[NOT just for married women. I think this applies to any relationship.]
When we were tweens and teens we read Tiger Beat or Seventeen. Besides the pull-out posters of Kirk Cameron and The Backstreet Boys, we took those quizzes to find out, “How Dateable Are you?” or “What Kind of Best Friend Are You?”
We would add up our scores to discover something new about ourselves, hoping to be the perfect match for John Stamos. If only.
Confession. I just googled. Tiger Beat is still in circulation! Online quizzes like, “Decode Your Crush’s Body Language!” and “What’s Your App Style?” can be found right now if you’re dying to relive those memories.
Hopefully, we have matured past Teen Beat, especially the posters. But our heart still aches to know we are beautiful, to know how to be the perfect match for our crush, and how to know our relationship will last forever.
Here we are now, all grown up, experienced, married. We don’t need a quiz to tell us what is wrong with our husband, do we? We have a list growing in our head and spilling out into our conversations. But just for fun, here’s a quiz.
“Does Your Husband Need to Change?”
- Does your husband really listen to you? No=1 point
- Does your husband know you so well that he knows exactly what you want and need most of the time? No=1 point
- Does your husband balance home, work, and his hobbies well? No=1 point
- Does your husband clean up after himself each day? No=1 point
- Does your husband openly share his feelings with you each day? No=1 point
- Does your husband encourage you to pursue your dreams? NO=1 point
However, I once bought a book called, “How to Act Right When Your Spouse Acts Wrong” with the intention of either fixing him or making him feel guilty because I was so right. Don’t judge. And no, it did not work. Oh, I read the book, but God used it to knock some sense into me.
How incredibly easy it is for us to evaluate our husband (or anyone else) and his love for us. Our unwritten list of expectations, our pride, and even our hormones taint our perception and perspective. We are married to a man who loves us, has chosen to stick around, provides for our family, and yet we have lost all hope in him.
I’m not saying that they don’t drive us crazy, hurt our feelings, and forget Valentine’s Day. All may be true, but…
What if they had a little quiz of their own? Questions about nagging, withholding physical affection, nagging, giving the kids more attention than our husbands, nagging, PMS evil, spending too much time with our mothers, nagging. How would we score?
Can we do the “What’s Your App Style?” quiz now?
Marriage is a relationship between two broken people in need of redemption. Both broken, both a mess, both searching for the same things- love, acceptance, worth, and security.
Two years ago, I went to counseling as a hurting woman. I unknowingly carried blame with me to each session. I was a victim. I was hurt, but not broken. Hurt people hurt other people. Broken people share grace with other people.
I experienced a breakthrough one particular day as my counselor gently led me into a place of understanding judgement. In a moment I realized how deeply I had judged my husband, blaming him and making vows in my heart not to give him my love until he changed.
Suddenly, I was broken. Sobbing, I sat in disbelief at the sin that had taken over my heart. Me, the pastor’s wife, the “good girl”.
In my brokenness, I drove home and found my man. Through ugly, snotty sobs, I spoke words of forgiveness and acceptance. We held each other in grace, two broken people, a mess.
Once I was broken, the hurting places in me began to heal.
When I am looking for the love God has designed me to long for, and my husband wants the respect he needs as a man, we will sometimes find ourselves at a standoff. He doesn’t deserve my respect. She doesn’t deserve my love. We withhold grace.
If one person will just be the first to give the grace, healing and love will return. Let’s be the one.
One more quiz. I have recently learned about powerful effects of powerful questions.
What Does Your Husband Need Most?
- What does your husband want most from you? Can you let go and give?
- What is one thing you could do today, big or small, that would speak respect to him?
- What would be your husband’s greatest stressor today as the protector and provider for your family? What would life look like if you began to pray for this each day?
- What would his response be to a “Thank You” note, handwritten by you, thanking him for working hard.
- What books have you read lately to better understand him as a man? [I recommend Wild at Heart]
- If you made a list of expectations you have for your husband, would there be some that are not from God? If you marked those off and told your husband that you were releasing him from those, how would he react?
- What is your husband’s love language (google the 5 love languages)? How could you show him love in his love language over the next week?
So many times we find ourselves on a quest to change him. What if we gave that up, and instead set out on mission to fill his “love tank”? Maybe he’s just on empty.
Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. 1 Peter 3:8-9