Hero Thought – Transparent June 11, 2007Posted by Gerry Baron in Hero Thought.
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I am reading “For Men Only: A Straightforward Guide to the Inner Lives of Women” in preparation for our upcoming radio segment with one of the authors, Jeff Feldhahn. (Listen to the segment live on Tuesday June 19 at 9:00 PM @ www.blogtalkradio.com/byhusbandsforhusbands). One of the things that Jeff and his wife, Shaunti, discovered through their research of over 3,000 women is that there is something in a woman that desires to be reassured that their husband really loves them. It’s like a tape that plays in their heads that keeps repeating the question “Does he really love me?”.
My natural reaction to this need that my wife had was to be callous. I viewed it as her problem that she needed to be constantly reassured. Since it was her problem, she had to figure out how to get over it.
Then about 7 years ago, I was introduced to the concept of being a transparent person. The principle behind transparency is simply this – making a conscious decision to share something that I can easily keep to myself with someone that I trust. When I first learned the concept, I did not think it was practical or realistic. At that point in time, there were lots of undercurrents in my marriage and I could not imagine honestly telling my wife the things that were going through my head or that I was doing. The only outcome that I could forsee was more conflict.
Then I learned the key to unlocking transparency. The biggest barriers to overcome with transparency are the fear of shame, the fear of guilt, the fear of condemnation, and the fear of judgement. Questions like “What are they going to think of me when they hear this?” and “How will people treat me if they know this about me?” dominate our thinking. Once I learned that there was a way to receive forgiveness for my past, present, and future sins (many call them mistakes), and that upon receiving that forgiveness all those sins are no longer counted against me, I started on the road to freedom from those 4 fears.
The next step was to embrace my forgiven state. In other words, I had to stop beating myself up each time I blew it, and remember that I was already forgiven.
I had to learn to accept God’s unconditional love which was the the source of the opportunity for me to be forgiven. God’s love for me surpasses my natural understanding. No matter how hard I try, my love still has conditions to it. I am naturally more loving to my wife when she acts in an affirming and loving way than when she doesn’t. On the other hand, God’s love for me is consistent regardless of how unlovable I am behaving.
Accepting His unconditional love allows me to combat those voices of fear. Each time guilt or shame try to creep in, I remind myself that God does not consider me guilty and He is not ashamed of me. I actually picture Him bragging to angels about me like a proud papa. When fear of condemnation and fear of judgement come knocking, I remember that I have already been forgiven so there is now therefore no more condemnation for me.
Overcoming those fears opened the door to transparency. For example, I struggled for several years with pornography. I made a decision to put it aside and to no longer engage in it, and I’m happy to say that I’ve been “porn-free” for several years now. How am I able to stay clear of something that had such a visceral attraction for me? Through transparency with my wife.
Here is an example of how I am transparent with my wife. Several years ago I was on a business trip in Spain. Those who have traveled to Europe know that the standards for what can be shown on television are vastly different than they are here. Things that are considered soft porn in the US are regularly shown on TV there. One evening while killing time in my hotel room, I was scanning the channels. I came upon a channel that was showing porn. Instead of moving past the channel, I camped out for a while. Finally, the spell broke as I came to my senses and I called the hotel to ask them to turn off the adult channel.
Now I had a decision to make. I was thousands of miles from home and the hotel bill would only be marked “movie” so there was no way for my wife to know what I had done. Do I keep it a secret or do I call her and tell her?
I chose the latter. I called my wife and explained the situation. After quietly listening to me, the first words she spoke were “Thank You!”. She gratefully thanked me for not keeping my actions in the dark and told me how it made her feel secure to know that I would not do something like this without telling her.
This was my first lesson in the effect that transparency has on my wife’s feeling of security. The knowledge that I would not keep any dark secrets helped her to deal with that tape in her head. She is comforted by knowing that I love her because I am choosing not to keep anything hidden from her.
Transparency is a powerful principle to apply in our married lives. Try taking the steps I outlined above and move towards transparency. Let me know how it goes.
See the video – Hero Thought: Transparent
Word…. June 6, 2007Posted by Steve Worthy in Appreciation, Hero Thought, Humor, Marriage, Things to do.
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1. Where is your cell phone?
3. Your hair?
5. Your sister?
6. Your favorite thing?
7. Your dream last night?
8. Your favorite drink at Starbucks?
9. Your dream car?
10. The room you’re in?
11. Your shoes?
12. Your fears?
13. What do you want to be in 10 years?
14. Who did you hang out with this weekend?
15. What you’re not good at?
17. One of your wish list items?
Pinehurst. (Golf Course)
18. Where you grew up?
19. The last thing you did?
20. What are you wearing?
21. What aren’t you wearing?
22. Your pet(s)?
23. Your computer?
24. Your life?
27. What are you thinking about right now?
28. Your car?
29. Your kitchen?
30. Your summer?
31. Your favorite color?
32. When is the last time you laughed?
33. When was the last time you cried?
Hero Thought – Harmony June 4, 2007Posted by Gerry Baron in Hero Moments, Hero Thought.
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The sweetness of harmony. This is a phrase that my friend, Matt, used the other day when we were talking about a situation that he and his wife are facing. He was explaining that the situation was one in which he and his wife could easily be at odds. In fact, left to his own devices, he had a specific agenda that he would want to pursue. However, he was reveling in the harmony that he felt with his wife. Although the potential for discord and conflict was high, he and his wife were united in their approach.
Speaking to him made me think of the stress that I have felt for so long in my own marriage relationsihp. The stress came from the reality of trying to get my wife to agree with my point of view. I would get so angry when she disagreed with my perspective. “How stubborn and self-centered she is!”, I would think to myself. My passive-aggressive tendency would come out as I refused to speak with her or would rebel against everything she asked me to do. I acted like a real jerk.
About 18 months ago, I started the journey towards the sweetness of harmony. Someone counseled me to “give up my rights” at about the same time that I was reading “Every Man’s Marriage”. I rejected the concept at first. Questions bombarded my mind:
- “Why should I give up my rights?”
- “What makes her so much more special than me?”
- “Why can’t she give up her rights first”
- “How can I gain back everything I will lose if I give up my rights?”
I fought against making any changes until I concluded that it was the only thing I had left to do. Everything else I tried had failed up to that point.
Giving up my rights consisted of deciding to eradicate expectations that I had of my wife. Gone were my expectations that she would…
… support me
… affirm me
… agree with me
… listen to me
… meet my needs
… stay with me no matter what
I also had to choose to prefer her over myself. This means that given a choice between doing what she wants and doing what I want, I will choose to do what she wants.
Finally, I had to stop trying to control everything in my life. Rather than getting uptight about things working out differently than I planned, I accept the situation and make the best of it. Gone are the days of getting angry because we’re leaving the house later than I wanted to or because she is expecting me to make dinner after being at work all day while she has been at home.
Now the harmony we feel is like what is described in Psalm 133:
“How wonderful it is, h ow pleasant, when brothers live together in harmony! For harmony is as precious as the fragrant anointing oil…”
Start today to lead your marriage relationship in a way that produces the sweetness of harmony.
Watch the video about harmony – Hero Thought – Harmony
Hero Thought – Service May 28, 2007Posted by Gerry Baron in Hero Moments, Hero Thought, Husbands are doing, Romance Leadership, Romantic Husband.
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My wife just completed her 1st year of biblical studies at our church’s ministry training center. One of the requirements of getting through the school was that she had to write several papers. The only problem was that she hates to type. She’s a 2 finger typist and it takes her forever to type anything.
At the start of the school year she told me that she wanted me to type her papers for her. My first reaction was “yeah, right.” After all, I wasn’t the one in school. What would it look like for me to type her papers. To me it felt like she was trying to get away with something. Besides, if she’s going through the program, she should do ALL the work.
The semester began and she asked me to type her paper. I gave her all my “good” reasons why I shouldn’t type the paper for her. Finally she convinced me to do it. I admit that I was quite reluctant to type the paper. This went on throughout the semester.
During the break, we were at a retreat weekend for one of the leadership teams we both participate on. My wife was talking to another leader who told her how her husband typed all her papers for her and also created her PowerPoint slides for presentations. This astonished me. You see her husband is in a PhD program for leadership while holding a senior project management role in a large architectural engineering firm, leading a small group at church, traveling to Africa to conduct leadership training twice a year, and raising a family.
Once the astonishment wore off, shame tried to set in. My workload was a fraction of my friend’s workload yet I complained when my wife asked for help and he did it willingly. I asked him how he was able to do it and he said something profound. He said “Helping my wife with her work is a small price to pay compared to everything she does for me and the family.”
This hit home. He was absolutely right. Although I had heard my pastor speak about the imperative for me to serve my wife and I read books that said the same thing, I had never really considered the magnitude of what she does for me and the family.
At that moment, my attitude toward serving her changed. Now it is a joy for me to do things that make her burden lighter because I appreciate all that she does to make my burden lighter.
Watch the video: Hero Thought – Service
Hero Thought – Forgiveness May 21, 2007Posted by Gerry Baron in Hero Moments, Hero Thought, Husbands are doing, Romance Leadership, Romantic Husband.
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Forgiveness is such a powerful force. My wife and I will be married 20 years this August. Because of a mistake that was made very early in our marriage, most of those years were strained. Each of us harbored unforgiveness towards the other that blocked the flow of love and intimacy.
Sure we were Christians but all that meant was that we knew how to keep up the facade. Deep down we were 2 hurting people that became skilled at hurting the other in a vain attempt to protect ourselves.
My being self-employed the last 4 years brought many of these issues to the surface. With the safety net of an executive salary stripped away and our finances dwindling, the deep seated resentment and bitterness easily found their way to the surface of our relationship. Many harsh words were exchanged.
However, through counseling and the support of good friends, we both came to an understanding of the power of forgiveness. We learned that a heart full of unforgiveness was like a clenched fist. The fist is a powerful force while it’s closed. It serves as a great defensive weapon. Unfortunately because the fingers are balled up, the fist is unable to receive anything. Likewise the heart of unforgiveness protects itself from hurt while it also blocks out any love that comes its way.
We both determined to work through our issues of unforgiveness. I am happy to say that we both agree that we’ve gotten over the hump. All the old wounds and hurts have been buried. We have released each other and now the love is flowing freely.
Watch the video: Hero Thought – Forgiveness
Hero Thought – Simple May 14, 2007Posted by Gerry Baron in Appreciation, Hero Moments, Hero Thought, romance, Romance Leadership, Romantic Husband.
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Romance is simple. We don’t have to exert much energy or do much to touch our wife’s heart. The reason many husbands never get very far with romance is that they turn romance into something elaborate that is difficult to sustain. Sure, our wife is happy for the moment but she also wonders whether you have what it takes to keep it up or if it’s a 1 time event.
Keep it simple. Look for little things thatyou can do that say “I love you” to your wife. Something that I did once was to make her a bouquet of roses. I bought a sheet of pink tissue paper (the kind that is used to stuff gift bags) and a few green pipe cleaners from Wal*Mart. I rolled the tissue paper to make it look like a rose bud. The pipe cleaners served as the rose stems. I put the bouquet on a gift to my wife. She absolutely loved it.
To illustrate the power of a simple gift, the day that I took the pictures for this blog, I happened to take the bouquet and put it in a vase so that I would remember to take the pictures when I got home from work. I called my wife to see how her day was going and I could tell that she was in a great mood when she answered. I asked her what was going on and she proceeded to thank me for the lovely flowers! What a hoot! I got romance points because she thought that this was a new bouquet.
Watch the video: Hero Thought – Simple