If you’ve completed this step, congratulations! You’re already more mature and probably a better wifey than I am. Perhaps it’s my aversion to the smarminess in most of these online articles or just the feminist in me that Pat Robertson’s been warning us all about, but I simply cannot handle blogs like this.
Which of course means I click through and read them immediately. Like, all the time. Rage is my constant companion.
The advice in them is never bad, per se, it’s just always so generic that I don’t understand why it’s specifically directed toward “Christian Women.” It’s like, “don’t fart on your husband.” I mean, yeah, that’s probably a good rule to live by, but I’m pretty sure Christian wives don’t want to get farted on either. Or Buddhist spouses. Or Hamsters. Basically what I’m saying is, no one ever really wants to get farted on. Am I right, or amiright? So why make this a Prov 31 issue?
The only thing that needs to be said under a blog post entitled “How to be a Good Christian Wife” is:
1.) LOVE JESUS
2.) LOVE OTHERS LIKE YOU LOVE JESUS
3.) BOOM. DONE.
Shut up about baking cookies and making sandwiches. That’s not what every “good Christian husband” really wants. Maybe he wants a companion that competes in Tough Mudders, or maybe he wants a companion who gets the heck out of the kitchen because she burns everything she touches. Everyone is different. Slapping the word “Christian” on something doesn’t make it a commandment sent down from Mt. Sinai.
But, look, I’m not the type of person who farts on other people’s articles (or hamsters) without offering an alternative. My husband and I are far from perfect, as is our marriage, but we have picked up a few things over the last 10 years that have enhanced our crazy union, and they might be something someone out there on the WWW can actually benefit from, too. So, here goes…
A MEDIOCRE CHRISTIAN WIFE’S TIPS FOR ROCKING YOUR MARRIAGE JUST A LITTLE BIT HARDER.
So men and women alike, read up!
TIP #1: TAKE PICTURES. EVEN WHEN YOU’RE MISERABLE.
Every year my husband and I used to go to Austin City Limits. It’s hot, it’s dusty, and the beer is $84 a cup, which you’re actually willing to pay just to get that taste of hippie air out of your mouth. Don’t get me wrong, you might be lucky enough to have Wayne Coyne of the Flaming Lips step on your head from inside his giant crowd surfing bubble – but the other 354762476 hours you’re stuck out there in that Texas desert hell, which really, really sucks. Take pictures anyway.
Still, to this day, we look back on pictures from those trips to ACL and get all emotional about how badly we wish we could time-warp back to there.
Pictures have an amazing way of romanticizing the past and conning us into believing that those were seriously the best times of our lives. So take pictures of everything. All the time. You will never regret capturing those moments. (Plus, most of us get fattier the longer we’re married and you’ll want photographic evidence of how thin you used to be, too.)
TIP #2: LEARN YOUR SPOUSE’S LOVE LANGUAGE
Actually, learn everyone in your life’s love language. It’ll make things way easier. You know that friend who randomly brings you cookies or just gives you the sunglasses right off her face just because you said they looked cool? Give her gifts when you want to show her how special she is to you. That’s obviously her love language. And the kid who’s always trying to help you around the house while the others just sit on their butts watching TV, yeah, that kid expresses their love through acts of service. Help them build a fort in the living room next time you’re stuck inside on a rainy day.
Knowing your spouse’s love language is HUGE. I was always telling my husband how fine he looked because I’m a ‘words of affirmations’ person myself, and he’d just be like, “Um, ok, thanks I guess.” The next minute he’s doing the dishes for me, because he’s ‘acts of service”and I’m crying in the corner asking him why he doesn’t think I’m pretty or smart or talented.
We love others the way we want to be loved. And that works when we speak the same love language, but when we don’t, sometimes our affections are just lost on the one we love. It’s about working smarter, not harder, to show your spouse that you love ‘em!
I have a brilliant friend who’s ‘acts of service’ and her husband is ‘words of affirmation.’ She just tells him how sexy he looks taking out the trash and that way they both win. 😉
For more info on Love Languages go here… but first, finish reading this post!
TIP #3: GET ON THE SAME PAGE ‘BOUT THEM DOLLA DOLLA BILLS, Y’ALL!
Full Disclosure: This is by far the one that I’m the worst at. I’m just saying that right up front so my “good Christian husband” won’t roll his eyes so hard they fall outta his handsome little head when he gets to this part.
Very few of us grew up like our parents: balancing checkbooks and paying for our junk in cash. Most of us got our first debit card when we opened our first bank account as irresponsible teenagers. Our parents tried that tough love thing. You know, that thing where they let us overdraft and then our overdraft overdrafted our entire overdraft account until we were on the floor hyperventilating and sobbing while rejecting adulthood with all our heart? Oh, that was just me? Well, ok, whatev. You get my point.
As THAT person, I have a really hard time managing money. To me it’s just, like, this magical unicorn that floats in and out of my life and I really don’t pay much attention to it as long as no one’s cutting up my debit card in front of me. As long as that doesn’t happen, I just always kinda assume I’m good.
This drives my husband insane.
So, as a belated New Year’s resolution (read as: I just started doing this back in March), every single day I get online and check my account balance. It’s not a huge monumental change, but it keeps my unicorn grounded to reality a bit better.
So far this new habit has really paid off, to the tune of $250 actually, because turns out someone bought a $#!% ton of stuff from an online mall in Beijing and I was able to digitally Jet Li that sucker in just minutes and put a stop to the payment.
It’s also made me more aware of what my spouse is constantly aware of: how much we make, and how much we spend…. And why we can’t afford a brand new MacBook right now even though I need, need, neeeeeeeeeeeed one so bad. Because, P.S. No, I don’t.
We’re still a long way away from sitting down and Dave Ramseying our life, but this one small step has really had a pretty great impact on my journey to become, like, an actual adult who does adult things. And I think my other half appreciates the effort.
And finally, my last tip…
TIP #4: KICK SARCASM OUT OF YOUR FIGHTS
This is as close as I’ll get to the dorkiness of a real self-help blog post, but I’m going there anyway because it’s taken me sooo many years to learn this one. And I’m still a work in progress.
I love sarcasm, because duh, who doesn’t? But when things get really heated all it does is throw a Molotov cocktail into the fireplace of our emotions.
If feels really good for precisely 3.5 seconds, but then you realize you just gave yourself a whole new mess to clean up. So instead of actually working towards a solution with the person you’re going to have to spend every day for the rest of yo freakin’ life with, you gave into a moment of pleasure and now you’ll have to spend the next week cleaning up after your mess-up. If the point of marriage is to make us holier, not just happier, then sometimes we have to give up the things that make us happy. Like, sarcasm.