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Where thoughts can be funny, can race at all hours of the day and night and can sometimes not make any sense!

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Friday, April 19, 2013

The Love Dare-Day Fifteen

Choose a way to show honor and respect to your spouse that is above your normal routine.  It may be holding the door for her.  Itmight be putting his clothes away for him.  It may be the way you listenand speak in your communication.  Show your mate that he or she is esteemed in your eyes.

Love is honorable-Live withyour wives in an understanding way.... and show her honor as a fellow heir ofthe grace of life.  There are certain words in our language that havepowerful meanings. Whenever these words are used, an air of respect isassociated with them.  One of these words is honor.  To honor someonemeans to give them respect and high esteem, to treat them as being special and of great worth.  You keep your language clean and understandable. You are courteous and polite.  You take them seriously and give their words weight and significance.  Honoring your mate means giving him or her your full attention, not talking to them from behind a newspaper or with oneeye on the television.  You give your mate's voice and opinion equal influence in your mind.  You honor what they have to say.  They matter, and you show them that in every way.  He or she is sacred to you,a person to be honored, praised and defended.  This means no other person in the whole world is supposed to enjoy this level of commitment and endearment from you.  Is that the way it is in your marriage?  Would your mate say you honor and respect them? Do you consider them set apart and highly valued?  Holy?  Love honors when it's rejected.  Love treats its beloved as special and sacred even when an ungrateful attitude is all you getting return.  You are to be devoted to one another in love.  But whenyour attempts at honor go unreciprocated, you are to honor just the same.That's what love dares do-to say "Of all the relationships I have, I will value ours the most.  Of all the things I am willing to sacrifice, I will sacrifice the most for you.  With all your failures, sins, mistakes, and faults-past and present- I still choose to love and honor you." That's how you create an atmosphere for love to be rekindled.  That's how you lead your heart to truly love your mate again. And that's the beauty of honor. 

"Of all the relationships I have, I will value ours the most."

This statement couldn't be any more true for me towards my hubby, however when it comes to honorable love I feel this chapter has a lot to teach both of us.

As I have grown older in my marriage so have my thoughts and dreams.  With this maturity has came an understanding that MY way of thinking I am honoring my hubby isn't necessary achieving that goal.  I have really had to learn that my hubby's definition of honor and respect can be totally opposite of mine.

It's pretty black and white to me.  Honor and respect him by only doing actions that I would be able to do in front of my hubby.  Honor and respect him by letting him know I value his thoughts, hard work and look to him for input and assistance in my life.  Honor and respect him by ensuring that he knows no other person is worthy of my time.  Honor and respect his reputation in everything I do.  Honor and respect him by helping him understand I value him more than any other human.  Honor and respect him by speaking the truth in all areas of our lives. Honor and respect him by showing him my love is true and real.  

This chapter makes me look beyond MY thinking of how I honor and respect my hubby and forces me to try and learn from him what HE needs to feel honor and respected. The things I list above are really what I need to feel honored and respected, this may not be in line with my hubby's.  It weighs heavy on my heart and soul to think how my hubby represents me in the public eye when it comes to our marriage.  What is the unspoken message he is saying to others about me as a wife and his value he places on our marriage.  This may not cross his mind as one of his ways of feeling honored and respected but it is a huge trigger point for me.  This is just one example of how I can be putting my needs into his needs and being totally off.

When we got married and as we grew together a topic like this was not apart of our discussions for expectations.  We talked more about who would do what in the marriage, how we would raise our kids, what our future plans were, ever did we talk about our expectations for honor and respect. 

I like this chapter because it forces us to look beyond what we THINK we are doing for each other and makes us really look at and have to discuss what we NEED to do for each other. I have to be open to hear what he needs and see if I am able to provide it for him.  I know there are things that will be rough and some things I am probably not going to like but as long as we are both getting what we need out of the marriage and we are both feeling like it's a partnership and each is making changes for the other than I don't see anything that isn't possible for us.  

"Of all the relationships I have, I will value ours the most."  My hubby is my best friend, the only person I want to be with and it is my honor to show him I value him and respect him and want him to feel this way each and everyday of our lives.  It is my duty to him and to God to do this in the best way possible.



Often, I hear married and previously married couples talk about change, and how they changed from when they first got married. They are not the same people they were when they married (insert 2, 5, or 10 years) ago. They grew apart. They didn't know each other anymore. They were just kids when they got together.

Of course they changed. We all have.

I am 38 years old. I am not the same person I was when I was 30. I am barely the same person I was 6 months ago, and I am certainly not the same person that I was when I was 28, which is when I first started seeing Michelle.

Likewise, Michelle is a different person now than she was 10-11 years ago.

Fortunately, we have grown and changed together. We have developed and matured as adults, together. We  have found and enjoyed new passions, together. From the relatively mundane (sharing a love of a few TV shows), to the critically important--shared values as a family/ manner in which we raise our children. We have developed together. 

Our love of physical fitness, which neither one of us brought into the marriage--developed together. Our outlook on politics and foreign affairs--developed together. Our love of the game of football--developed together. Our types of vacations and stay-cations..security in routine. Love of healthy food, and nights away at a hotel ordering room service till our hearts consent...only to hit the gym doubly hard the next day. Our new found love for learning and exploring white wines.

We have done all of this and so much more, together.

Yes, we have differences. This is both normal and, perhaps, even healthy. But frankly, they would be difficult for me to enumerate because our differences pale when compared to our likeness and shared values.

This all brings me to a point: I have learned, slowly but surely, that when I honor and respect Michelle, in the way I know she needs to be honored and respected, I am truly honoring and respecting myself. When I hold her in high-esteem and value her, by my thoughts, words, and deeds, I am holding myself in high-esteem and valuing myself.

Because Michelle and I are truly one in the same. We have a union under the laws of man, but more importantly, we are a union under Christ.

Does that make our marriage easy? No. Does that mean we are carefree and trouble free? Well, if you've ever read a few blogs of ours, you would know the answer is an astounding "No!".

But I love her. I am committed to her. I know, God-willing, she is the one I will grow old with. And, whether she dies first or I do, I  know we will be together in this life and the next.

We are still together because our soulful and spiritual bond is strong. We are together because we are each others' best friend, lover, and life-partner. We are together because we are truly both deeply in love with each other. 

I share my embrace and tenderness only with her, and in doing so, honor and respect ourselves and our family.

She is me, and I am her.

~ Joseph



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