Praying for Him: His Hugs, Kisses, and "I Love You"s

Over the next 30 weeks, which I started with an intro on May 1st, I will be doing a weekly series where I talk about my journey through Stormie Omartian's Power of  a Praying Wife. I felt led to pray for my husband, wanted to incorporate the book, but knew that doing a 30 day challenge was next to impossible. (Let's face it: life with a baby just-turned-Toddler changes and there are still nights with many wake up calls due to teething or illness. I'd already tried once and failed.)  So this series was born as a way to share, encourage, and hold me accountable to the commitment I made. I'll keep a list of links just below this on each post so you can easily access them all. Enjoy!


 When I first read the title of the chapter for this week, His Affection, my thought process kind of went a bit off course. It looked a little something like this:

Ha! This will be an interesting week. He doesn't really do very well with showing me affection. I bet I'm really going to need to turn up the prayer on this one. There is so much work he could be doing in this area, God. I guess I will be discovering just how much I should be praying for this area.

Queue pride.

You guys, I was so arrogant. And I found myself being forced down onto my knees as I read the chapter because here's what's really going on in my household: Ben does a great job of showing affection via hugs, kisses, and telling me he loves me. Is there room for improvement to be creative and show it to me in ways that might communicate it a little better to me? I think the answer for most husbands, especially newer husbands, is yes. (And let's face it, my husband has hit some 40 mph winds going against him in the time he should have been able to start learning "me". I think I need to extend a bit of grace.)

But to be fair, on the other end of the spectrum, you have us wives likely in need of learning to communicate affection better to our husbands. Granted, women are generally affectionate people. It kind of exudes out of us on a pretty consistent basis. We speak the language of love. This, however, is not a natural thing for a man and much grace from us is needed.

What I found myself staring at in the mirror this week was a wife who had belittled the small ways that her husband does show her affection, passing it by because those "larger" ways of showing it just weren't coming her way. I saw how cynical and ungrateful I had become for what God has given me, not rejoicing that there really isn't a need to work on him wanting to hug or kiss me no matter where we are. (Seriously. I am not comfortable with muth PDA and have had to ask him to tone it down in public. Haha! No, what he does isn't really overboard, I"m just not comfortable with more than a hug or tiny peck on the lips.)

And, let me be clear here, I'm not wishing he'd come home to shower me with some huge gift or some noticeable-by-the-neighbors "I LOVE MY WIFE" card or balloon. (Honestly, I'd probably hate the latter, but that isn't the point I'm driving.) I just really feel loved when he writes me a note or brings home a couple gerber daises. (He rejoiced when he found out my favorite flower is one of the cheapest out there.)  Even coming home every now and then to tell me "GO! Be by yourself." is a small way he could show me affection. And he's learning. He really is.

Yet, I find myself disregarding the small ways that he has shown me affection. And you know what? If I keep that pattern up, I'm likely to lose it all together. Then where does that leave me? Stuck with my cynical, angry, ungrateful heart and a husband who is defeated. (As I write, I'm reminded of Kayla's post. If you guys don't know her, I think you should. I've been getting to know her and I'm loving it! Also, even if you decide not to, which I don't know why you would, you should at least read that post. I think every stage in life catches us wanting to change someone or something, when really we should only be working on ourselves.) Anyway, I definitely don't want to be left in that ugly cycle; which, by the way, perpetuates itself.

And so instead of finding myself praying something along these lines, "God, please help Ben to show me affection. Give him some ideas so that I'm not lacking over here, because it kind of feels like I'm dying sometimes." (Umm...I'm not really sure it would go like that but considering my above aside on myself, I hate to say it probably wouldn't have been too far off from that. *ouch*), I found myself asking God to help me to appreciate the ways that Ben does show affection. I found myself asking for grace when I feel like it should be done differently and to see that he is giving me his best now. If I choose to accept that, my heart will change towards him and be more open, as well as I will be able to unselfishly pray that he would grow in the ways that will show it a little more in my style.

I don't think asking God for him to show it in small ways that communicate it even a bit better to me is wrong. However, when my attitude regarding what he does do is off, there is no way my prayers asking God work on him can really be getting anywhere, because I am completely in the way.

I'm guessing I will have many more reminders that though I am praying for Ben, this is truly an opportunity for God to shine a light on the dark areas of my heart. Those places where I have allowed cobwebs to build and dust to settle. So while I'm asking God to bless my husband and be all that God has made him to be, I'm seeing that my heart is changing; it's a slow process, but changing never the less.

Next week we'll be looking at praying for his temptations. I'm honestly not exactly sure where she is going to go with this, but I know that I have benefitted from the other five chapters.

Also, stay tuned as I'm going to write out Ben's and my story here in the coming weeks. I haven't decided whether or not it will be drawn out over several posts or not, but I'll be sure to let you know just as soon as I've figured it all out.

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