Are your arms too short to bless your wife?

th-19It all started last week when Marti saw a Godvine video about changing a woman’s inner voices from low self-esteem to messages of worth and value. Marti was so moved by what some simple encouragement and appreciation could do in a woman’s life, she got an idea. Why not challenge the men in our community to change their wives’ inner voices by making a simple video of themselves praising their wives — turning their wives’ smart phones into  “mirrors” that will give back positive messages of worth and affirmation. When she put the challenge to social media it was enthusiastically received, going viral in no time. Thousands of people liked the challenge; the only problem was that no one did anything about it, including me. No one took the challenge.

Apparently everyone loves the idea (mostly women, I would guess) but no one wants to do it (mostly men). What the matter guys? Are our arms too short for a selfie? Are we camera shy? Is it hard for a guy to hold up a smart phone and talk into it, or is the hard part publicly affirming your wife? Are our arms too short to bless our wives? I decided to find out by doing this myself, and it wasn’t easy. It took several attempts before I got something I could use — something I wouldn’t mind her, or you, seeing.

Why is this so hard?

Is it because my affirmation will be suspicious since she lives with me and I don’t do this all the time? Is it because I don’t know what to say? Is it because it shows up what I’ve not been doing?

For instance, I’ve found out that it’s universally hard for men to pray with their wives. I wonder if it’s the same answer — our wives know us so well, we can’t fool them with some kind of fake spirituality. To be in front of the Lord and your wife at the same time is scary business. No more of those half-hearted muttering prayers that go on in your head and drift off into nothingness. This is right here and now. This is God and your wife you’re in front of. You can’t fool either. You might think you can fool God, but that’s only in your mind. When you pray before your wife you find out where you’re really at as far as God is concerned.

Maybe that’s the value of Marti’s ideas here. Certainly it is to benefit the women, but it’s also going to force some level of honesty into our relationships. There is a certain transparency required when going before the Lord in the company of someone who knows you so well. Maybe we could render 2 Corinthians 3 this way: “When a man turns to the Lord (in front of his wife) the veil is taken away.”

If I’m anywhere close, this is serious, and requires some action on the part of the men in our community. The kingdom of God begins with us, and our closest relationships. It has to first work here if it’s going to also work out in the world. I’m going to reissue this challenge, if only for the benefit of our marriages. I’m not asking you to send us your video, unless, of course, you want to. But a comment that you did it would be great.  Just use it between the two of you as a means of altering those inner voices, and an opportunity to turn towards the Lord. Bye, bye veil!

Click here to see the result of my attempts at a video for Marti.

Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her. (Proverbs 31:28)

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13 Responses to Are your arms too short to bless your wife?

  1. @gunnarsimonsen says:

    BOOM!! This is so good John!!

  2. Love that. Especially the last part about seeing who your children are to be and helping them become that!! Wow!!

  3. Mark Seguin says:

    Great job Pastor John – I loved your video for your gorgeous wife Marti! I really liked your honesty in it. Like your comment: “my life really rovoles (sp) around me.” and the rest was just great – because for me, it was easily to tell it was from your heart.

    Marti this is a great idea! I very much agree with positive self-affrimations! And trying to over come that little voice that seems to try and defeat us..

  4. Sue says:

    aww, I smiled all the way through your video, knowing that it was difficult for you, but what an example for other hubs, and how touching for Marti to hear! Good job, and I hope husbands will take up the challenge, what a wonderful gift for wives!!! Good idea Marti!!!

  5. Sandie says:

    Since my husband and I have ‘stupid’ phones (and like it that way!), doing the video thing is out. But after 45 years of marriage, not a day goes by that he does not praise me for who I am and the things I do, no matter how seemingly insignificant. And I do the same for him. You see, in September 2005 he suffered a stroke and literally walked away from it. We count each day an opportunity to serve each other, and the blessings extend far and wide, touching our children, grandchildren, friends…everyone the Lord brings our way. This relationship we have is most evident when we minister through music – he’s my ‘guitar guy’ and without him I couldn’t lift my voice as well. I fall asleep every night thanking God for the blessed life I have with my husband.

    • Mark Seguin says:

      Amen Sandie you blessed me w/ your post – thx… 🙂

    • martifischer says:

      You are an encouragement to everyone! I see darkened relationships where comfort has replaced hope for a change for the better. I see Christians believing in some basic elements for change in a relationship by launching programs instead of going deeper into someone in order to discover what healing is required. I know of one Christian who has experienced a few good times to remind him that there will come a day when the Lord will finally rescue him. Jesus asks that we bring the kingdom of God to everyone, beginning first with stopping the endless bickering among each other – those closest to the family. You and your husband obviously bless your relationship, embrace it passionately, and bear the power of God on the areas that require miracles, always looking to the hope that lies ahead. I can see that you both put our arms around each other, never rejecting or pointing out flaws. As we eat and drink what has been put before us, we are to improve the conditions of the other by conveying a deep appreciation and when improvement is the result, proclaim the kingdom of God has come – for it is surely evident in your marriage.

      Once the kingdom of God is in place in our marriages, it is bound to expand, as the kingdom of God is always expansive, never regressive. You must encourage all the men and women you meet that once the kingdom is in place in our marriages it is bound to expand to our children, our neighbors, our community, and into our jobs. I do not think it can operate in the reverse.

      I am honored to know you!
      Marti

  6. Sandie says:

    Marti –
    I don’t know if your last comment was directed to me or to Mark, but I want to say thank you for your words of encouragement.
    In my description of our relationship, I hope I didn’t convey the idea that our marriage is one without dissension, frustration, and even ‘knock-down, drag-out’ fights (impossible with two musicians/one German, one Italian – both with razorsharp wit and tongues)!
    But we learned that “iron sharpens iron,” and that apologies are not demeaning. Also, coming from a generation that was taught to take vows spoken seriously, was a big part of keeping us united against our naysayers when we first began this journey.
    We have learned to listen past anger and frustration and hear the truth about ourselves…then take steps to be a better person. Our kids grew up with that influence and we are blessed that they want to emulate what they have seen – and now our grandkids too.
    A long time ago, Don Francisco sang the words, “Love is not a feeling, it’s an act of your will.” Feelings come and go…obedience to God and commitment to each other last forever.
    And Mark, before I forget, thank you also for your encouraging comment. If only more believers were encouragers, think what a difference that would make in all our relationships!

  7. johnhaak says:

    I like this idea for our next Men’s Retreat. We will not only learn God’s will for our words that bless but we will each have something to “take home” that really matters. Of course, now I have to wait until the Men’s retreat to do this …

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