Monday, February 15, 2010

I Told Myself...

...that I was NOT going to start another book until I finished the 537 (give or take a few) other ones that I'm in the middle of reading! I lectured myself about being self-disciplined and not giving in to the allure of a fresh new book, its pages just waiting to be turned. No, rather than begin a new one, I would continue reading one of the many wonderful books I have in various places around the house. Surely between the pile on my nightstand, the pile on my end table by my rocking chair, the pile on the counter by the telephone, the ones on the bookshelf in the kitchen, the ones in the pie safe--surely between all of these, I could set my mind on one to read until the end. I would not be swayed.

But then it happened. I was passing the bookshelf in my bedroom when a book called out to me and begged for me to take it up and open its cover. I tried to resist, but in the end I couldn't.

And I'm so glad.

The book is For Women Only by Shaunti Feldhahn. It's not very long, and it's not difficult to read; but it is packed with helpful info, mostly things that I've heard before but needed to be reminded of, but also some new thoughts. For example, this hit me between the eyes:

So how do we know when we've crossed the disrespect line? Thankfully, there is one easy barometer: Check for anger.

Before I elaborate, let me ask you to consider a question: If you are in a conflict with the man in your life, do you think that it is legitimate to break down and cry? Most of us would probably answer yes. Let me ask another question: In that same conflict, do you think it is legitimate for your man to get really angry? Many of us have a problem with that--we think he's not controlling himself or that he's behaving improperly.

But Emerson Eggerichs, founder of Love and Respect Ministries, has an entirely different interpretation: "In a relationship conflict, crying is often a woman's response to feeling unloved, and anger is often a man's response to feeling disrespected."

As I thought back to the last major conflict I had with Jeff (which happened last summer), I could see with startling clarity how this dynamic was played out. I cried--and felt perfectly justified--but condemned the anger he showed, even though he never lost control of himself or expressed that anger in damaging ways. How foolish of me.

Recently I've felt like I have so much to learn about how to be the kind of wife that God desires me to be; and while that thought can be discouraging and overwhelming at times, it can also bring an excitement and zeal and determination to change and improve and soar to greater heights in this spectacular adventure we call marriage.


Sally said...

I think I need to read more constructive/instructive books. I might have to borrow some from you sometime. I picked up Dr. Dobson's "Dare to Discipline" at Gift & Thrift today. I want to see what I can be doing better in raising my children.

Margie said...

I have this book! And you've inspired me to pick it up and start reading it again. A group of us began to read it together, but the group fell apart, and have never gotten our meetings back on schedule. Thanks for inspiring me...

ashleykaye said...

I too have too many books going and too little time to finish! In fact, Matt and I went to the Festival of Faith last weekend and I'm really having trouble not starting the book I bought, "Discovering Joy". I'll tell you how I like it so you can have another book to put on your list. ;o) Love you!!