Tuesday, November 23, 2010

An experiment upon the word

I recently checked out a book from the library called Behind Every Good Man by John Bytheway, an LDS speaker/author whose works I've long enjoyed. The subtitle of this book is what sparked my interest in it: "Helping your husband take the spiritual lead at home."

I love my husband. He is everything I have always wanted in a companion. I do not want to change him. But it has been difficult for us to establish a pattern of holding family home evenings in our first six months of marriage, and this has been frustrating for me.

Bytheway writes about how wives are sometimes overwhelmingly critical of their husbands without even realizing it. He quotes Patricia Love and Steven Stosny on ways wives "shame a man without trying:"
  • Excluding him from important decisions
  • Correcting what he said
  • Questioning his judgment
  • Ignoring his advice
  • Implying inadequacy
  • Making unrealistic demands of his time and energy
  • Valuing others' needs over his
  • Belittling his work
  • Ignoring his needs
  • Showing little or no interest in his interests
  • Criticizing his family
  • Expecting him to make me happy
This list made me realize I am often critical of my beloved husband without meaning to be. How sad, to think that I may have been hurting him when that has been far from my intentions!

My "experiment upon the word" has been on Bytheway's suggestion to correct this behavior, found in 4 Nephi 1:15:
"And it came to pass that there was no contention in the land, because of the love of God which did dwell in the hearts of the people."
Bytheway claims that charity, the love of God, can change our homes and our relationships. Indeed, this is a principle taught in the gospel! Bytheway expounds on this concept a little : "What exactly does 'the love of God' mean? it could have meaning in three dimensions : love for God (our love for Him), love from God (His love for us), and love like God's (a quality of love)."

Less than a week of this experiment has improved an already great marriage. I am consciously staying my tongue, avoiding "correcting" unimportant (and really not even wrong) things, and complimenting my sweetheart.

Try it out!

1 comment:

  1. I think every woman married or not should have this book!!! I need to read and reread it-it gets harder the more comfortable you get around your spouse, at least for me, I think because you come to know that no matter what you say they love you for who you are and sometimes when I am stressed I take out my stress on him or vent to him cause there's no one else to do so with...Saki is just too amazing. I really need to work on keeping my tongue in check-I am really realizing I'm a lot like my dad...and saki is such a good listener I can say all that I feel at the time when sometimes not everything really needs to be said!