Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Wedding Wednesday

My biggest struggle in our marriage is being Garth’s biggest fan. He thrives when I encourage him and cheer him on. There are times when I think I am being helpful, but really I am just coming across as nagging and making him feel like less of a man. It is not my intention, of course.

Let me see if I can illustrate this point as well as my pastor did. Our husbands are like this plant.

Growing. Thriving. Beautiful.

But then we come along and snip a couple branches when we say things like “You need to watch less football” or “Did you run today?”

Snip. Snip.

“Why aren’t you more like so and so?” Snip. “How are you leading this family?" Snip.
We think we are helping but we are snipping away at them until there is nothing left, just a sad, decrepit plant.

And then we have the audacity to say “You’re not the man I married.” No wonder, right? We are so busy picking at them that we tear them down and they are left feeling bare. Less of a man. Self-conscious and unsure. What we loved most about them became our biggest annoyance and we think we help by picking. But we aren’t.

I can relate so well to this story because I hold the trimmers. I am guilty of picking away at Garth and bringing him down and turning him into this battered plant. I cringe thinking about all the times I nagged. “Did you run today? How many miles did you do? Did you run the whole thing? Did you mow the lawn? When are you going to mow?”

Even if my intentions are good, it doesn’t change the fact that I am hurting him. I’m not helping him be the man God intended him to be. I need to constantly be aware of how I treat Garth and build him up. I don’t ask about the running anymore. I encourage him and say supportive things when he brings up running. But I let his good friend and running partner keep him accountable for his running. I let him know he is a wonderful husband and I appreciate all he does around the house.

It’s a daily battle. It doesn’t come natural. As much as I thought I would never be a nagging wife, it comes naturally to me. I have to consciously remember to encourage and not nag. I’m not his boss, it is not my job. Our relationship is much better when I build him up rather than remind him of all the ways he falls short. I'm putting down the trimmers and enjoying the man I married. 


Shanny said...

Lindsey this is a great post, I never would have thought of my husband as a plant (lol) BUT I completely agree and see exactly what you are talking about. Perfect way of describing the way I'm sure ALL wives nag their husbands. Not that we want to or mean to, I think we just get so mentally exhausted and you are right, we have to take a step back and enjoy the person we married.

Anne said...

this is really good, and I totally agree with you. It is so hard not to unintentially nag. And even that, you asking about the running... I'm sure you were asking to share in his world- but it can come across as nagging or picking. It gets so hard you almost feel like you can't say anything! that's how I felt anyway, but I love your heart and if you find more ways to encourage, please post! :)

BJM said...

I really needed to read this post TODAY. Thank you.

Lauren said...

what a great post...I'm working really hard right now on only speaking encouraging words to Nick. Even if I think those negative thoughts or words might be helpful, I'm keeping them to myself for the time being...and you know what, I feel like our marriage instantly became so much better!

Thanks for the honesty...I need to remember that we always need to be cheerleaders for each other!

Lori Alexander said...

What a wonderful illustration and beautifully written post. Keep up the good work. I wish I would have heard this when I was young!

Katie & Ryan said...

This is such a great lesson! I (admittedly) can be a micro-manager in our relationship. I'm really trying to stop and be cognizant of when I make statements like that especially now that we have a child. It is hard!

Kristin said...

I loved this. What a great post!

Lacey said...

I love this analogy. This is definitely a good lesson to tuck away and remember!

Becky said...

Hi! I haven't been here in a while, but I LOVED this post! After 11 years of marriage, it never gets easier. And when he does things that drive me nuts (who actually hangs clean shirts on a hanger INSIDE OUT???) it's so hard to bite my tongue. I just posted this great quote on my white board: "I have often regretted my words, but never my silence" to remind me to just hush up. Have you read Dr Laura's "The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands?" Great book to have on hand because we all need reminders!