I’m going to use some rudimentary code to avoid spilling all the beans. Heck, we might even use code names. That’d be fun. It isn’t considered lying when you admit upfront you’re using code names, right? “Y’all hear that? We’re using code names!”
Let’s get this party started. The first Saturday of each month is among my favorite things. For breakfast our church has a men’s ministry that meets. We make breakfast, chow down, and have a bible lesson. Folks come from our church and often from other local congregations. We’re not poaching from other churches. No sir. We’re hoping they enjoy their time, leave with a greater biblical depth, and possibly go start something similar in their own church families. We’ve also had an impact on would-be believers.
Typically we center on manly men in the home and culture, leading by example, and doing the things required biblically of the male of species. It’s harder than you’d think at times… It centers on responsibility and patience – two things I’m often very average with… This past Saturday we decided to enter into a devotional that was intertwined with a movie. Hmmmm, let’s see. What can I call this pair without giving them away? Let’s refer to the movie as, “Fire Spoof” and the devotional as “The Dove Lair” for now…
We didn’t actually watch the “Fire Spoof” film, but I’ve seen it before. Average acting, medium grade production quality, but a sincere and wholesome story. Is it a blockbuster “must see in the theater” flick? Nope. But it’s also not intended to be. Rather, this movie is intended to circulate among those who need to shore up their marriages. If you can think of a marriage that doesn’t need shoring up, I’d like to learn of it. That said, yes, this movie if for everyone who is married and certainly for those considering it. It’s not too heavy, just honest.
“The Dove Lair” devotional is a 40 day, day-by-day, guide. Offered are considerations, guidance, supporting scripture, and a challenge for you to offer your spouse. If you haven’t figured it out by now none of the guys in our group is planning on telling our spouses about what we’re doing, thus the “Cloak and Dagger” bit. They’ll figure it out. They always do. But as they do we’re going to ask that they stay hush so the other wives don’t have their experiences diminished.
While no stranger to “The Dove Lair” I haven’t been practicing the things I learned about myself, and also that of my bride, as often as I had ought to be. This challenge was welcome. I’m also excited to share this experience with someone. When I’ve done this in the past, I couldn’t get anyone to do it with me, so having a small group of us known to one another offers context among us, and also some accountability as well. Both are vital. Especially when we uncover things about ourselves we’re not particularly proud of…
-Day 1 – “Love is Patient” – Well, I’ve failed already. Talk about the thing I could probably stand to work on the most? It would be this. I was challenged with not saying anything negative to my spouse. I was able to do this. But it’ll get harder. Why? Because I need to keep the ball bouncing on this long after today.
-Day 2 – “Love is Kind” – I was able to double down on not saying anything negative and also add in an unexpected gesture of kindness. I make it no secret that I don’t care for things like dishes or laundry. I chose to do the dishes. I’m not saying I’m incapable of laundry, but I often wonder if there is such a thing as saving back a trump card. If so, laundry will be my trump. It might be fun to ponder, but in reality, it boils down to pitching in where and when my wife needs it. That means I have to appreciate her and pay attention, or I’ll miss or otherwise not notice these things. So, I did something I knew needed done and she noticed that I had.
-Day 3 – “Love is not Selfish” – Along with the previous day’s dares, I am to buy my wife something that communicates to her that “I’m thinking of you” in some way today. I wasn’t able to tear away from the house and do that. So, I made her something instead real quick. It wasn’t much, and it was very personal, so I’m not mentioning it here. In fact, I’m not sure she’s even happened across it yet, but she’ll like it when she does.
-Day 4 – “Love is not Rude” – This one intertwines with my notion above about being interested and focused on my bride. I’m better than average at this aspect of couplehood, but I lose my way too often and become absorbed in things that just don’t matter as much. I don’t always do a good job of putting my wife ahead of less important matters. I should really reflect on that a bit. The challenge here was to call up and make conversation asking about her, her day, and making myself available to and for her needs. I’m really good and calling up randomly and telling her she’s a fine parent, solid spouse, and that I want to remind her that she’s loved. But I’m not good at asking her what she needs from me. I need to work on this one.
The more I proceed the more I realize this self-reflection and attitude change has been long overdue for me. I’m a crappy husband sometimes and I don’t want to be. I’ve got work to do. But… I want to improve, and she deserves it. Besides, God expects it. Be salt and light my brothers… Please.