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Archive for Just for Her

Sep
14

Love Never Gives Up

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Pam Bass, When Marriage Matters bloggerI ampam-never sitting here enjoying my fresh cup of coffee and wondering about a recent conversation I had with a man who is deeply in love with his girlfriend.  His depth of love is quite impressive, as is his perseverance and genuineness.  He so wants his beloved to be healthy enough to accept his love; but alas, she does not appear able to.  

She seems to have too many demons and ghosts from her past that she cannot get rid of.  

He reminds me of how God is always faithful to us, even when we can’t or won’t accept His love. God never gives up on us, on me, or on my husband.

It also reminds me of Jacob’s love for Rachel back in Genesis 28-31 and how he worked for her  for 14 years!  Talk about perseverance!  I don’t know about you, but that speaks love to me!  The patience, determination, and drive of Jacob’s  love drives him to work, sweat, and never give up.  Even though he was cheated by her father several times.  All for her, his beloved.  “…But his love for her was so strong that it seemed to him but a few days.”

While I am writing this, I am listening to Wendy Swanson’s song, My Love Goes On, {album Sole Desire} playing in my head.  It’s a song about, I think, how God searches for us, finds us, then loves us, even though we chase other gods, other idols.

One line in particular  jumps out: “I have loved you thru the good, the bad; I will love you thru winter til spring”.  She lists Hosea 3, 11, and 14 after the title, which is is worth reading.

All my thoughts also remind me of that great love that Paul speaks about in 1 Cor 13:4-7:  “Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. Love does not demand its own way. Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged.

It is never glad about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out.  Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.”

Tell me what your thoughts are on perseverance in marriage.

I know that it is easy to say and very hard to practice!  I don’t think many of us can hang in there relying only on our own strength.  Especially when the bad winter times hit us; it’s quite easy to love when things are going great.  My hope and prayer is that you feel God’s strength and presence during your winter spells of marriage.

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Sep
07

Too Little Too Late?

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pam-toolittleI was thinking about my previous post about perseverance in marriage. I was pondering a situation where a husband has neglected his wife, and now she is done with him. She’s endured him telling her how she feels, what to think, what to do, etc. for too long now. She’s wants a divorce. He’s surprised to say the least, but wants to save his marriage.

So, now he’s trying and he’s going over the top. With everything: More compliments in one week, than in the last 10 years. More gifts, cards, and flowers than ever before. You can see he is desperate.

But I can’t help but think he is trying too much.

It’s like not watering your garden for 10 years, and then figuring out it’s bone dry, and pouring Niagara Falls on it, trying to save it. But what you ended up doing is flooding it. Killing it. Nothing can grow (I think) in 3 feet of water. {Perhaps, rice? A farmer I am not!}

So, is he loving her too much? Or is it a case of negligence? Lack of attention to the state of affairs in his own marriage? Is he going to be another number in the category of “Too Little Too Late?” Perhaps, it will be “too much” in his case, I dunno. What I do know, is that it is a good idea to pay attention to your marriage, your health, and your children. Please don’t say, “I know I should, but I’ve been busy” or “I’m too busy”. If you say that often enough, you too, may end up in that sad category. Read More→

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Aug
31

Mammograms and Marriage

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pam-mammogramNow there’s a snappy title!  Seriously, I thought of this while at the doctor’s office this morning.  I was getting my annual mammogram.  Now, say “Ouch” all together with me ladies! Yes, it hurt as usual, but with practically 80% of all the females on my mother’s side of the family tree having had breast cancer, I have to.

Because I am still here, I get to go, so it really is a blessing to  get the mammogram done.  I’m not complaining.  I heard of a co-worker (from 20 years ago) that breast cancer recently claimed. I’d like to stick around a bit longer, all selfish reasons of course if at all possible.

So, during the exam, the nice young Asian attendant (forgive me, I don’t know what her title was-tech? nurse?) and I chatted about stuff.  It turns out, she is going to be married this summer.  She asked me a few questions about marriage and I was happy to oblige her.  She was surprised when I told her I’ve seen lots of older couples (married 25+ years or more) who want a divorce.

I said, “we take care of our cars, get job reviews, and get yearly mammograms, but we don’t take the time to check the state of our marriages”.  She agreed with me, I’m guessing because it’s a true statement.  But we can check on it.

We can go for a “yearly marital checkup”.  There’s even a website: www.coupleheckup.com that we can access.  For the price of a modest dinner we and our husbands can take an electronic check up on our marriage.   It’s quite easy, somewhat painless, and the results can point out any possible budding problems.  Just like my mammogram will do. I will be getting a letter in 1-2 weeks saying that all is well.  Or all is not well, and an ultrasound will be the next step.

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Aug
24

The Family Dinner

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pam-dinnerI’ve spoken to a number of people and I am surprised to hear, all too often, that they “don’t sit down for dinner as a family”.  Why, I ask. “we’re too busy, ya know, Joey has basketball and Susie has volleyball”.  They also state they “eat out a  lot too” because of all the running around and busyness.  This is a sad state of affairs.

Is the family dinner becoming a relic of the past?

Not to bore you with some stats, but I did google this and here’s a little sample what I found online:

http://www.thescramble.com/family-dinner-challenge-statistics/

A poll by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Harvard School of Public Health found that:

  • Busy family schedules are cutting into family dinners together—46 percent of those surveyed said eating together is difficult to do on a regular basis.

  • Fewer than half the parents surveyed admitted that they had eaten together six or seven nights out of the previous week.

…But research shows that dining together is more important than you might think!

According to The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, kids and teens who share family dinners three or more times per week:

  • Are less likely to be overweight

  • Are more likely to eat healthy food

  • Perform better academically

  • Are less likely to engage in risky behaviors (drugs, alcohol, sexual activity)

  • Have better relationships with their parents

More frequent family dinners are related to fewer emotional and behavioral problems, greater emotional well-being, more trusting and helpful behaviors towards others and higher life satisfaction.” –Journal of Adolescent Health, April 2012.

Children and adolescents who share family meals three or more times per week are more likely to be in a normal weight range and have healthier dietary and eating patterns than those don’t, says the American Academy of Pediatrics.

24 percent of teens want more frequent family dinners.

Families who eat dinner together with the television off eat more fruits and vegetables than those who eat separately or with the television on, according to a study in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.

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Aug
17

When to Say “I’m Sorry”

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sorryI was listening to my favorite oldie station again and the song, “Could I have this dance for the rest of my life?” by Anne Murray came on.  I sang along.  Right after that song came, “I’m sorry” by Brenda Lee.

At first, I thought how ironic. But then I realized it was perfect together:  I want to dance with my spouse for the rest of my life and that will include saying “I’m sorry” several times!

I will step on his toes.  He will step on my toes, too.

We will hurt each other, disappoint one another, and through it all love (and dance with) each other for the rest of our lives.  Well, at least that’s my plan! Wait, let me check with him….yep, he says it’s his plan too! So we’re good.

But seriously, we have said “I’m sorry” to the other many, many times over the years.  {I was the one who usually would say it because I’m the one whose tongue would get her into trouble!}.  We agreed early on to keep short accounts.  That means we don’t wait and hold onto things.  We check with each other often.  We clear up any wrongs, slights, sins, etc that do occur.  We practice forgiveness.

We have created a safe, healthy, good environment in which to do so.  It didn’t happened overnight.  I certainly brought a few extra suitcases of “leftover childhood baggage” along for the first 10 years! That didn’t help, but it is very common.  He brought a little overnight bag with him.:-)  It takes effort and hard work, as well as lots and lots of patience.  Do you have the patience  to work with, and not against, your spouse in unpacking your suitcases? Helping him unpack his?

I worry about our ability to persevere these days.  I can’t tell you how often simple concepts seem foreign to my sons.  Take for example, “studying”.  To most of us over 35 years old, that equals “reading the chapter, taking notes, re-reading them again, going through flashcards”.  Actually doing something.  My sons don’t always get that.  My opinion is that since they can (and the teachers encourage them) and do retake tests, redo papers, there’s really no logical reason to study in the first place.  Just redo it. No big deal.  They don’t receive a big fat “0” like I did when I didn’t study!  Nothing bad really happens. So, why study in the first place? Where’s their motivation? Read More→

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Aug
02

Going For The Gold

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Pam Bass, When Marriage Matters bloggerGoing for Gold by Pam BassI have been re-watching a little of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. Last night the figure skating couples were on and I thought, “Isn’t marriage a bit like this?” Think about it. You are both skaters, you both work on your own, but then come together to create something very beautiful! At the very least, all your efforts go towards that one goal: To win a medal, preferably the Gold.

What is true about Olympic athletes?

* They practice, practice and practice some more
* They pick a great partner-one they can work with
* They have a great and awesome coach
* They have their encouragers, families, & friends cheering them on to their fullness potential
* They put a lot of time, money and energy into being the best they can be
* They don’t quit easily; they get up when they fall down
* They have a set of reachable expectations, which they both know & strive for
* They share in the victories as well as the defeats
* They talk and listen very well to each other
* They are firm but also gentle with each other
* They (especially the women) trust each other
* They are there for one another

Is this not the way we married folks should be also in our marriages? I’m amazed at the trust the women skaters have: the men skaters throw them up and then catch them! While my husband

 

and I don’t skate, I do trust him to ‘catch me’ at times. He does this by listening, by being there for me. And I do the same for him. It’s a win-win situation. By no means perfect, but we keep at it. Just like those world class skaters: practice, practice, practice.

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Jul
25

10 Seconds to Say Yes to God

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Pam Bass, When Marriage Matters bloggerI recently read a book entitled, “The 10-Second Rule:  Following Jesus Made Simple” by Clare De Graaf.  A great book which I highly recommend.  It’s basic premise is just like the title:  just do the next thing you’re reasonably certain Jesus wants you to do.  That simple.  So, I thought, how can I apply this to my marriage? Well, simply to ask myself this question: “What’s the next reasonable thing Jesus would want me to do in this situation or conversation or for my husband?”

Say yes by Pam Bass

Now, please don’t check out this next part, though you might be tempted to. When it comes to marriage, God has not left us wondering; He has told us several things to do:

Genesis 2:24: “This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.”  This is the Leave & Cleave Rule of marriage: be united to your husband; change your loyalty to him.  A godly wife can still honor and love her parents, but her allegiance has changed from her family tree origins to her new family tree.  (Our husband, likewise, should be joined to us in the same way, and leave his  original family).  Her emotional support and ties are to be directed towards her husband, not her mom or sister or best friend anymore.

We wives must respect our husband.  This is easier than it sounds! This biblical truth needs much prayer, as most of us women will have a hard time with it.  I don’t think we value respect as much as men do.  They have a “Respect Radar” that is always on; we have a “Love Radar” that is always on.   I think that’s why Paul told husbands 3 times to love their wives in Eph. 5.  We’re always on the look out for love while our husband is on the lookout for respect, so Paul tells us to respect our husband in Eph. 5: 33: “So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.”   A good book on this is by Emerson Eggerichs: Love and Respect.

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Jul
19

1913 Marital Advice

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I oldcouplehave this book called “Don’ts for Husbands, Don’ts for Wives” written in 1913.  I thought I would share some of the advice given.  I’d really like your comments on them too, so feel free to leave them!

Don’ts for Husbands:

Don’t look at things solely from a man’s point of view.  Put yourself in your wife’s place and see how you would like some of the things she has to put up with. (p.5-6).

Don’t condescend; you are not the only person in the house with brains. Don’t omit to bring home an occasional bunch of flowers or a few chocolates.  Your wife will value even a penny bunch of violets for your thought of her.  Don’t rush out of the house in such a hurry that you haven’t time to kiss your wife ‘good bye’.  She will grieve over the omission all day. Don’t belittle your wife before visitors.  You may think it a joke to speak of her little foibles, but she will not easily forgive you. (p.11)

Don’t forget your wife’s birthday.  Even if she doesn’t want the whole world to know her age, she doesn’t want you to forget.

Don’t for Wives:  

Don’t take your husband on a laborious shopping expedition, and expect him to remain good-tempered throughout.  If you want his advice on some special dress purchase, arrange to attend to that first, and then let him off.  Men, as  a rule, hate indiscriminate shopping.  Don’t allow yourself to get into the habit of dressing carelessly when there is ‘only’ your husband to see you.  Depend upon it he has no use for faded tea-gowns and badly dressed hair, and he abhors the sight of curling pins as much as other men do. He is a man after all, and if his wife does not take the trouble to charm him, there are plenty of other women who will. (p. 137-8) Read More→

Jul
11

P-A-C

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Pam Bass, When Marriage Matters bloggerPAC, by Pam BassNo, I’m not going to write about PAC-Man, although I did enjoy playing that video game in the 80’s. What does PAC stand for? Let me tell you: We all walk around with these invisible letters above our heads. No, really, we do! We all speak in one of three voices.

The P stands for Parental: It’s that Parental tone of voice that we usually acquire when we become parents. You know that voice: “Do your homework/Take out the trash/Brush your teeth”. We hear our parents’ voices in our own head, whether or not we are now parents. Along with those commands and directives, maybe your parents also were nurturing:

“Way to go/I know you can do that/You’re great at _______!”

The A stands for Adult. It’s that voice we usually take on somewhere between 17-25 years of age. We speak like an adult; its the tone of voice we’d use with an equal, a friend. It too can have positive or negative aspects to it. The negative Adult can be critical, condemning, or complaining a lot. The positive Adult can be encouraging, uplifting, and so on.

The C stands for Child, as you’ve probably guessed. What do children sound like? They too can be positive: “I will pick up my toys now mommy/ I love you daddy/ I did my homework.” Or they can be whining and complain: “I don’t waaaannnttt toooooo/ No, I won’t!/ Do I hhhaaavvve tttoooo??”.

So, what letter are you in, when you speak to your husband? Healthy married people stay in the Adult to Adult mode or voice. It’s the healthiest tone of voice; it’s the nicest, kindest voice we use. We use it with our girlfriends a lot. The reason I wrote about this is that I’ve seen mature, nice, adult Christian women use their Parental voice to their husband. What’s worse, is that they (sometimes) justify it by saying, “He’s my 4th child” or “He’s acting like a child!” I encourage women to be on guard against this kind of thinking. It is very disrespectful to our husbands. It teaches our kids the wrong thing. We want our little sons and daughters to respect their spouses’ don’t we ladies? Then we must model what that looks like. It begins with me, my tone of voice.

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Jun
30

What Kind of Farmer Are You?

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Pam Bass, When Marriage Matters bloggerWhat Kind of Farmer Are You by Pam BassI have been seeing too many couples lately, who have been married 25+ years, and who are ready to divorce.  The problems have been there for a long, long time.  They are reaping what they have knowing or unknowingly sowed. It is a bit hard to think that they did not know what they were doing, but in my office, the sad but truthful facts are right there. Painful and in plain view, for us to see.  I am no farmer, but I do know that if I plant lettuce, I will not reap tomatoes!  If I sow beans, I will not grow corn!

How do they not know? you might ask me.  My guess is that

1. they (or one spouse) saw and ignored it;

2. they tried once or twice to uproot it;

3. they thought it was NBD (No Big Deal) at the time;

4. they lied to themselves about #1-3.

Denial is part of the problem usually.  Deception is right up there, beginning with myself:  I deceive myself, I think its NBD.  I tell my clients that that is a Red Flag Waving!  Jeremiah 17:9 states: “The heart is deceptive above all else; who can know it?”  Another Red Flag is when you start a sentence with, “It’s just a little problem” or “He’s just like that/he’s always been like that”. Or some version of that.

You can’t say, “she’s just a little pregnant”.

You look the other way.

You don’t want to deal with it now.

Later, you tell yourself.

You work around the problems, hoping they’ll “just go away”.

Resentment begins to build.

You begin to pull away or turn away from your husband.  You tell yourself lies and make adjustments and concessions.  “I’m taking care of the kids! They need me more!”  “It’s only for a little while, just ‘til I get my business up and running, then we’ll take that weekend getaway”.  “It’ll get better after the kids ___________”.

Galatians 6:7 warns us that we “reap what we sow”.  Are we sowing words of affirmation into our husbands’ soul?  Are we sowing kind deeds?  Are we answering harsh words with a gentle response as Proverbs 15:1 tells us?  Am I going regularly to the Lord asking Him to cleanse my soul, so I don’t deceive myself?  What seeds am I watering today that will bring forth good fruit and not bad fruit?

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