Sunday, October 5, 2008

Top Ten Things I Love About You

Kevin and I have been teaching a class at our church with curriculum based off the movie "Fireproof". Each week we play a clip from the movie and tie it into a discussion in the class. It's been a humbling experience for us as we feel we certainly are not experts on the topic of marriage and don't have a perfect marriage ourselves. God planted a seed in us though while we were at the marriage conference in North Carolina and we had no idea He would be having us teach a class on the subject only a few weeks later. Here we are five weeks into the class already and I know that we have learned just as much--if not more--than those in our class. Some of the highlights from the class so far have been focused on how uniquely different God made us as men & women. Ephesians 5:21-33 talks about how men primarily need to feel respect from their wives and women primarily need to feel love from their husbands. Wives are to respect their husbands as the church respects Christ and husbands are to love their wives as Christ loves the church presenting her as blameless and holy to others. What does that practically look like though? Men need to feel a sense of accomplishment and that their work matters. Kevin feels respected when I am excited about his business and communicate that to him and others. Women need to feel like their husband is thinking about them. I feel loved when Kevin steps in without me asking to help with the kids or household chores. I feel loved if I've shared a deep struggle with him and a few days later, he asks how I'm doing.

How do we do this, especially if our spouse doesn't give us love and respect in return? That's a hard question. In the movie, Caleb asks the same question "How am I supposed to show love to someone who constantly rejects me?" And the parallel here and answer to the question is because that's what Christ does for us, over and over again. He loves us even though we constantly keep sinning and rejecting him.
Kevin and I are both very competitive and that makes for some very interesting arguments. We both want to win and then the crazy cycle can begin...I say something disrespectful, then he responds in an unloving way. But when I think about Christ's response to me even in my sin, I'm reminded about how He wants me to respond. Now do I always respond the way Christ wants me to? The answer is no. It's a daily thing to try to strive for.

Some friends of ours are sharing the teaching responsibility with us by taking every other lesson. My friend Jayne made an excellent point last week in the class. We all do dumb things like run the van into the garage door (oops, that was me) or get a speeding ticket (won't mention any names)...things that we already regret and beat ourselves up over. How do we respond to our spouse when it's them that did the dumb thing? They already feel bad about it and we shouldn't on one hand, feel afraid to tell them what happened or worry that they may get upset and on the other hand, rub it in and nag them about how stupid it was. This was a good reminder for me not to fall into the nagging cycle that I sometimes do.

Each week we've been giving the class a "dare" for the week sometimes taken from the "Love Dare" book that was used in the movie. The book is a really neat tool and I would recommend it to anyone. It's a forty day journey to strengthen your marriage. Each day starts with a little devotional then ends with a "dare" for that day. For example the first day was as follows:

"Although love is communicated in a number of ways, our words often reflect the condition of our heart. For the next day, resolve to demonstrate patience and to say nothing negative to your spouse AT ALL. If the temptation arises, choose not to say anything. It's better to hold your tongue than to say something you'll regret." I think what stuck out to me the most that week was that I stopped and thought before I spoke. It was a good challenge.

Last week our friends gave us the dare to write down the top ten things we love about our spouse then go on a date and share them with our spouse. This was a great exercise as well. So on Friday night we had our date night. Here's my list for Kevin:

Top Ten Things I Love About My Husband

10. I love your sense of humor – No one can make me laugh like you can. You make up the best goofy songs & poems. You want me to be happy.

9. I love your blue eyes and the handsome body that goes along with them!

8. You are incredibly smart. I’ve learned so much from you! You are my walking encyclopedia and dictionary – You know a lot about many different things. You are very confident in who you are.

7. You are fearless and calm and you counsel me on many of my fears.

6. You give the greatest back rubs frequently without getting them in return.

5. I love that you challenge me and love me enough to tell me the truth. You are full of integrity. You give me a different perspective on situations and don’t say things about others that you wouldn’t say if they were standing right beside you.

4. I love watching you be a Father to our kids. You love them enough to discipline them and at the same time have the most tender heart towards them. You are devoted to our family.

3. I love your commitment to provide for our family. You are very driven to succeed and work very hard so that I can live my dream of staying at home with our children.

2. You are a people person and care very much about relationships with family and friends.

1. I love your commitment to put God first in your life and our family. It is a priority to take your family to church and Sunday School every Sunday and to spend time daily in teaching them about God. I appreciate your prayers for me every morning before you even get out of bed.

You’re my BEST friend and I couldn't imagine life without you!

Okay, no pressure here after all that. KJB better weigh in and make a few comments about the hot blonde in my arms:

Top Ten Things I LOVE About Sherri

1. Her caring and compassion for others; this goes beyond just her friends and is the true Biblical meaning of the word.

2. Her love and devotion to Christ. Sherri is committed to the Word and is a challenge to me to stay on track.

3. Her unconditional love and acceptance of my family. She has a positive uplifting spirit about her that serves to attract, not divide.

4. She shares common interests of mine...such as conservative politics!

5. She is very supportive of my business...Our business.

6. She constantly challenges me to improve and grow...up!

7. She's HOT! And committed to physical fitness, health and good family eating habits.

8. One awesome cook...who said the key to a man's heart is through his stomach? Yep.

9. She's such a great example to other women. You want a woman who doesn't gossip or get catty? Sorry, this one's taken.

10. She loves me even with all my faults.

11. BONUS. She is extremely gifted and creative with photography, preserving important family memories.


heather said...

The class sounds like a great one. I would love to read that book sometime. Again that movie was awesome!!!!

Jessi said...

Good thoughts Sherrie!! Thanks for the reminder.

Cottonista said...

KJB, I agree, you got yerself a good wife.

sounds like a great class! Am I hearing some stuff from Dr. Emerson Eggerichs?

Sherri said...

Yes Joyce,
The first lesson in this class really reminded me of the book "Love & Respect" that you're referring to. We took a class a couple years ago on that book...another good one.

Guatmama said...

What a challenge to us all! Thanks for sharing.

Nicole said...

Thank you, you awesome teachers!!! We love the class and enjoy it so much! We appreciate all the hard work you put into it and we appreciate your honesty and humbleness!

krista said...

Sherri, I so enjoyed reading your post and glad you shared about your date. I wish we could hear you all teach...I know you come across with humbleness and a cooperative spirit. I was glad to see Kevin's reference to your lack of gossip...that is something that comes across strongly from you and he should appreciate it!