How to Make a Home a Haven...

Posted by  | Monday, February 16, 2009  at 1:08 AM  
Hey all! We are all still here! You know, being a mom and having a mom's blog gets a little busy and crazy at times! So, we decided we would like to hear from our sweet husbands and let them take over the blog for the week! (you know, since they aren't as busy as we are...ha..ha...just kidding!:) We asked our husbands to write on this topic: "How can wives make the home a haven for their husbands?" Matt's post is hot off of the press for you to enjoy:

When my wife asked me to add to this week’s blog my first response was to pretend that I did not hear her. I thought “Three Ways To Make Your Home a Haven For Your Husband” sounded a little bit like “Do you like my new hair cut?” or “Do you think I am getting fat?” How can a man answer this question objectively and more importantly without getting into a world of trouble? Also, as someone who has spent their entire adult life making a living by communicating, I was astutely aware of the inherent dangers lying dormant, like a man on a couch on a rainy Saturday afternoon, in this assignment. I wanted to be cautious not to do anything to support the already rampant Homer Simpsonism plaguing homes everywhere. And while I am baring my soul I have to say that the answers weren’t just staring me in the face. We aren’t like you. The world is a lot simpler for us. We see food. We want food. We eat food; that sort of stuff. We don’t spend gargantuan amounts of time extolling the relational algorithms that mysteriously converge to make a house a home, and I am talking about those of us who love Jesus. But there it was. I awoke this morning and it was crystal clear. Especially after my wife agreed that if I take up this responsibility that she would remove another even more difficult writing assignment. So here it goes.

1. Seek to understand us.

There is no scriptural command for wives to understand husbands like there is for husbands to understand wives…so keep it in perspective. God made women so that when they marry, the home becomes their primary work place. Men are wired differently. Men think of the home as a retreat from work. For men the home is a place of escape. Men go out into a hard cold world; traipsing through the snow we kill the bear with our bow and arrow. We bring home the meat for food and the fur home for warmth. Ok, you can stop laughing anytime now. This is the way God made us and when it is over we look toward home with longing. We can hear it calling to us because God has made it in our hearts a place of rest and recovery. Maybe a story will help illustrate the degree to which this is true. When Stacey and I were dating, she was only required to clean up her room two times each year. Here dad bought her some new mauve carpet for her bedroom. I can remember on several occasions him asking her why he even bothered buying the carpet since he could never see it through all the clothes. Then we were married. I will never forget one of our first “disagreements.” Stacey explained to me that it was inappropriate to leave clothes on the bathroom floor. I thought maybe I had married a look-a-like impostor. I brought up the high school bedroom and she explained that now that this was her home things were different. At marriage a switch had flipped. I have to be honest. I didn’t get any of that, none, nada! It doesn’t seem different for me to leave the clothes on the floor now than it did in high school, except of course I am usually paying for the bathroom.
Now I am not suggesting that men should not pull their weight. In a day when the average family does not have a stay at home mom, it is unrealistic and unfair for a woman to do all of the house work as in previous generations. I am not suggesting that every wife and every husband are wired just alike. There are plenty of men who are taskers and servants and tend to be better than the average male at helping around the house. Differences being what they are, ladies see home as the primary work place and men leave work to come home and rest. This is the way we were made.

2. Strategize with us to help make our expectations come true.

I deliberately used a word other than communicate. This article is to the ladies and ya’ll don’t need any help on the communicating thing. Books are written, read mostly by ladies, on how men need to communicate better with their wives and no one is arguing that. However, this article is intended to help the girls make the home a haven for the men so you are going to have to approach it a bit different. Men communicate best when the conversation revolves around deer hunting or when the conversation is goal oriented. Tell your husband your desire and talk to him about the task. You want to make the home a haven for him. Although he may be a bit skeptical, when he sees you are serious he will be a supporter. This is where each couple is going to have to figure out how to strike the balance they are looking for.
There is a strategy that can make this form of talking and planning effective. Paul outlines it in Ephesians 5 where he tells men to love their wives and wives to love their husbands. In the scripture the focus is not about getting out of marriage what you need but about giving what your spouse needs. It is natural and fleshly to make your case and defend your views to the other party. One hundred percent of the time I have met with a couple for marriage counseling they intuitively begin the discussion by telling me what the other person needs to change in order to make the marriage better. I believe there is a better plan. Each party should share a bit of their own expectations and then begin to talk with the task being the discovery of how to meet the other person’s expectations but without any attempt to satisfy their own.

3. Respect us in spite of our short comings.

God made women to be nurturers. This is a wonderful quality. Wives care for children, home, and husbands too. The downside is that nurturing gone wild leads to the sense that wives are mothering their husbands, treating them as children. Now if any of your husbands like this, you have another problem. This point is really the intended end of Paul’s point in Ephesians 5. The last verse of the chapter tells wives to respect their husbands. Men tend to be relational dummies. We need God to tell us to love our wives in expressive and overt ways. Women do not need this command. However, many women express that love through mothering their husbands and mothering feels the exact opposite of respect. When I was preaching every Sunday I honestly cared little about whether congregants liked particular sermons. I did not preach to entertain. Often I expected a negative response that was the outward evidence of carnal hearts grappling with the conviction of the Holy Spirit. However, I always cared about what Stacey thought of the sermon. I often time would sit down beside her after the message was over and ask what she thought. I have always longed for her respect. I don’t have to have the respect of everyone around me. Her respect is a need that finds it origins deep in my soul. The need was placed their by God. Her respect is the most precious gift she can give to me.

7 comments:

Abby Webster said...

Hi, I have just started following your blog and have made it back a couple of months in back reading... I really appreciate everything you post, all of you. I was wondering, if you don't mind, what church you go to? My husband and I are from different religious backgrounds, though neither of us identify with the church in which we were raised. However we are very spiritual and given the churches we grew up we are a little shy to just go to a church to try it out. So, I've been looking for people that exhibit qualities I'd like to possess and to find out how they got there. I have started sewing (thank you Leah for making that easy for me), I have learned ways to be more organized in my home and my heart, and I would like to find a place that will help me further my relationship with God, my husband and my son... I've probably over explained myself but my husband is away with the army and I have been lacking in adult contact :) Thanks for reading my comment!

Christina said...

Abby,
Thanks so much for your sweet words and I'm so glad you commented!

To answer your question, I was raised in a United Methodist Church and my experience was in no way negative. As I've grown in my walk with the Lord and learned more about His word and who He is, I found my beliefs changed from where I was raised...Shortly after going to college, I found my current church family that is Southern Baptist. (This is totally not meant to open a HUGE can of worms and I mean no disrespect my home church.)

I'm assuming you didn't want a specific church recommendation...based on your profile - I think you are located far from any of us. But if you want to see the website of my church, check out www.pray.org - Maybe you could get an idea of what to look for in a church in your area?

Shannon said...

Hey Matt, thanks for the in-depth peek into that "man's" world. I appreciate what you have to say, and I think my husband will appreciate reading it too... if he can stand the pink background long enough to finish it. :)

KC said...

Thanks for posting this. It is nice to get the male perspective! What a good reminder that it really isn't the color of the carpet or the decorations on the wall that make a haven for our husbands. It really is about how we treat them. We should all spend more time finding out what makes our husbands feel respected, loved, admired, peaceful...

ChezDeshotels said...

wow, thanks so much your words were a double edge sword and so convicting to my heart today!

Abby I am praying for you to find a church home and I am so lifting you up as your husband is away. I so respect you for your part in holding down your home and the sacrifices you and your husband make to serve our country!

AJ

Abby Webster said...

Wow, I didnt mean to hijack your blog but thank you for responding to me.. I didn't want to tell the church I went to as a child for fear of stepping on anyone's toes. I THINK that my issue with that religion was isolated to that church because I have met other people that identify themselves with that religion but go to different churches and they are very nice, open, and understanding. My mother and grandmother however are very hypocritical and extremely closed minded. They leave no room in Heaven for anyone but the people that identify with their church and also attend regularly, anyone else is doomed. I hear pretty regularly that it doesn't matter how spiritual I think I am, unless I attend church regularly (WITH THEM, not just any church) that God will turn me away at the gate of Heaven. ?? ... so facing them my whole life makes me afraid of churches. I am afraid to go and be judged by people that have no right to judge me. I know that noone's opinion matters but my own and my God's but that doesn't change that I am human and I am affected by other people's opinions. I guess I just need to get over that and try new churches. I just can't seem to shake the anxiety I feel when I think about attending church. How sad is that? I want so much to find a place that I can take my problems and give them away. It is one thing to pray at home, and turn my life over, its another to be able to physically go somewhere with like minded people and feel as though I'm leaving my problems there with Him. ah, I don't know if this made any sense and I don't know why I'm blogging in your comments! But thanks for reading...again!

noahandlylasmommi said...

what a great post! I really enjoy hearing a husband's point of view on this subject.

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