A couple of weeks ago I started reading Created to be His Helpmeet and am just overflowing to tell someone about everything I have learned! So, I decided to start a series of posts as I work my way through the book and share with you how it is changing my entire perspective! Starting off with having joy!
The funny thing, is that I have read this book at least three times before, but they were all before I got married…at the point in my life when I thought I had it all figured out and this “wife thing” was going to be a piece of cake. haha
Well, this time around it is hitting home in ways I didn’t think were possible.
Of course, as all moms know, finding time to sit down and read is tough. So what I started doing was giving my little Heidi some supervised self-entertaining time (which is when she tends to make her biggest physical advances) for about 15 minutes every evening while I read aloud. I also time it right before Josh gets home because, without fail, I approach him in a completely different way after being challenged and convicted by what I just read!
So, in this first post of the series, I am combining chapters 2 and 3 because they are closely related. They discuss the importance of a wife having a merry heart and a thankful spirit.
What makes a girl attractive?
This is probably one of the most asked questions in the female community from before puberty until death! The magazines print about it, the talk shows try to figure it out, and the spas tell you they have all the tricks and answers.
But Debi Pearl (author of Created) says they are all wrong. Ask any husband – what is most attractive to a man is seeing joy in his wife’s face and knowing he helped to put it there! Although it sounds cliché, a smile coming from a truly merry heart is the most beautiful thing on earth!
Which leads us to the first convicting question:
What does your face look like the majority of the time you are with your husband? Is it brimming over with joy and laughter or does it reek of bitterness and tension?
I am so thankful that I come from a long line of wonderful marriages that I can use as an example. My parents have been married for almost 30 years. My grandparents have be together over 50 years. And my great-grandparents were married 71 years when my great-grandfather passed away!
Something I’ve noticed in all of them is that no matter how many years have passed, wrinkles formed, stretch marks appeared or weight gained; the moments when I can truly see these husband looking adoringly at their wives is when the wives are radiating true joy!
If we rely on anything else for beauty, there will come a day when our husbands no longer perceive us as beautiful…how sad that would be!
Now don’t get me wrong, this is a wonderful book, but it is also a very tough book to read. But that is simply because it is filled with raw truth…truth that I don’t always want to hear.
A large part of the second chapter was a response to a sad wife who has found out her husband was cheating on her with his secretary, and she is now struggling with jealousy and bitterness. I know there are some of you that have struggled with this same scenario, but I also found it very applicable even if your husband has never cheated.
The author first reassured the wife that her response was natural and justified. Her husband was DEFINITELY in the wrong and would be judged for it. But this normal response of anger/jealousy/condemnation would most likely bring on the normal result: divorce.
She made the point that the wife could stand on her principles, knowing she was “in the right”, but then she would sleep alone and try to raise her kids as a single parent. Is that really what she wanted?
“No man has ever crawled out from under his wife’s criticism to be a better man – no matter how justified her condemnation.” Michael Pearl
As tough as this truth is, nothing in this world is guaranteed to be fair – and that includes marriage. At the end of the day, if we want our marriages to work, we need to forget our pride and our rights, and fight for our husbands!
If your husband has cheated on you with another woman or with the TV, work, sports or anything else that is distracting him and drawing him away from the marriage…he is in the wrong. But anger and frustration will only drive him further away!
Win back your husband from the other woman, laziness, lying, or whatever else has him captive! Remind him what he loves about you and make him want to please you and do what is right by radiating a joy that he longs to come home to!
You see, it always comes back to joy. That is what he first found beautiful in your fun, dating days…and that is what will win him back now!
“God stands with you when you stand joyfully by your man, but you will stand alone if you insist on standing by your rights.” Debi Pearl
I’ll be the first to say, this is much easier said then done! But isn’t the lifelong covenant of marriage worth it?
“Thankfulness is HOW you think; joy is the abundance it PRODUCES.” Debi Pearl
We have talked a lot about joy thus far, but a joyful heart doesn’t just happen. It comes from making a daily, moment by moment choice to be thankful. And another hard truth is that no matter what our circumstances, we can ALWAYS choose to be thankful. If we don’t, we will never truly have joy.
This habit, what I call “taking captive your thoughts with the truth”, is not an easy one to form. But practice makes permanent; whether we practice thinking bitter, angry thoughts or thankful ones.
When the urge to think negatively about your husband comes up, instead train yourself to consider the good qualities he possesses. When you feel yourself getting in the dumps, focus on all the blessings you have in your life. It takes a concerted effort to become a pro at this.
God promises that if we choose to follow Him in our thoughts and actions, He will change our heart’s desires. So the next time you have a negative thought against your husband, remember – smilling is a choice…our thoughts are a choice…our responses are a choice.
I’ve gone into greater detail with how I’ve learned to take captive my thoughts in this post.
At the end of chapter 3 Debi Pearl quoted a wife who’s marriage HAD been on the brink of divorce, but she began CHOOSING to joyfully respond to her husband even though his responses had not yet changed:
“Since I began to respond to him with joy, he has been treating me like a princess. His face lights up when he sees me. He holds my hand, puts his arm around me, smiles at me all the time, tries to help any chance he gets, and wants to just sit and talk.
I am the Queen of his heart and the fire in his bed, at last!”
If you are interested in this amazing book, click on the picture below. Can’t wait to share more things I’ve learned next time!