"Open your I’s"*
Jesus said, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.’ This is the most important, the first on any list. But there is a second to set alongside it: ‘Love others as well as you love yourself.’ These two commands are pegs; everything in God’s Law and the Prophets hangs from them.” Matthew 22:37-40 MSG
Be open to the Interests of your spouse
by Stephen Hendrix
*Originally posted Here.
January 20, 2011.
It was our 11th wedding anniversary. Earlier that day Shelley was playing different love songs from her iPhone to commemorate the special occasion. I appreciated the sentiment and enjoyed listening to her sing along as if she was talking to me. We went to lunch, to a movie, hung out for a little while, back to eat dinner and then went to get a puppy (that’s a previous blog). While driving back with our new puppy in the car, I plugged in my iPhone to play something from my playlist, a little country. I put on the Zac Brown Band, Colder Weather (not exactly the best anniversary song). However Shelley remained silent, played with the new puppy and just listened as I sang along (off key of course). The next song that came on was Highway 20 Ride, a song about a divorced father driving Highway 20 between Georgia and Alabama to pick up his son for visitation and then drop him off again (I know, I know, another great choice for an anniversary song). I realized this half way through the song and turned on something like Air Supply.
My point is not my bad choice of romantic music, even though that is glaringly obvious, my point is that Shelley is not interested in Country music, but she is interested in me. I felt validated, important, and understood. Shelley communicated to me that my thoughts, feelings and opinions mattered to her and therefore I mattered to her. Does your spouse know that they matter to you? Are his or her interests important to you even though they may not interest you? Guys, watching a chick flick may not be your idea of a night on the town, but it will speak volumes to her. Ladies, you may not know a football from a Frisbee but sitting on the couch with him when his team is down by a field goal in the 4thQuarter, understanding his tears if they lose and the broken ceiling fan if they win. Patience and understanding can go a long way towards intimacy and that’s an “I” you want to open.
*What is your spouse interested in? How can you affirm your spouse by communicating to him/her that you are interested in them (even if you don't share the same fondness for the same things)? A little bit can go a really long way to convey honor to the one to whom you said, "I do."
|Stephen & Shelley|
Stephen Hendrix is married to ME, Shelley Hendrix, and we've now been married for over 13 years. Stephen is a professional (and wise) counselor, a gifted communicator, an avid country music fan (I vowed to love him for better or for worse, y'all), a lover of UGA football, and the father of my son, and step-father of my daughters. I want my son to grow up to be like him and my daughters to never settle for anything less than a man like mine. (I know, I'm biased!)
Stephen is also the Clinical Programs Officer and the co-founder of The HopeQuest Ministry Group (www.hqmg.org).
Hopequest is a community of ministries offering recovery, restoration, and refuge to individuals and families impacted by life dominating behaviors.