The Energy of I Am!

Brad Says…

I hear from men all the time who are looking for ways to change their marriage.  As these men share their stories they start by talking about how much they desire to have a good biblical marriage, how much they love their wife, and how hurt they are when she rejects them.  Then the conversation shifts.  The next thing they say is “I just wish my wife would…” 
 
That is a dangerous statement for any husband to make.  “I wish my wife would make time for me”, “I wish my wife would pay as much attention to me, as she does to the kids”, “I wish my wife would be more interested in sex” or even “I wish my wife would want a better marriage too”.   All of these sound like perfectly natural statements.  But they are all missing the most important component of change.  The energy of I AM!

How does positive change happen in marriage?  Many of you have read our story of coming to a breaking through point in our marriage through some very difficult times.  I recognized re-reading our story recently it would be easy to assume that God challenged Kate, who made some changes and then our marriage changed, but that would only be part of the story. 

Yes it is true, that it was God’s prompting of Kate that started the shifting.  After several weeks of Kate increasingly “clinging” to me,  to use her word, I started to notice a change.  At first, I was just excited by the opportunity to spend some very wonderful time with my wife.  It was great that in the midst of a lot of life stress she was able to find and treasure special alone time for me.  For a while that is what it was in my eyes, wonderful time.

Eventually, through the distinct whispers of the Holy Spirit I started to change too!  The word that I got was not “cling” as it was for Kate, the word was “cherish”.  Cherish your wife! 

As I started to hear that word and figure out what it really meant I kept being drawn to God’s instruction in Ephesians 5:25.  “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy”. 

That verse always scared me.  I think it was because I felt the standard was so high that I could never dream of achieving it.  There are some parts of me that still feel that way!  I know during my life I have seen vivid examples how much Christ loves me, time and time again, and I am only one of the millions who make up “the church”.  How could I ever live up to that standard?

One of the personality flaws I wrestle with is procrastination.  When I am faced with a task that I don’t have confidence I can complete and complete well, I procrastinate.  This is a good description of what had happened in our marriage.  I didn’t think that I could be the kind of husband that God wanted me to be, that Kate wanted me to be, so I stopped trying.  I stopped leading, I stopped encouraging, I stopped initiating, I stopped doing. 

When the Holy Spirit was leading me to cherish my wife, it was a very nice way of saying “Man UP! And get to work”  Stop expecting your wife to do everything.   I opened my eyes to all of the work she was doing, all of the change that she had made for us and I started to find out what it really meant to cherish her!  I started to put into practice I AM rather than I wish!

Do I meet that standard every day?  No.  I still fight the selfishness of “I wish”, and “me first”, I still fight the laziness that procrastination brings.  But every day I pray that God will help me to love Kate like He loves her.  That has made all the difference.   Now the tasks I used to dislike, I do out of love. 

Guys, if you want to have a better marriage stop saying “I wish my wife would…” and start saying “I am going to…”  The only way that change will every come to your marriage is if you dare to give I am going to… a try!

When the dishwasher is full of clean dishes, I don’t discreetly open it up, take out one clean bowl and then lock it again so Kate won’t know I saw it needed unloading.  Now I AM says “open it up and put away the dishes!” 
  
What is it that you can do for your wife that will show her the sacrificial love?  How can you turn the I wish’s into I am? Need some more suggesting?  Check out this awesome video, it is 14 minutes long but it is well worth watching!


Also wives!  Check out Kate’s follow-up post BE the CHANGE you want to SEE in your MARRIAGE!”
Thank God I\’m Married Season 1 Episode 1
 If you get the email or RSS feed you can find the video here
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4 Responses to The Energy of I Am!

  1. I love the concept of focusing on what, "I can do.". You hear the, "My wife doesn't…" all the time. This idea is so much more healthy. The video was entertaining and insightful also.

  2. Thanks Mcworrell,
    The first time I saw the video I couldn't help but cheer! I saw it a few weeks ago and I couldn't wait till I had a chance to share it with all of you!