Scraps

IMG_6601You’ve already given your best to the kids.

all.
stinkin.
day.
long.

So what’s left for your husband– this man you pledged your life and love to?

 

Scraps.

 

Can I ask you a personal question? You don’t have to answer me… just answer in your heart:

how long has your husband been surviving on scraps?

Oh maybe it doesn’t feel that way to you…

You mustered up some energy to try to connect sexually recently… was it, last Thursday? or, no… that was the soccer practice that ran late… it had to be… well, it’s been recently, anyway. And you’ve both been busy so… surely he can’t expect THAT when you’re so busy, right?

Scraps.

You cooked dinner twice last week, which is more than anyone can expect of a tired mom, right? And maybe that’s right. But when was the last time you made his favorite… a meal so good he groaned?

Scraps.

He’s taken to fending for himself in a few areas. Work clothes. Work problems. Work relationships. But work– though a significant part of his life– barely gets discussed.

Scraps.

Your conversations, already fewer and farther between than before you had these little ones, are now pretty much centered on these little ones. And… if you’re honest… often full of miscommunication and annoyance.

Scraps.

 

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Christian mama, you are not just a mama.

You are a WIFE.

And your husband NEEDS you.

#1- He needs your time and attention in the bedroom.

One of the saddest things my husband and I face in marriage counseling is couples who have made LACK of sexual activity the norm in their marriages. For Christian couples, that simply should not be.

“because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. ~1 Corinthians 7:2-5

  • If the kids get less baths, fine.
  • If they learn less soccer (or no soccer!), fine.
  • If you have to train them to go to bed earlier, fine.
  • If you have to spank more often, for a season, to get them to stay in bed, fine.
  • If you need to cut back on your commitments– even church commitments!– so you have more time for him, fine.

But– Christian woman, listen up– it is not fine for you to disobey Scripture and continually put off and reject your husband sexually.

Connect intimately with him. Make it your ambition to THRILL him. Make him smile. Give him something to think about tomorrow. Give him yourSELF. Your BODY. Your SMILES. Your TOUCH. Nourish him– body and soul– with your intimacy.

No one else can rightly do this, and he wants you!

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#2- He needs your time and attention in the home.

At dinner time, give him the best portion. Give him your conversational attention at the dining table. Give him your respect as you talk to him in front of the kids. Teach them what honoring this man looks like.

Maybe your man loves BBQ ribs (mine does!). Work it into the menu when you can.

“She looks well to the ways of her household…” ~Proverbs 31:27

Or maybe your husband needs help keeping up with his wallet and keys. “Look well to the ways” of your home and make an easy, intuitive place near the entry-door for him to collect his things.

On my last birthday, Doug shared with me that he appreciates that “home is always a place I’ve always wanted to come home to… and I’ve realized there are a lot of men who don’t feel that way about going home.” That was really special for me to hear!

Ladies, make your home a place your husband is DELIGHTED to come home to!

Maybe your guy doesn’t care about ribs and missing car keys. But he cares about something. How can you show him that he matters to you? Look for ways to show him that you love him through the way you care for his needs in your home.

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#3- He needs a wife who is FOR him.

If he has a job interview coming up, help him prepare– with clothes, or with mock interviews, or with updating his resume. If you see a sale going on, ask (or notice!) if he needs something in particular to update his work wardrobe.

Over dinner, ask what’s been going on at work. Keep up with his concerns. Don’t make him carry the weight of it all alone.

 

GIVE HIM *YOU*

And Jesus said to them, “…from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” ~Mark 10:5-9

And let not woman separate them either.

Be a wife who works to be ONE with your man– make it very clear that you are FOR him, that you are on HIS side… even if he feels like the whole world is against him (which… by the way, do you know?… most men feel that way– like they’re barely making it and going to be found out as a fraud and a failure any minute?). (This book has more about that idea.)

Make sure your conversations aren’t continually limited to what the kids are doing, YOUR concerns, YOUR anxieties, YOUR daily life… be ONE with your husband, and care about what’s happening in his daily life.

Don’t give him scraps.

Stop giving the best to your kids, or your mom, or your work, or your girl friends, or your ministry, or your home business.

Don’t give him scraps. Give him the best you have to offer.

He wants you. Give him YOU.

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Jess Connell

Jesus-follower, Happy wife, Mom of 8 neat people. Former world-traveler, now settled in Washington. Host of Mom On Purpose podcast (momonpurpose.com). I write and wrangle kids.

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7 Responses

  1. Katrina says:

    Wow- this is so spot on for me. Something I’ve been thinking on this past week, and making a conscious effort these past few days to remedy it. To seek to be the attentive sweetheart he married and not just the tired mom I’ve become. I realize more and more, love is work!!! And it’s about giving, not receiving. I can complain and cold-shoulder about not having my needs met the way I want, or I can be his sunshine in the midst of it all. And light up our home and life in the process.

  2. Katrina says:

    P.S. Is the book pictured Shadow of the Almighty?

    • Jess Connell says:

      Yup. It’s one of our current read alouds.

      • Kari says:

        What a good idea for a read aloud! We own it, I’ve read it, showed it to the kids. We are Sonlighters, so we always have a read aloud. But next year we need to change things a bit. I might just add it to the plan for next year…

        And thanks for another great post of encouragement!

        • Jess Connell says:

          We started out as Sonlighters but by the time we had a spread beyond 2-3 grade levels, it didn’t work for us anymore, and I’ve had to transition to a Sonlight-style approach that I just design for our family each year. Books like this– that I want to read, or have read (like we’re also currently reading “The Treasure Principle” by Randy Alcorn) that I want to share with the kids– are ones I include, as I often “shop” for read alouds from the books we often own. :)

          And I’m glad the post encouraged you.

          • Kari says:

            Way back when, like 8 years ago, your blog was one of the main reasons we chose Sonlight. I don’t like to shop around, and a friend introduced me to your blog, I felt like we were on the same page, therefore I could trust your input.

            It is starting to get tricky with 5 kids but still managing for now.

            You have been and continue to be a blessing!

  3. Jess Connell says:

    That’s fun to hear, Kari. Sonlight was a delight to me, and really still is (even though I haven’t bought anything in some time from them). I still choose to revisit many of the SL books we bought in our years using their curriculum (in fact, we just finished Cricket in Times Square today! the second time I’ve read that book aloud).

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