Warren Baldwin posted a giveaway for my book at Titus 2 In Action. You can read an excerpt from chapter three "The Real Enemy - Out to Destroy Your Family" at this link: God's Given You the Best
This is an excerpt from my book, "YOU CAN HAVE A HAPPY FAMILY - Steps to Enjoying Your Marriage and Children." It's taken from the chapter "What Women Need."
Understanding and Empathy
Loving unconditionally doesn’t mean you have to agree with your wife or understand her. Understanding and empathy were two important needs women wrote about. I know we are complex and hard to figure out, but you don’t have to understand us to be understanding.
For example, when I share a concern with my husband, he instantly wants to fix it by giving me a solution. I don’t want him to fix everything. Most of the time I want him to listen to me and show me
compassion. I’m not expecting him to understand what I’m feeling. I just want him to understand that it’s important to me. I want him to listen to how I feel. He’s getting better at knowing when I want a listening ear. And I’m getting better at not getting mad when he gives me a solution instead.
Women, we need to be understanding with our husbands and not get mad when they don’t understand us. Do we honestly think our husbands can understand all the emotions we feel? Men, next time your wives want to talk, listen and have a little empathy to show you care about their feelings. That’s all we want.
Women are more emotional than men. We tend to take things personally and get offended more easily than men. My husband gets confused trying to understand me. He says women are too complex compared to men. We need to believe the best in each other and realize we are different. God made us different to complement each other, not to bring separation.
Knowing you are made differently, so you think differently, will help you understand your wife better. It may seem to you that your wife overreacts to things, but maybe she just sees it differently. She won’t see it the way you do because she is different. It may be nothing to you, but it might be something to her.
One man explained how he shows understanding to his wife: “I do not take any issues too seriously regardless of the way my wife overreacts to small situations.”
In general, women are more expressive and men are more direct. We want to get to the root of the problem and men want to solve it and move on. If you are patient with her and remain calm, regardless of her reaction, the problem will get resolved quicker than if you keep escalating it by getting angry. She may only want to express how she feels. By being calm and caring, you can work together to solve the situation.
It is to a man’s honor to avoid strife, but every fool is quick to quarrel.
Arguing solves nothing. It only separates us more. Strife always begins when someone wants their way. All my arguments with my husband stem from one or both of us wanting to be right. James 3:16 says, “For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.”
Many households are full of disorder, and it stems from self-centeredness. One man wrote, “You must die to self. When there are dry seasons in any relationship, someone has to take the first step toward making things work.” We need to be the one to take that step and do our part to keep strife out of our marriages.
I believe one of the reasons women want empathy is because we have a lot we have to do each day. We want our husbands to notice. I’m at home with children all day. Listening to a crying baby, and breaking up fights over whose toy is whose wears on me mentally and emotionally. My husband would make it worse if he came home and told me how to handle it better, or that I should try doing what he does. All I want is a little empathy.
Being a mother is a 24/7 job and it gets tiring. We spend all day doing things that have to be done again the next day. Most of the time we don’t see our accomplishments until our children are grown. We then pray to see positive fruits of our labor as our children grow into adults. We are affirmed only after we have poured our lives into raising them. This can be emotionally hard during these years.
Whether your wife is at work or chauffeuring children all day, she needs to see that you notice and appreciate her. We want empathy and support from our husbands for all we do to care for our families. We don’t want our husbands getting angry with us when we’re emotionally falling apart. That only weighs us down more.
Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.
One man said, “I try to see the other person’s position, not through their arguments, but after reflection and consideration.” Stopping and putting ourselves in our spouses’ shoes will give us an insight into how they feel and where they are coming from. We all think we have the hardest job no matter what we do. We don’t need to play the “My job is harder than yours” game. We need to show compassion and support for one another.
Telling your wife how much you appreciate all she does for your family will lift her spirit. When she’s had a hard day, sit down and listen to her and comfort her, even if you’ve had a hard day. Once again, it’s about putting your spouse’s needs above your own. This is where you will find true enjoyment and satisfaction in your marriage. It will also help you to be more empathetic when your wife doesn’t do everything the way you want her to.
One woman said she and her husband value each others’ feelings more than the task they expect from each other. We need to value our spouses and show appreciation instead of picking at everything.
If you would like to read more excerpts from my book, click here.
I went to the video store recently to get a Christian love story my sister recommended. When I got there the movie had already been checked out. As I was praying about what to rent I saw a display of the movie “Thor.” I remembered my husband mentioned he wanted to see that movie when it was out in the theaters. So even though I didn’t particularly want to watch Thor, I rented it to surprise my husband.
I don’t watch too many secular movies. Most of what’s out there today is junk. But this movie was surprisingly clean. I don’t remember any swearing. Normally in action hero movies there’s a women dressed provocatively and there’s usually a sex scene. That wasn’t the case in this movie. The only part that was revealing was when Thor had his shirt off. And I think my husband was more impressed than I was. In fact, I think He’s worked out every day since that movie. :)
The movie also had a great message about a father’s unconditional love for his sons. It reminded me of God’s unconditional love for us. I wanted to bless my husband and I ended up blessed by that movie. Plus, it ended up being a great love story, so I got the movie I wanted after all.
I believe God blesses us when we lay down our desires and put our spouses' desires first. Jesus said that greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life (his own needs) for his friends (for others). —John 15:13
I remember going to my husband’s work Christmas party one time when a woman made a comment to me saying, “I never go to my husband’s work events. I make him go by himself.”
I may not enjoy sitting with a bunch of people I don’t know, but I go to those things to support my husband. I believe doing the things my husband wants to do helps draw him closer to me. That woman doesn’t realize she’s separating herself from her husband, and it could open the door for another woman to come in. I have seen that happen many times.
When couples repeatedly do things separate from each other it opens the door to temptations. When we are considerate with our spouses’ interests rather than being selfish with our own interests, it strengthens our bonds in our marriages and draws us closer together. Our marriages will be blessed when we put our spouses' desires first.
So husbands, watch those romance movies with your wives, go shopping with them, take walks with them, and see how it draws them closer to you. Wives, go to those football games with your husbands, be at their work events, support them, and see how your marriages will blessed!
Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.
Thanks for stopping by my site! Welcome to my "Enjoying Your Family" blog!
I'm a wife of 16 years, mother of four children (ages 3 to 11), and author of "YOU CAN HAVE A HAPPY FAMILY - Steps to Enjoying Your Marriage and Children"
"THE LOVE WALK: A 15-Week Devotional on 1 Corinthians 13:4-8"
I also author another blog on spiritual growth every Monday at SharingTruths.com, and I am a weekly guest contributor every Sunday at Christian Blessings.
God has blessed me, my marriage and my family in more ways than I could ever imagine. I am so honored to give my life to Christ and share His Word wherever God sends me.
"Blessed is the man who fears the LORD, who finds great delight in his commands. His children will be mighty in the land; the generation of the upright will be blessed."