need God’s transforming power in my marriage? Every day?

The attitude of gratitude does not focus on what I’m not receiving from my husband. It focuses on what I am receiving from him.

The attitude of gratitude takes the long view, realizing that God’s purposes play out in a lifetime, not a weekend.

The attitude of gratitude wants to thank my husband with a kiss, rather than ignoring his eye contact and snuffing his advances.

Lord, could you give me this attitude of gratitude? I’m going to mess it up. Probably today, so can you redeem it? I know you CAN, and I have faith that you will transform my marriage into something that can bring glory to You.