Ephesians 5:33b: And the wife should respect her husband.
Respect is his primary need, his deepest desire.

I Put My Followers First

Saturday, February 27, 2010

My Husband Is AMAZING!

I've been married to Bruce for very nearly five years (15-April-2005) and it has been amazing.  He has been amazing.  In the profile that I wrote for my new Zazzle store, I shared the following:
Bruce and I had been seeing each other nearly every night for weeks and it was obvious to both of us that we were on a fast moving train to a lifetime commitment. One evening, after our nightly ritual of tending to his tender toes, I was still seated on the floor at his feet. We had been discussing life, limitations and survival. (Bruce is a stroke survivor) He became overwhelmed with emotion and began to pour his heart out. 
"I didn't think," he said. "I didn't think anyone would want me." 

The tears welled up in his eyes as he continued. 
"Every day. I looked at myself. Every day I asked who would want this?" 
He reached across his body and touched his paralyzed arm and crumbled hand. He stood and stooped over in an exagerated imitation of his stroke-effected stature. He further emphasized his point by pulling his right hand up to his chest in a seized and clenched position. "Who would want to touch this?" he had made his point and he sat again. 
This man was not looking for love, not really. He was looking for respect.

Anyone who knew me before Bruce would know that respecting men did not come naturally to me.     But, God asked me to respect Bruce and He assured me that it would be worth it.  So far, I have been blessed beyond all imagination.  

The Analogy of Respect

Without Respect:

With Respect:

You get the picture.

Some people mistakenly believe that it is difficult being married to a man with disabilities - both mobility and verbal disabilities.  They pull me quietly aside, sometimes, to praise me for being patient, kind, and respectful to him.  I politely thank them and mutter something about how I am not the spouse that bears the burdens.  I am the spouse that reaps the blessings.

I am learning, merely learning, to respect my husband.  And yet, though I fail often and miserably, yet I reap a reward of marriage to a magnificent, amazing man.

My New Business: Your Husband's Deepest Desire

Life has been a bit discumbobulated since "Pink Slip Friday" on February 12th when I received notice that my last day of work would be April 19th.

I basically went into shock and awe for the first week. My blood pressure readings were off the chart and I was an emotional wreck.

Then I got a grip.

I could not help but notice that being laid off was going to grant me the one thing I had been praying for.  Time.  I had prayed for time to write my manuscript and for time to tackle a project I'd been toying with for three years.  I began to get excited about the prospects.  Setting aside the concern about how to support us on unemployment when we were barely making ends meet on my paycheck will be fodder for another post.  Suffice it to say that we are anchored in the promises of tithing as found in Malachi.

So - what is the BIG project I've been toying with in my mind for three years?

It is to support the teaching that men (husbands) have one driving desire.   It is their deepest desire. And when that desire is met, men are happy.   My husband has one desire, that when met, will make him happy.  Happy.  Satisfied.  Fulfilled.  

So, as a wife, if I know what that desire is and I am capable of fulfilling that desire, would I not choose to do so?

Wouldn't you?  Couldn't you?

You won't commit to do it until you know what it is.  Right?

His deepest desire?

NO - it is NOT sexual.

Man's Deepest Desire is for Respect.  He needs to be respected to feel happy.

Woman's deepest desire is for love.  She needs to be loved to feel happy.

Go ahead and mull that over for a few minutes.  Don't miss the opportunity to consider the teaching in Ephesians 5:33.

My mother and I have been discussing the topic of man's desire for respect for about three years.  We have not exhausted our conversation on the topic but it was high time to do something with what we've learned.

My mother talked to some men about the "Love and Respect Marriage Conference" they had attended with their wives.  Among the many things that impressed her was the problem that women have communicating with men - in their language - in the man's language - in the language of respect.

"Unfortunately . . . you won't find any greeting cards that wives send to their husbands, saying, “Baby, I really respect you.”

Why not? Because they don't sell either! When women buy greeting cards for their husbands, they want to express love for them; they don't even think about respect. Sadly, the deepest yearning of husbands goes unmet because wives (and the card publishers) are locked into relaying sentiments of love."  (Emerson Eggerich, author of "Love and Respect")

After conducting an extensive search and having proven Emerson Eggerich's point, my mother encouraged me to create a line of "respect cards". I agreed that I was the perfect candidate for the project. Having three failed marriages behind me I had only recently discovered the secret to marital bliss, found in Ephesians 5:33, wherein wives are commanded to respect their husbands. The benefit of learning the language of respect is demonstrated by the increasing magnificence of the man I married.

Along the way I have discovered a growing number of women equally determined to harness the power of respecting their husbands. If you are one of these daring women, this store is for you.

Per my mother's request, follow this link to view the cards:

Your Husband's Deepest Desire

Sunday, February 07, 2010

If God Told You

    If God told you 
    exactly what it was you were to do, 
    you would be happy doing it 
    no matter what it was.
    What you're doing 
    is what God wants you to do.
    Be happy.
This aphorism was a favorite of mine, as a teen and young adult.  In a seminar I had attended I received a booklet of aphorisms and this one resonated with me.  Later, after having my daughters I wrote a book based on my understanding of this particular aphorism.

In retrospect I find that to be sad because, as a teen and as a young adult, I had no understanding of that aphorism because I had no faith in God. I had no understanding of who He was or how I would really feel if I knew exactly what God wanted me to do. If God told you 

I also did not believe that it was possible for God to tell me what it was He wanted me to do. Oh sure, I knew that I could read His Word and learn of the things that He had shared with the prophets and apostles in the Bible. But, never in my wildest dreams did I think He would talk to me personally on a personal level about personal decisions.

On an intellectual level I finally developed a belief in God, in Christ and in the purpose for my life. I was baptized and covenanted to take the name of Christ upon me, to always remember Him and to keep His commandments. I understood that if I sinned (and I would sin) that I could repent and receive the grace and forgiveness of God. It all made perfect sense and I lived my life accordingly. I was good, kind, and charitable. By any Christian definition, I was saved.

But, I traveled a rocky road, leaning on my own understanding and never, never accepting the will of God in my actions. It is impossible to accept the will of God if you refuse to ask for or listen to it when it does come.

Three failed marriages and a shattered "life" later I found myself alone in Sacramento. And then "it" happened. In one brief moment and with no more than a two minute prelude I was told exactly what God wanted me to do.

It was February 10th, 2005. I was at the bus stop waiting to begin my morning commute and a recently formed ritual began to play itself out. The bus pulled up and the door opened. I waited as a disabled bus rider rose from his seat in the "priority seating area" and made his way to exit the bus before I could board.

His name was Bruce. I had met him four years earlier as a customer where I worked. He was a stroke survivor. His right side was paralyzed which caused him to walk in a most awkward and jerky fashion. He had aphasia from the stroke meaning that he had a very limited vocabulary and with the few words he did have, he would yell to make his point or get what he wanted. And, he could no longer read or write. He was loud, obnoxious and lacked patience in everything. Because we traveled the same bus routes we ran into each other often. I spent years avoiding him.

But I eventually noticed a mellowing in his nature, his behavior and his speech. He had made obvious changes in his appearance and his demeanor. Honestly, he had become pleasant to talk to and my heart had begun to soften towards him. For many mornings since our paths had begun to cross, he would step from the bus and greet me.

"Good morning, sweetheart," he would say.

I would smile and respond with a cheerful, "Have a good day at work."

I would then step aside for him to pass and clear the way for me to board. This was our routine, our ritual until that day early in February. This day changed everything forever.

I woke to a shadow of anticipation and foreboding mingled with joy that hovered near me as I walked to the bus stop. I prayed for the sensation to subside as I found it to be very disconcerting. When the bus pulled in I saw the shadow of my "new morning friend" as he moved from his seat. As he came through the door he held out his hand. In it was a small scrap of yellow legal-pad paper.

He smiled broadly as I reached to accept the paper. I must have had quite a look on my face because he eagerly explained himself. "That's my number," he said smiling broadly. "That's my number. You can call me."

I mumbled thank you and hurried to board the bus. I had barely stepped aboard and shown my pass when that familiar sense of foreboding mixed with joy came upon me most magnified and overwhelming. My body could not sustain the sensation and as I began to crumble I caught hold of the rails beside me. I looked to the floor but what opened before my view was not of this world.

In the seconds that followed I received clear vision of a future, Bruce's future and mine. It developed like a conduit from the present and outward from where I stood. I did not grasp the details of life on earth as they flew quickly from view but everything paused in my approach to the throne of God. There he was, standing beside the Savior and conversing. I could sense that my focus was not being called to look upon Christ but upon this man with whom He spoke. I saw my disabled friend, but he was whole, complete and bright in countenance. He was brilliant, full of love, wisdom and compassion.

But mostly, the part that I have never forgotten was the fullness of joy as he stood beside the Savior, at His right hand. Both of them turned to greet me, to welcome me. Without words or any form of communication which I could describe, I felt the Savior place my future (not just my hand) in the care and keeping of this wonderful man.

God told me exactly what it was I was to do and I nearly collapsed at the message. I could never describe the fullness of joy except to say that it was overwhelming. I regained awareness of my surroundings and stepped to my seat. I sat there and rehearsed what I had just seen. I was amazed at the sureness of the knowledge that my husband had just been chosen for me, by God himself.

I knew what God wanted me to do and for the first time in my life I would be doing it.
exactly what it was you were to do, 
you would be happy doing it 
no matter what it was.
What you're doing 
is what God wants you to do.
    Be happy.

Can I get an Amen?