Posts tagged Pursuing your spouse
Alright, admit it, the title to this blog made you want to come read it, right? What could this post possibly be about? Kill your wife? Seriously? Yup, it’s the best thing for her. Well, how do you kill someone more than once? Isn’t that impossible? No, but it’s a necessity for a healthy marriage. But it doesn’t come naturally to us guys (at least it doesn’t for most men I have known, including myself).
You see, men are hunters. We like to chase things. We are up for a good challenge. We like to set goals, devise plots plans, execute those plans flawlessly and drag the trophy home. Its just how we work. We get laser-focused intensity on a single target and we go for it with gusto. Carpe Diem!
Ladies, let me ask you, how many different hobbies has your husband had? More than one? Several you say? Why is that? Because we get interested in something, read every detail there is to know about it, try to do it as many ways as possible, make sure we are better at it than any of our friends, perfect it, and then we are done. Once we make the kill, that is, once we master it, we move on. As an aside, the reason guys play golf for decades without ever losing interest is because it’s so incredibly difficult to master the game. The challenge keeps us going back to get frustrated that we can’t put a tiny, two inch, white ball into a four inch hole.
So how does this relate to marriage? Think about the first time you saw your wife gentlemen. Your radar went off, you focused, and you accepted the challenge. She became the hunted. It became your mission to catch this wonderfully beautiful (I am assuming she was beautiful, I understand that some ladies just have good personalities, and that’s alright. But she had better be beautiful to you. Get me?) creature. So you began to study her. You spent late nights on the phone. You spent money on frivolous items. You did things that you never expected to do. You did whatever it took to “catch” the person you are married to. Congratulations, you made “the kill” and you “dragged” her home (hopefully not kicking and screaming) to live with you.
The question is, what happens next? Now that the thrill of the hunt is over what are you doing? For many men, once they make “the kill” they move on to hunt something else such as a career, hobby, or having the nicest manicured lawn in the neighborhood. This is not how it should be, however. Marriage isn’t a one-time kill. That is, the hunt never ends. Think of marriage as a catch-and-release-then-hunt-what-you-let-go type of endeavor.
When you stop hunting your wife and fail to do many of the things that let her know you appreciate her, a natural drift occurs. Other things start to seem more important than your relationship. I get it guys, life gets busy after the “I do’s”, especially when you add some kids to the mix, but if you don’t have a good marriage it soils all the other areas of your life. As the saying goes, happy wife, happy life. Hunt her daily.
We are reminded in Genesis 2:24, “That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.” The word “united” is the Hebrew word dabaq. It means to catch by pursuit or to pursue hard with affection and devotion. That is our calling guys, to pursue our wives daily with sincere affection.
How are we doing here? I am sure we have good intentions, but good intentions won’t make our wives feel loved or cherished, will they? We have to hunt daily. Continually be a student of our wives, remind them the how much we care about them, and invest significantly in their lives.
Walk good. Live wise. Be blessed.
Relationships begin with two people in pursuit of the other. It is an interesting, exciting, and always entertaining dance that two people engage in as they become better acquainted. We continually pursue the other person, that we might one day “catch them” and have them in our lives for the remainder of our journey. The courtship years are always marked with excitement as we revel in the joy of being pursued by our suitor. It is nice to feel sought after and desired. It is part of the magic that forms relationships.
The downside is that often after we “catch” the person we want to marry, we stop pursuing them. Many of the things that make the other person feel valued, desired, sought after, and wanted begin to trickle to a stop. Pursuing the person we have chosen to spend the rest of our life with tends to wane as time goes by, and it comes with a price. I came across an excellent example of what this looks like by Bruce Larson. It is a bit long, but it illustrates the point so clearly.
Marriages begin warm and intimate but over time they can become cold and business like. Consider the seven stages of a marriage cold.
The first year the husband says, “Sugar, I’m worried about my little baby girl. You’ve got a bad sniffle. I want to put you in the hospital for a complete checkup. I know the food is lousy, but I’ve arranged for your meals to be sent up from Rossini’s. It’s all arranged.”
The second year: “Listen, honey, I don’t like the sound of that cough. I’ve called Dr. Miller and he’s going to rush right over. Now will you go to bed like a good girl just for me, please?
The third year: “Maybe you’d better lie down, honey. Nothing like a little rest if you are feeling bad. I’ll bring you something to eat. Have we got any soup in the house?”
The fourth year: Look, dear. Be sensible. After you’ve fed the kids and washed the dishes you’d better hit the sack.”
The fifth year: “Why don’t you take a couple of aspirin?”
The sixth year: “If you’d just gargle or something, instead of sitting around barking like a seal.”
The seventh year: For heaven’s sake, stop sneezing. What are you trying to do, give me pneumonia?”
This is the pattern of how things generally progress when we stop pursuing our spouse once they have made the commitment of spending the rest of their lives with us. We make the mistake of thinking that when we “catch” our spouse, then we stop pursuing them. The truth is, once we marry that is when we should pursue them even harder.
This is such a challenge, because pursuing our spouse takes precious time and energy. Sometimes it takes energy that we feel is not even in our reserves. At times, I know I do a poor job of pursuing my wife, when she greatly deserves my best.
The Apostle Paul spells out for us very plainly how we are to love our wives in Ephesians 5:25. He urges, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her.” Christ loved the church to such a profound degree, that he offered His life for her. That is the ultimate in pursuit. We are challenged to love our wives in the same way.
Now that we “caught” her, are we still pursuing her? Are we continually placing the priority on our spouse instead of ourselves? Have we stopped treating her like she deserves to be treated and demand that she treat us the way we think we should be treated? If we aren’t already, let’s return to making the pursuit of our spouse the priority.
Walk good. Live wise. Be blessed.