The Dutch Rush

they're Dutch...and life's a rush

Category: Wives (page 1 of 2)

idiot husbands

Now wait a second before you get all upset.

Are husbands idiots? No?

Think about how we look at and speak to them on occasion. (Sometimes regularly.)

Could we conclude from the way we give them that glare and eye-roll, or from the thinly veiled disgust in our voice that we sometimes treat our guys like idiots?

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“all settled happiness”

Alfiesfeet

Art by Shirley Hughes

At times it’s tempting to wonder if the efforts we make to serve our families are worth the trouble.

We might be tired of being relied on for comfort, stability and cheerfulness. Sometimes we want to give up on creating an environment of comfort and peace for our people.

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why do you always pick on the wives?

Some of you might wonder why I’m always picking on the wives. You might want to know if there’s ever a good time to “say it how it is” to your husband. You’re probably sick of me…

I understand, I’m kind of sick of me too. I’m sick of a conscience that (often, not always) won’t let me give into selfishness without a fight.

But we want the Holy Spirit to show us the things about ourselves that God is wanting changed, right?

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how to change your husband

 

“The only hope that a man will ever change is for you to not try to change him.”

-Andelin

The number one question I am asked by frustrated wives is:

How can I change my husband?

That’s what we’re all dying to know, right?

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what about me?

Was there ever a question that has caused more damage?

I realize that many of us have difficult circumstances, and that it truly is hard to fulfill some of our responsibilities. We do become tired, and should take a break so we are refreshed to get back up and care for those God has called us to serve. But sometimes that sneaky little thought creeps into our mind and throws everything off balance…

“What about me? Who will care for me and serve me?”

I’m not sure there is a faster way to give yourself a bad day than to ask that question.

Wasn’t that a form of the question Satan asked when he rebelled against God?

Beware of any belief that makes you self-indulgent; it came from the pit, no matter how beautiful it sounds.

– Oswald Chambers

It’s an insidious question that sinks into our hearts and souls. Like Peter in the Bible, we quit looking at Christ and begin to sink into the waves. In this case, our waves are self-pity.

Sometimes we refuse to do the things that give us peace and relief from our burdens. Even simple things like reading our Bibles, getting to bed at a reasonable time, accepting that break our husband offers us, or making time to get outside for a walk. We refuse to do these things and then we begin to blame our exhaustion on the people who love us most.

Does this make sense? (No.)

We ask ourselves (and maybe whine to our friends) why no one cares about us, why our kids won’t leave us alone for just “one minute”, why we can’t have “me time”, or why our husband would dare to have any needs at all. I think the common phrase is “he’s a big boy, he can take care of himself…doesn’t he know how tired I am?”. How demeaning. That is of course what we would want him to say about us and our needs…right?

I’ll tell you a little secret.

Not one person enjoys spending time with a martyr. Even those of us who behave like one would rather not spend time with one…

Husbands are not really attracted to martyrs. They don’t think it’s cute. Don’t ask how I know this.

Children are uncomfortable in the presence of martyr mothers.

Once I remember venting my frustration to my mother-in-law about the a small amount of time I had to myself each day. She asked how much time I could usually count on. When I told her it was only about 45 minutes, she tactfully said “oh, that’s probably enough”. I can still remember thinking to myself that there was no way that was enough time to myself! NO WAY! But I kept thinking about what she said. And I have come to realize that yes, I can do a lot of regrouping in 45 minutes!

Conventional wisdom (in the Bible it’s called “the wisdom of the world”) says that we should look out for ourselves, take care of ourselves, that we deserve “me time”. (I do think we should plan times into our day to refresh ourselves for our responsibilities, but not to the detriment of our families, and we certainly shouldn’t put it on them to make us take care of ourselves.)

The Bible tells us that the wisdom of God is foolishness to the world. His ways are not our ways, and certainly not what comes naturally. We have to battle with sin and selfishness. We must serve others continuously if we want to be great in God’s kingdom.

Self pity is one of the most reprehensible sins of the human heart. ”

– A. W. Tozer

It is humbling to admit that I asked myself this question just last week. I was going along, enjoying my kids, having a good day, when something caught my attention. I was tired, and not thinking about “taking every thought captive”. I crashed into the dark “what about me”, and suddenly life wasn’t so great anymore. Everyone in my home suffered for my sin, because I am not the wife and mother I should be when I am living in self-pity.

God is so patient with us. He continues to give us grace. Thankfully, His mercies are new every morning.

[A way to guard] ourselves from this evil possession (self-pity) is to think about others. Be quick to discern their pains and sufferings, and be ready to bring help. We cannot be absorbed in thinking of two things at the same time, and if our minds are occupied with others, far and near, at home and abroad, we shall have neither time nor inclination to be sorry for ourselves.

– Charlotte Mason, Ourselves

when he comes home

One of the poignant paradoxes in the life of a woman is that when a man comes to her, he so often comes to recover his simple humanity, and to rest from being at his best. So a woman frequently has to forgo his better side, taking it on trust as a matter of heresay, and she accepts his lesser side as her usual experience of him…While she wishes to admire him she may lack the knowledge, and perhaps the intelligence, to understand the side by which he wins acclaim. She indeed receives him with every antenna alert, yet she may forgo his superiority with regret. She longs to see his greatness, but has to meet the claim of his smallness.

-Helen Andelin

A poignant paradox indeed. Do we have the love and courage to serve and understand our men in this way? What a gift for our husbands on the days that we are able to care for them like this. Sometimes we wait for them to make the first caring move, but that can become an ugly game.

Sympathy is comprehension…for to understand one human being so completely that you feel his feelings and think his thoughts is really like gaining possession of a new world…it is as if the heart got room to expand…

-Charlotte Mason, Ourselves

Sometimes us wives lack sympathetic understanding for our men. This can come from many directions. Often from feelings of not being understood or appreciated by our husband. Happily, there are ways to side step some of those nasty feelings.

Kindness is simply to make every day pleasant and comfortable to others…people can be kind only when all their thoughts are given to the [person] they are kind to, and when there is no backward glance to see how the matter affects self…

Chiefly, let us beware that we do not say to ourselves, ” I have done this and that for so-and-so, and now see how he serves me!” …worse still is the notion that having been kind to another gives us a right to expect great things from that other, and to be ungracious and disagreeable if the claims we set up do not seem to be recognized.

-Charlotte Mason, Ourselves

Do we want an understanding, gracious, kind, and joyful atmosphere in our homes? Well…the atmosphere in the home is quite a bit what women make it. We have the ability to infuse our homes with peace and happiness.

The world is quite a bit what women make it. If our sojourn here below is a triumphal parade to the tune of swinging music, to women go the bouquets. If it is a forced march through a vale of tears, to our lady friends go the brickbats. On the one hand we have Mary (Jesus’ Mother). On the other hand we have to contend with Eve. Women have a way about them of sweeping men on to the heights of nobility or of plunging them into the depth of degradation. To women God has given a mysterious power of bringing out the best or the worst there is in a man.

– Leo Kinsella

This week I came across a line that stayed with me.

“I can, because I ought.”

It is part of our school motto, courtesy of Charlotte Mason. She reminds us that we have the God-given power to act on what He has called us to do. In so many areas of home life, we as wives have been called to love and serve in selfless ways that seem to defy logic. But because of His gracious mercy to us, we can continue to love and serve selflessly, because we ought.

For it is God who works in you to will and to act according to His good purpose.

-Philippians 2:13

We are memorizing a beautiful section of Scripture right now. Accountable is what I feel as I look into those precious faces while we say these words.

Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant.

-Philippians 2:4-7

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