A Safe Place

June 14, 2016

in the generous life

I’ve been thinking about respect lately.

A part of respect is honoring the way another person is designed.

You don’t have to be like them (we should all be the lovely individuals we are designed to be). You just need to make room for them to express their unique design.

A Safe Place

In a similar fashion, a part of respecting someone is honoring their beliefs and ideas.

You don’t need to agree with them, just make room for them to express their thoughts without fussiness or harsh judgement. (You’re free to express your own beliefs and ideas as well.)

I have a friend that is fairly liberal in a political sense. She is married to a man who is far more conservative. They have lively discussions and have agreed not to put political signs in their yard (they don’t want to confuse their neighbors).

This kind of respect helps to create a safe place for sharing in your marriage. You and your spouse are free to be yourselves and explore what God has for you. 

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.  Ephesians 2: 10  ESV

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Prayer Prompt  Ask God for the ability to appreciate your husband’s unique design and calling.

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Life Of Joy: Individual Happiness It’s your choice.

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Stupendous Marriage: Sometimes You Should Tell Old Stories Reminisce and connect.

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I’ve fallen behind in sharing about all the bloggers we meet along the way, so this is my catch up post. Do follow the links and check out the blogs. There is a lot of blogging wealth out there and some of it may be just right for you.

Elaine, Jerry, Lori & PaulJerry & Elaine (Cracking the Marriage Code)

Bless Jerry for helping Paul fix our RV pop-out (it was damaged when a tire threw its tread). He also speaks and writes about marriage (a multi-talented guy). We had a lovely time with Jerry and his wife eating, talking, laughing, and they introduced us to a new term – “vacation dinner” (ice cream).

Re’, Cheryl, James and Janet Re’ & Cheryl (I ♥ My Marriage) and James & Janet (Sex in Marriage)
(I’m so bummed the photos didn’t turn out, but here’s a doodle fix.)

We met up near Lancaster, PA, ate too much at an amazing Smorgasbord, shared our stories, talked marriage, and wandered around the local shops. Knit hearts and lots of ideas shared.

Doug, Chris, Paul, & LoriChris & Doug (The Forgiven Wife)

Chris and hubby (aka “Big Guy”) met us at a local place offering a fish fry (we were also introduced to fried cheese curds, sounds weird, but surprisingly yummy). It was lovely to turn a long time online friend into a face-to-face friend. There was also some interesting talk about how to build marriage ministry into small and middle sized churches.

Jim, Ruth, Lori & Paul

Ruth & Jim (Awaken Love) and ministry partner, Melanie

MelanieI was able to attend one of the women’s classes (taught by Melanie) and Paul was able to attend one of the men’s (taught by Ruth and Jim). We were delighted with the material and even more delighted to find there will be a way to watch the classes by video online very soon (I’ll be sure to post when they come available).

Learning is not attained by chance. It must be sought for with ardor and attended to with diligence.  Abigail Adams

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Prayer Prompt  Ask God to help you find marriage resources that will challenge you to grow.

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Hot, Holy & Humorous: Why Sex Should Be Hot, Holy, and Humorous Get Julie’s new book!

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Erika Dawson: Simple At-Home Dates You’ll Actually Use and Out-of-the-Box Dates You’ll Actually USE for Date Night OUT Date night fun ~ in or out.

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Images © Paul & Lori Byerly
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Time for a cyber prayer meeting!

Please pause for a moment and pray for all the marriages represented by The Generous Wife list (it’s certainly OK to pray for friends’ marriages too and don’t forget your pastor’s marriage!).

Marriage Prayers

As you look around at your friends, family, and acquaintances, what are the most common problems? Pray about these. Please also pray for each couple’s marriage skills and their ability to forgive and offer grace.

If you have a specific prayer request, feel free to leave it as a comment. Be aware this is a public forum, so please be discreet and kind.

Prayer is where the action is.  John Wesley

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Prayer Prompt  Please pray for all the marriages represented by The Generous Wife list.

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Encourage your man to pursue those activities that express his masculinity.

Masculine Pursuits

That might be riding a motorcycle, working in the garden, or chasing his personal dream.

We become whole people as we embrace how we are designed. Masculinity is integral to who he is. Encourage him to explore what that means for him.

Man is never so manly as when he feels deeply, acts boldly and expresses himself with frankness and with fervor.  Benjamin Disraeli

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Prayer Prompt  Ask God to help your husband grow in his understanding of his masculinity.

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We are THAT Family: Just Because We Don’t Like to Think About It Doesn’t Mean We Shouldn’t Be a grown up and take care of this needed paperwork.

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To Love, Honor and Vacuum: How Do We Talk About Weight in a Healthy Way? A mix of ideas and great discussion in the comments.

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When you go to bed, try slipping in on your husband’s side of the bed.

My Side, Your Side

You don’t have to stay there all night, you’re just doing something a little different to spark change and interest.

Be sure to wear a smile too.

My side! Your side! My side! Your side!  Stark from Farscape

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Prayer Prompt  Ask God to help you look for small ways to shake up the usual.

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Hot, Holy & Humorous: If the Sex is So Great, Why Aren’t You Satisfied? Build all parts of your marriage.

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Becoming Minimalist: A Simple Guide to Start Saving Money Start small and do-able.

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Stop It Before It Starts
(originally posted June 17, 2014)

So your husband says something that doesn’t make sense or borders on rude or insensitive.

You may have heard him correctly … or not. He may also just not have communicated well.

Stop It Before It Starts

Why not take a deep breath, calm yourself and ask a few questions. Listen and ask a few more questions. It’s amazing how many fights spin off a moment of poor communication.

Be proactive and stop these fights before they start.

Communication works for those who work at it. John Powell

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Prayer Prompt  Ask God to help you use your pause button and give your man another chance.

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Unveiled Wife: An Open Letter To Friends Who Care More About My Marriage Than Our Friendship Be that friend.

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The Romantic Vineyard: Hidden Fears That Haunted Me Team up with your spouse to put the smack down on the enemy!

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When Paul and I speak to various groups we usually have some Q&A time. When we can, we like to split up by gender. Paul talks to the guys, I talk to the gals. After awhile Paul and I swap rooms and we give folks a chance to talk to someone of the same gender as their spouse.

We get a lot of “Why does my husband do this?” or “Why doesn’t my wife understand that?” It’s an interesting time of trying to understand gender differences.

One thing I hear over and over from the guys, and it bears repeating here, is that men want to be believed by their spouse when they say “You’re so beautiful.” I wish y’all could see the faces of these men and how they yearn to be heard and believed.

His Voice Counts

I got to thinkin’ about my own personal journey. I used to struggle big time. I never felt I met the cultural standards of beauty, therefore I was not beautiful.

I do remember receiving Paul’s compliments more gracefully when we were dating and first married. His voice was new, appreciated, and louder than cultural standards. 

When did his voice fade? When did the voices of my culture get louder and have more impact over what I believe? More importantly why in the world would I give more importance to a messed up culture and less to a person I love and trust?

I’m doing better, but there is still the pull to say something like, “When was your last eye exam?” instead of “Thank you. You’re looking pretty spiffy yourself!”

I encourage y’all to grow in this area also. Say thank you when your sweetie compliments you. Give his voice more weight. Care more about his words than the messages of our culture.

Beauty is what we see in the people we love and value.  Author Unknown

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Prayer Prompt  Ask God to help you believe your husband’s words.

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Of the Hearth: Getting Time with Your Spouse When You Have No Babysitter for the Kids Practical ideas for that challenging season.

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Marc & Angel Hack Life: 5 Signs it’s Time to Do Less Busyness is an illness.

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