February 28, 2008
By Wendy Pope
“Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets." Matthew 7:12 (NKJ)
Misunderstood: this word clearly describes how I have felt many times during my 15 years of marriage and if I am honest; my husband could make the same claim. I remember in our pre-martial counseling hearing the word communication and how important it is to a successful marriage. Keeping this in the forefront of my mind and having gone to great lengths to communicate, many times I still feel misunderstood.
My husband and I used to have "pillow talk." Well we still do, but not nearly as often. Pillow talk is honest, heart to heart talk, in the bed, in the dark. Not necessarily involving intimacy, just conversation. Somehow in the dark, you can shed light on how you are truly feeling about an issue.
Not long ago we had some pillow talk. I thought I was really making some headway in helping my man understand my needs. I shared my needs openly and honestly. He responded with a simple touch and a snuggle. At this point, I was feeling very understood. I fell asleep knowing that my thoughts were heard, appreciated and would be taken into great consideration the next time this issue came up.
A few days later, on the way to church I heard the following words coming through the speakers:
When we don’t talk, when we don’t touch, when it doesn’t feel like we’re even in love it matters to me.
When I don’t know what to say, don’t know what to do, don’t know if it really even matters to you. How can I make you see it matters to me?
As I listened to the words I thought, "Faith Hill can say it better than me." I just knew my husband was pondering Faith's words as well, and recounting our pillow talk conversation. This is when I made the mistake. I said, "Did you understand what I was saying the other night?" I won't bother to give his response. Suffice it to say, he is a man not a woman.
Instead of getting upset that he was unable to recall our entire pillow-conversation, I recited a “reader's digest version” of it and we laughed. Then as God would have it, I heard the following words from Ricky Van Shelton coming through the speakers:
I don't know why you want to start with me, I ain't done-nothing far as I can see and I'm worn out from working too hard, why don't you give me a break. I know that lately things ain't been so good, I'll make it up just like I told you I would but I'm tired and I want to sit down, to ease this old backache.
You say you're having trouble figuring me, I don't believe I'm such a mystery. Baby what you get is what you see. I am a simple man. I want a job and a piece of land, three squares in my frying pan. Don't seem so hard for me to understand, I am a simple man.
I had to laugh. Misunderstood: husbands and wives feel it. Faith says it matters to her when there is no talking or touching. Ricky Van says I know things haven't been good lately but I am working as hard as I can, I am just a simple man.
If being misunderstood is the question, what is the answer? The answer is to be Jesus to my man. I am to offer respect when I feel wronged, show grace when I don't feel like grace is deserved, and demonstrate love when it seems I have no love to give.
Jesus offers all this, and more, to me everyday. Respect, grace, and love many times aren't easy to demonstrate. However, in God's economy you give a little and get a lot, maybe not the exact return you desire at that moment, but abundant blessings from your Heavenly Bridegroom.
Dear Lord, help me to demonstrate Your great respect, grace, and love even when it is not easy. Forgive me for wanting the focus to be on me. Help me to remember that life is not about me, but about making you known. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Out of the Mouths Babes by Wendy Pope
Capture His Heart by Lysa TerKeurst
What a Husband Needs from His Wife by Melanie Chitwood
Ask your husband to talk with you about his immediate needs. Ask him to talk with you at a time that would not interfere with other plans he has. (Remember, Ricky Van wanted to sit down and rest his backache.) Pray, asking God to show you how you can meet those needs. Try not to be oversensitive.
Do I really listen when my husband speaks or is my own agenda playing out in my head as he speaks?
What can I do to make our home a peaceful place for him to rest "his backache”?
I Corinthians 13:1,"Love is patient, love is kind." (NIV)
I Corinthians 13:13, "Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love." (NIV)
Proverbs 31 Ministries
Matthews, NC 28105
Originally published Thursday, 28 February 2008.