As you can imagine, I, as expected, have learned and relearned things in the process of applying The Dove Lair again. As I mentioned earlier, I have undergone this devotional and self-examination in years prior. I have retained some of that which I came to new light with this retrospective inspection. It also has become obvious that I have neglected both the things I learned about my wife and myself in some part. Nearly ashamed, I offer you the fact that in truth, I have forgotten a large portion of what I unearthed the first few trips down this path.
Maybe this is why being a Christian is hard. We seek to be sinless, but often repeat the sins we wish to omit the most. Man, I wish Adam would’ve stood up and told Eve the apple was off-limits and curb-stomped the serpent… But… Here we are.
It also was revealed to me that referring to one’s wife as a “solid spouse” is among the least flattering lights in which to paint. I wrote that in my earlier BLOG POST and I’m not going back to edit it. Not because it was necessarily wrong, a misspelling, incorrect information, false doctrine, or something of that nature. But because I need to own it. As a person that writes for both pleasure and pay, I could have come up with better descriptors than that. Hmmm, how do I describe my wife? I once referred to her as a high-functioning wrecking ball. That one made it back around to her and apparently stuck in her craw. While I could easily make the argument that was a true and apt description, she doesn’t wish to be regarded that way. Besides, in order to prove that statement, it would require me to admit I was the person who made her angry enough to transform from Bruce Banner into the Hulk… I must take ownership of my presence in that equation.
When I say solid, I should have used words like reliable and trustworthy. That’s what she is. Some people can’t be relied upon, but that isn’t my wife. You can count on her, especially when things are sliding sideways. Like some, she grew up amongst challenges – all kinds of them. She’s seen and experienced some things children and our youth never be exposed to, and she’s a tough cookie. Her professional life surrounds ideas that come along with pain and suffering combined with being a catalyst towards peace and coping. She really is suited to be the kind of person that performs well under pressure. When I wrote solid, it was meant to convey “solid like the rock of Gilbraltar” but I didn’t manage to put that forth. 😉
This is still my blog, even though I am beginning to pick up readership a bit more all the time, all of whom have critiques. Thus, a point of personal privilege in the explanation of a previous post is well within my purview. Thank you, Amber. In full disclosure, I DID get a couple of my days mixed up on my earlier post when compared to both my book and my notes. So I went back and made those corresponding dates and challenges coincide correctly. Edits were in order. 😉
Let’s dive right back into The Dove Lair!
-Day 5 – “Love is not Rude” – Man… It appears this book was written specifically with me in mind. Every single box seems to be checked here. I am to ask my wife 3 things that irritate her or make her uncomfortable. Yikes… You know how people, like me by the way, that say things like, “Don’t ask questions of which you don’t want answers”??? Yeah… I was challenged to ask, so I did. Geez. She took it easy on me, but I’ll admit freely, she could have been far more gritty.
-Dave 6 – “Love is not Irritable” – Choose today to react to tough circumstances in your marriage in loving ways and drop the anger and frustration responses… Make a list of the areas where I need to add what the book referred to as “margin” in my schedule. That’s a keen way to put it. We lead very busy lives. Too busy. I often believe that the complexity we self induce into our day are large contributors to the failures I have as a spouse and parent. I seem to do ok with my friends, but I tend to let my spouse and my kids down. It appears to be that way for me. If I had more time to adequately deal with the things that naturally came up, would I be doing better by them and what He intended? I’m leaning towards YES… This was a welcome reminder for me. I then listed the wrong motivations that I need to release from my life. They included but weren’t limited to: success as defined by others, glory, and the need to be right. <<<—— Looks like somebody has a problem with pride, doesn’t he? Yes, he does… Ugh. More things to fix.
-Day 7 – “Love believes the Best” – Grab two pieces of paper and make a physical list of the positives about my spouse. Make a list of the negatives. Hide them for later. Make known something from the positive list to my spouse later in the day with a gesture or spoken word of thanks in regards. Done.
-Day 8 – “Love is not Jealous” – I am to become my wife’s biggest fan today. Take the list of negatives from the day prior and torch it. Done. Focus on wifey’s achievements and mention a recent success in order to quantify their joy in the item I chose to highlight. I have one in mind that I’ll offer on the way to church today, as I’m penning this just before we leave to head to Sunday School and Church Service. Today hasn’t been as tough on me, as a couple prior. This is an aspect of marriage I’m better at than others. I excel in the “think about it and talk about it” category in meaningful ways. Obviously, my flaws need some serious attention.
This is a good relationship improvement examination. I have no idea if the other guys that committed to this book are experiencing what I am. I hope they are. Some might be really great spouses compared to me. Some worse. I don’t know. But I do know this book is arranged in a simple and straightforward way. It would be very hard to dismiss these considerations. In fact impossible. To dismiss them would be to admit you hadn’t read the book or opted to ignore it. I would encourage anyone to use this for your benefit and the obvious benefit to your spouse and beyond. I pray you to be salt and light my friends.