New Attitude About Love
Making love? Tonight? Again?!
When we had four boys under seven, I fantasized about going on a relationship sabbatical. No calling after me; no touching me.
My days (and nights) were filled with demands from all sides: Crying baby demanding something (to be figured out) NOW. A teaching-opportunity (a.k.a. a fight between the kids) here. Spilled milk there. “How do you write ‘cat’?” “Can you read to me?” “PIPI!!!!!” Urgent diaper change coming through!! The drop which invariably made my cup topple over was when, at the end of the day my husband would cuddle up and whisper, “Honey...(wink)” Heaven sounded like one year of being “off-call.”
But what was my attitude teaching the kids? Me >>> We. ("Me" is much more important than "We") Oops.
Here are some thoughts that helped me change my attitude.
(Photo story: we visited this pre-Inca Largo Museum as a family. The Erotic Room sure provided a memorable experience!)
Speak Through Your Actions
These comments came from my husband and they sounded more like this: “Talk to me about God without using his name.”
My husband and I come from different faith cultures. Chez moi, we freely mentioned God in our conversation. We believe He is God of ALL things—from the air we breathe to the intelligence and strength of those who plan and construct city streets—so it was natural to my family to refer to him in our daily life. To others this sounds like forcing our modus operandi on them. As a man of character (how else would I have found him attractive), my husband stood up for his perspective. “You want to talk to me about God? Do it without saying his name.”
I learned that my actions speak more loudly than my words. If I want to say, “I love you,” it will have to be more than verbal.
Friends who have lived through periods of unemployment or under-employment shared similar thoughts. When satisfaction in the professional sphere is lacking, men hunger (not necessarily consciously) to be affirmed in their manliness. Words won’t suffice; they want action!
Be Loving > Being Right
For years I have benefited from an excellent Bible study founded by a witty British lady who often made me laugh. In one of her talks, Wetherell Johnson taught that, “Jesus said people will know we are Christians by the love we have one for another, not by our right doctrine (teachings/beliefs).”
Have you thought of how much energy we invest in being right? And in making sure that other people know how correct we are?
“I didn’t say that! I said this_____________.”
“Well, it was I that ____________ (did all the work) and you that _____________ (lazily slouched off).”
“Don’t interrupt me!”she intervenes cutting the other person off. “Listen to me!”
“You’re not doing it the right way. Let me show you how to __________ (set the table, raise your child, be sexy lol LOL...)”
What a contrast to testimonies I read about enduring couples who share the secret to their joy together: “Yes, dear.” They are choosing to be loving over being right.
No Sex. Then Pray!
“Do not deprive each other of sexual relations, unless you both agree to refrain from sexual intimacy for a limited time so you can give yourselves more completely to prayer.” 1 Corinthians 7: 5 It’s right from the Bible!
The apostle Paul is writing to the followers of Jesus in Corinth, a city not unlike Paris of today—international center for business and culture and lavish in promiscuity (Check out examples of Paris billboards...the signs that kids stand in front of while waiting for the bus: Lesson 84, 85). The Corinthians asked Paul about being a “good Christian,” specifically, whether they should refrain from sex in marriage to be more religious. Paul’s wisdom still rings true today. In a couple, “the two are united to become one.” In spirit and in flesh.
Sure take a pause (Webster's dictionary definition: “a temporary stop”)...in order to pray! Interestingly, the more I pray for my husband, the more I find him attractive.
Mind or Body? Which comes First?
“The way to a woman’s body is through her mind. The way to a man’s mind is through his body.” This insight came from Dave Wilson (previous All American college quarterback and currently a pastor and chaplain to the Detroit Lions football team) and his wife Ann (mother of their three boys and clearly Dave’s emotional manager).
Now I know that for my French husband, the way to his heart is through fine food. But it takes more than warm fuzzies to get me really excited about him. I want to know what is going on in his soul. He expresses this through words, through his mind. When the mood is just right, the window into his soul opens up just a little more...and it’s thrilling to be trusted in this way.
My initiative and responsiveness positively impact his mood!
We can’t always "Be Prepared" à la Boy Scouts, but we can learn to get there quickly. Stormie Omartian (author of The Power of a Praying Wife ) offers some ultra-practical advice about having a great attitude for love. If you’re not in the mood now, do what it takes to get there in _____ minutes (be reasonable).
Put something on (perfume, high heels, lingerie...). Take something off (not necessarily what you think! Remove dirt and sweat—take a shower. Erase signs of exhaustion—splash cold water on your face and put on concealer.)
A (tiny) absence makes the heart grow fonder.