Although it is not a book that I’m going to fess up to reading, I have to share with you how it has changed my thinking and is making my marriage stronger. God works in mysterious ways…huh?
Another thing I have learned from this particular novel is how I need to lighten up. I take things way too seriously sometimes. I am sensitive and emotional. I get my feelings hurt easily. I am defensive. It is who I am naturally, but that does not mean I have to give into my emotions. I am learning that in order to embrace this gift of life I have been given, I need to grow up and not take everything so personally! I have found an easy way to do this is to follow the main characters’ lead in the novel. In the tense moments she flirts. Or makes a comment to lighten the mood. This is not about avoiding issues that need to be talked about, but it is about learning when to just let go, be silly, choose to trust our love & the fact that I am still loved despite how I might feel in the moment. I know my Todd is not going anywhere, I trust him completely, so why do I need to be defensive? It is a matter of protecting my heart. It comes down to fear and selfishness, both of which I need to let go. Sure, opening up my heart and being vulnerable might be a bit scary, but the opposite is no way to live in a marriage. I’d much rather flirt than fear.
Speaking of flirting…it really is fun. It is not something that should stop once you are comfortable and married. If anything, it should be more! This may take some “change-of-thought patterns” Flirting may feel a bit immature, but really when done right in the right moments, it is quite the mature and even a sophisticated thing to do. Oh wives, we have some power in this area. Let’s use it to strengthen our marriages and make them fun and exciting!
Some examples of flirting that I have done in my marriage lately:
~In the middle of an argument, I drop my defenses. I smile, I remind that I love him, that he is my best friend, wink and suggest we use all this pent up emotion and energy in a more “productive” way.
~I’ve focused on the positive. Instead of dwelling on little quirks that might drive me crazy about Todd, I focus in on my most favorite things about him. The way he smells, (it is delish), his laugh, his deep voice on the phone, the way he snuggles our girls, his complex mind, his brain that is always thinking, the ways he puts our family first.
~Use the written word. Social media, texting & chatting makes it quite easy to send some words to let him know I am thinking about him. It takes seconds, and can set the tone for the whole day. What is fun is that you can set whatever tone you want…sweet, silly, alluring.
~Be purposeful. Keep him on my radar. Be aware of him when he walks in the room. Meet his eyes. Verbalize my attraction when I am feeling it, don’t just think it. Be brave with my words, say things that might make his jaw drop.
~Follow through. This one is important. Flirting is fun, but can be torture for a husband if there is no follow through. You know what I mean?
I’ve have been putting my flirting to good use, and I recently was thanked by my Love for being grace-filled and forgiving. He is noticing that I am more willing to put down defenses and choose to love. What an amazing compliment.
Hearing this made me feel like a beautiful heroine with free-flowing hair blowing in wind, head tipped back and eyes closed..just like on the covers of those novels…
…ok, not really, but close.
PS…I know marriage is not a walk in the park. I know women out there that need to be out of the marriages they are in because of how destructive they are, who have chosen to forgive to a fault. I know it is freakin’ hard sometimes. Todd and I have had our very hard times and through counseling and lots of hard work we are more in love than ever. Is it always easy? No…we recently worked at really hard issue that took awhile to get through, and we all know growth can be painful…but boy, forgiveness is powerful…and so is flirting :).