The Porch Light copyright by Revka (2006-2010). All rights reserved.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Help Meet Ch. 4

Thanksgiving Produces Joy

"Live with thanksgiving, forgiveness, and joy, and enjoy all your moments as if they were your last."

These beginning chapters have been rather intricately woven together and are by-products of each other.

  • Chapter 1 - Don't take anything for granted.
  • Chapter 2 - Have a merry heart.
  • Chapter 3 - A merry heart leads to a thankful spirit.
  • Chapter 4 - That thankful spirit produces joy.

Every marriage has its own unique dynamic, and we women must learn to adapt to that dynamic. Correction: I not only adapt to but also shape that dynamic.

The previous chapter spoke about setting the mood in my home. This chapter's opening sentences say, "You have control over whether or not you and your husband will be "heirs together of the grace of life" (I Peter 3:7), or partners together in the tension and stress of life. You have much more control than you know."

Debi then gives an illustration from her own life. Her husband just doesn't do trash so she has learned to enjoy taking care of this chore. Mike DOES like to show off for her, and on one occasion, he thought that helping her with a particularly heavy bag of trash would afford an opportunity for strutting his stuff. He toted it out in the most macho manner possible and flung it over the side of the dumpster. didn't make it over the side. It burst open, leaving the contents spilling all down the side and to the ground. Instead of cleaning up his mess, he slunk off in embarrassment, leaving Debi to clean up. At that point, she could have gotten mad at him for being inconsiderate and making more work for her. Instead, she willingly and cheerfully cleaned up the mess. She also knew that he would be looking for a way to make up for his failure. Sure enough, not too long afterward the same situation arose. This time, he very carefully put the trash in the dumpster. Debi was waiting at the laundry room window, and at the moment the trash bag left his hand, she let out a piercing scream. He froze, thinking that he had done it again. When he realized what had happened, he charged inside to what ended up being a fun wrestling match. So an incident that could have been a huge problem was turned instead into a happy time and a lasting (positive) memory. Debi controlled the outcome by CHOOSING to have a joyful spirit in spite of the less-than-ideal circumstances.

She goes on to say that one way a woman can help her husband is by being his playmate. That includes just plain ol' fun! Life outside of the home can be and often is grim and humorless. My husband needs a place to relax and have fun, and while it may not seem fair, most often I am going to be the one who determines if our home is any fun or not. I sure struggle with that! I want us to have "Date Night" and "Family Fun Night" and all those other wonderful ideas; however, I have not put the effort into planning them. In fact, sometimes I whine (to myself), "Why do I have to do everything? Why can't he ever come up with things for us to do?" Well, ladies, it IS up to us! The home is our natural domain, and that not only includes the housework. Having a clean house does not make it HOME. It takes work and planning to make a home and even more work and planning to have family togetherness. Hmmm. I know what I will be working on!

Here are a couple of quotations that really speak to me.

"We have learned that life is fun and needs to be shared with our best friend, playmate, and lover."

"Open your mouth and begin to thank God for His grace towards you. Thank Him for every good thing that He has brought into your life. Thank Him, thank Him, and thank Him again. Joy is the result of a thankful heart. A thankful heart is the result of a person who decides to give thanks. So say, 'Thank You, God, for ... .' "

"Ask God to teach you to be thankful. Make a written list of ways that you can start showing thankfulness; then start living your list and showing a thankful spirit. Thankfulness starts by saying Thank You, and continues by making a mental note to appreciate all those people God has placed around you. If it is not already in your heart, than it needs to be by an effort of sacrifice that you show thankfulness."