Sunday, March 6, 2011

Welcome to Marriage Monday



How Marriage Works:

21 Secrets William & Kate Need
to Know


Secret #1: Trust

Q. Why is it so hard to trust my husband?

My biggest issue on my part is trust. That really works against us
sometimes. I don't know why, but I have problems trusting period.
My husband is the one I trust the most, but I am always afraid I will do something that will make him leave. This is a me problem.
—Kim at
Scattered Stones

A. Most women have issues with trust. That’s because God has made us to be trusting receivers. And to receive is to admit our need.

Wait… stop.

Doesn’t God want us to be givers? Yes He does, and we certainly should. But generally that’s not our biggest problem. Women, by and large, do give selflessly and tirelessly—particularly to our families. Sometimes we give to the point of playing the martyr.

Unlike men—who have the opposite tendency—women have great difficulty with receiving. In fact, we’re so reluctant that we must be exhorted by Scripture to do so (Eph 5:22-28). We don’t like to be in need because need puts us in a vulnerable position. We’re afraid to risk having our feminine needs go unmet.

When our needs are overlooked or ignored, we blame the situation on ourselves. Our worst fears are confirmed. We mistakenly think we’re unlovable and unlovely. If our husband walked out on us today, we would erroneously conclude he had found us completely unworthy of his care.

Most women would rather have a root canal than come face to face with that particular demon! However, we must understand that our husband’s puzzling responses are usually due to his own aversion to failure.

To risk loving us is to risk being criticized for loving us incorrectly. Did you know that when a man leaves a relationship, it’s not because he’s displeased? Rather, he leaves when he concludes he has failed in his attempts to please his wife; when he thinks he simply does not have what it takes to make her happy
(1 Cor 7:33).

Until we learn to trust and be vulnerable to our husbands, we will never get the chance to feel his loving care. Similarly, he will never get the chance to feel successful in leading, loving, and serving us. Until then, we will continue to make the mistake of trying to “wear the pants” by taking charge and taking over (Gen 3:16).



Let me tell you a little story about our basement. For years, the storage area downstairs went through the fill-up empty-out fill-up cycle. For instance, after our kids outgrew the playpen, stroller, swing, and crib, that equipment sat downstairs until we could barely squeeze past all the other things piling up
around it.

Eventually, I took everything to a consignment store and freed up all kinds of space. Delighted, my husband and I hooked elbows like square dancers and spun around in our new found “ballroom.”

Before too long, an old oak dresser found its way down to the basement. Other
cast-offs soon joined it. In time, our storage area was full again. This time we trundled everything out to the backyard for a major sort—giveaways over here, throw-aways over there, and Craigslist items in the middle.

After many more scenarios like this, I marveled that no matter how empty that storage area became, it didn’t stay that way for long. Something was always on its way downstairs to fill it up again!

In a way, trust in marriage is just like the “wash, rinse, repeat” cycle in basements and garages. Since our husbands need to be respected and appreciated, when they recognize some empty floor space in our lives—a place of need—usually they will make an effort to try to meet it.

Just as nature abhors a vacuum, men are most attracted to the places where they think they will be useful. Doesn’t it make sense then that we should deliberately leave some appropriate open spaces to be filled up with our husbands’ loving attention, provision, and care?

A wife’s active trust empowers her husband like nothing else can. Active trust is not behaving like a helpless child. Active trust chooses to believe that our husbands have general good will toward us, they are doing their best to please us, but sometimes they lack the specific knowledge of how to do so.

So how can we overcome the disappointment and hurt of risking our vulnerability when our husbands do fail us? With genuine forgiveness (Eph 4:32). When we forgive we feel the injury, mourn the pain, release the blame, and heal. With a clean heart, we can start all over by daring to trust our husbands once again.

Photos: esther1616 & JeanM1 (Flickr)

Up Next—The Real Story of Saint Patrick

Would you tell me about your experience with trust in marriage?





It's Marriage Monday. Please Join Us!

What advice would you give to the newly engaged British royal couple, Prince William and Kate about trust in marriage? What have you learned that you would like to pass on to others?

If you would like to link a post for Marriage Monday today, please take a minute to read the introduction to today’s topic.

You’re welcome to add your link any time up until eleven PM (PST) on Wednesday. Please include a text link back to Chrysalis, or you can use one of these graphic buttons if you prefer.

If you're new at Chrysalis, please accept my invitation to join our Marriage Monday community. I'm e-Mom your hostess. Welcome! You might want to read an introduction to this Blog Hop and find out how to join the Marriage Monday Blog List.

Thanks for linking up at Chrysalis today, sweet sister!


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19 Comments:

nice A said...

"Wash, rinse, repeat!" Thank you for this reminder, e-Mom. Even if I haven't written my post yet and have a hard time doing it this time, I'm already blessed by your post. God bless you always for inspiring others like me.

Miriam Pauline said...

I love the reminder that there is a cycle to our married lives. Everytime we exhibit trust we build the momentum to do the cycle again. But we have to exhibit that over and over with our spouses.

Trust came easy for German and me, but I know that is not often the case. I try not to take that miracle for granted.

Thanks for hosting us again and challenging us to think on difficult topics. God bless.

Jona said...

"Doesn’t it make sense then that we should deliberately leave some appropriate open spaces to be filled up with our husbands’ loving attention, provision, and care?" - great insight! thanks e-Mom :D
my Marriage Monday

Tami Boesiger said...

We were thinking the same way e-Mom. We shoot ourselves in the foot when we don't trust our husbands. Our distrust manifests itself in little ways too, like being a backseat driver. Thanks for choosing this important topic.

Lisa notes... said...

You have so many great insights that hit home with me:

"God has made us to be trusting receivers. And to receive is to admit our need."

"We don’t like to be in need because need puts us in a vulnerable position."

It's scary to let ourselves be vulnerable, and that's exactly what trust requires. But, oh, the benefits that outweigh the heartaches.

I'll try to be more deliberate to "leave some appropriate open spaces to be filled up with our husbands’ loving attention, provision, and care."

Thanks!

Faith said...

Great post! I started laughing when I saw your pics of the royal couple....my goodness...the general public is just soooo consumed by news of them, eh?? Sadly, I doubt they are Christ Followers....although I don't wanna judge their hearts...but..based on the fruit in their lives....I would encourage them to find a BIble believing church and attend as a married couple....

Julie Arduini said...

Wonderful post that I would require for any engaged or newlywed couple. So much wisdom here. I especially love how you used the royal couple as an example. All couples need this information, even the well known. Happy Marriage Monday!

barbarah said...

This was something it took me a long time to realize: "Active trust chooses to believe that our husbands have general good will toward us, they are doing their best to please us, but sometimes they lack the specific knowledge of how to do so." Sometimes I would be so frustrated in the areas where he "got it wrong" that I failed to see he really wanted to please me but didn't always know the best way.

A lot of great insights here!

Alicia The Snowflake said...

How true! I have found it extremely difficult to be vulnerable and trust my husband's love. I hadn't really thought about him needing that vulnerability from me. May I give it to him openly and honestly.

Thanks for always encouraging!

Elizabeth said...

Ahhh! I just wrote and linked my post... which I must confess is never easy after reading such beautiful God-filled posts from everyone else. But, I did it!

Your post spoke volumes to me. Especially when you wrote: "When our needs are overlooked or ignored, we blame the situation on ourselves. Our worst fears are confirmed. We mistakenly think we’re unlovable and unlovely. If our husband walked out on us today, we would erroneously conclude he had found us completely unworthy of his care."

...I honestly never bring up this little internal demon to anyone because I feel alone in it. Like I would be screaming: I'm the weak one that feels unworthy of... well, anything.

I'm both relieved and saddened to see I'm not alone.

Janette@Janette's Sage said...

Awesome, awesome post! Amen! Now I have to say after 30 years I am not near where I need to be in this area...that is sad, but some curve balls really landed me with a need to go back to home plate and start over again in this area. I am too much of a first born, meaning I take care of it myself and trust after failures has been very hard for me.
Thanks...I will re-read this a couple of times and ask the Lord to show me my next step.

Lynn said...

Most women would rather have a root canal than come face to face with that particular demon! However, we must understand that our husband’s puzzling responses are usually due to his own aversion to failure.

Wow, e-Mom, this post is filled with such great wisdom. I can't wait to share it.

Thank you for your wisdom and teaching. Hugging you today. And thank you for always hosting MM. Love you.

Guiding Light said...

What an awesome post! Thank you so much for your wonderful words!!

A Stone Gatherer said...

Excellent post! I think I'll have Steve read it when he gets home too. Boy that quote sure is a Dooley!!! Most work on that!!!

21st Century Housewife© said...

I really enjoyed your post - it contained some real home truths and a lot of very good advice! Thank you for hosting, and for challenging me to think about something I take far too much for granted!

Mac an Rothaich said...

Thanks so much for the post. I was raised by a very capable woman and really struggled when I was young and newly married because I felt like I needed my husbands help more then she did so I am not being a good wife. I soon learned he loved it when I asked him for help clearly because he loves me and it gave him an opportunity to show it.

Constance said...

Sadly, I came into our marriage with MANY trust issues. Most would say I had good reason but I'm certain that lack of trust KILLS intimacy!! This was a great topic for us to explore. I'm late in getting my post up but at least it's there! Now off to read everyone elses contributions!
hugs,
Connie

e-Mom said...

Marriage Monday Sisters:

Thank you for linking your well-written posts yesterday! Weren't they great? We had a terrific diversity of viewpoints on the topic of TRUST. e.g. To name just a few:

Trust in God
Trust & Submission
Becoming Trustworthy
Easy Trust
Trust & Action
Trust & Sexual Faithfulness
Trust & Remarriage
Trust & Compatibility
Trust & Communication
Trust & Vulnerability

There's still time to link up. See you for Marriage Monday again in two weeks! March 21, 2011: OPEN Topic.

Hugs, e-Mom ღ

tonya said...

E-Mom you used such great analogies in your post. Each cycle as you put shows the continual change we face as married couples. Nothing should remain static. Great post!

 

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