The Real Power a Woman Holds

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Yes, the idea for this post came from the latest Avengers movie. I’m a boy mama. And, I embraced the “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” philosophy a long time ago. I haven’t been able to shake the scene where Black Widow, played by Scarlett Johannson, soothes the savage beast in the Incredible Hulk with her gentle lullaby words. Soft and whispery, she tenderly approaches him. And, as her hand touches his, he melts into her with a shiver. The giant, unreachable, unreasonable, indestructible, huge, strong beast…melts at her touch. All of his rage…his frustrations…dissipate when she speaks to him with love.

It is her softness that melts him.

He is safe with her. Reassured. Loved. And, he melts.

She is strong. Strong enough to take on the toughest of bad guys. But her true beauty…her true strength…shines through her soft touch and gentle words.

There’s a message there, women.

1 Peter 3 speaks of “the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.”

Sometimes, in my busyness. In my independence. I forget…just how much my husband needs the softness God created me with, in order to soothe away the daily frustrations piled on his mortal shoulders. How much more he needs my soft, tender words that create a safe haven for him from the harsh world. Words of hope, love, encouragement that build him up and strengthen him to get back in there and fight the good fight another day. He needs them whispered in a sultry lullaby. More than the clanging symbols of criticisms or harsh, negative words…or even short distracted responses. Beautiful, strong women…our husbands need the softness of our touch…and the tender words of love we have to give. He cares more than you know about having your approval…about knowing that he is someone you respect and honor. He needs your love and encouragement…your gentleness…more than you know. That’s where your strength lies. Use it for good. Use it to encourage your man.

The following is from an old post, but the advice still holds true.

Intimacy in marriage…loving your husband in his love language…

I have found in conversations over the years, with married friends of mine, that the subject of marital intimacy can be a real issue. I don’t want to stereotype, because it can sometimes be the other way around. But, much of the time husbands enjoy feeling loved by their wives in a physical way. Women often feel loved when we are most secure, with gentle words of affirmation, time spent together, as well as physically.

In encouraging female friends of mine over the years, I have heard many say that they need to feel loved by their husbands in order to enjoy the physical part of marriage. They may say, “I wish my husband would…”(fill in the blank.). Some may enjoy physical intimacy, but fail to make it a priority…getting busy with the needs of children, work, home, etc.

In sixteen years of marriage (now twenty-one years!), I’ve learned a few things that I’d like to share with you…woman-to-woman. These things are thoughts I’ve shared with friends who struggle in this area. And, although, I’m hardly an expert… and feel a little shy even talking about it, I think it’s something that’s important. I wish we talked about this subject more as wives, and encouraged young women on this subject. Don’t worry, I’ll keep it pure.

1. Make time with your husband a priority, and start speaking his love language. While you should not go into this with thoughts of what you may get out of it (Physical intimacy should never be used to manipulate.), you may be surprised to find that if you are more physically affectionate and open to him, he may respond by being more loving with you in your love language. As he feels more secure in your love, he will reach out to you in more loving ways. Maybe words of affirmation…maybe hugs…you will be surprised at how you can melt his heart with your love. And, yes…it really is that simple.

2. Do not underestimate the importance of physical intimacy in marriage. A good friend of mine calls it the “glue that holds us together”. God designed sex in marriage to be a blessing. The marriage bed is “pure and undefiled”. So, we are supposed to enjoy one another, and make it fun. (Don’t believe me? Have you ever read the Song of Solomon?) Yes, it is for the purpose of reproduction…but also so much more. It is meant to be a blessing to both of you. Have you ever noticed that when we neglect this part of our relationship, there is more tension and distance? But, when we are making it a priority, there is a bond of affection and often more patience. We look at each other through eyes of love. And that love and commitment is renewed and solidified in the act of marriage. (The Act of Marriage is also the name of a really good book that encourages Christian couples in this area, too!)

3. Remember that your husband speaks a physical love language. Your love and respect give him confidence to be the man he is called to be. He needs this from you. It is part (a big part) of your role as helpmate. If he swats you on the behind as he walks through the kitchen, take it as a compliment and a sign of his affection. Be glad he thinks your behind is “swat-worthy”. And, you may just be surprised, if you begin responding to him in a physical way how he will respond to you.

4. Communicate with your husband about your needs and intimacy, using words of love and affirmation. And make sure he feels safe communicating with you. Remember this gift in marriage is not just for your husband, but for you too!

5. Don’t let your body image keep you from enjoying your husband physically. Some wives feel less than perfect (aren’t we all!), especially when comparing themselves to the unattainable images bombarding us in all forms of media. I think most husbands, though, are less critical, and maybe don’t even see the flaws we see when we look in the mirror. Most of the time, a man enjoys the soft physical beauty of his wife, and sees her through the eyes of love. I know this may not always be the case, but I think it is most of the time.

If this is an area you struggle with, I hope you found a little encouragement here. I just want to encourage wives to make loving their husbands a priority.

Be blessed and encouraged today! Now…go give your man a big kiss and tell him how great he is!

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I’m an Elephant

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My Grace Rebel heart is in absolute love with this picture (shared by my friend Heidi Faith)…for several reasons.

1. The reminder to be yourself. I wish more women felt that freedom to embrace the person they were created to be…to put down the measuring stick…to quit the comparison game. It is nothing but a thief of joy. Be you. Be authentic.

2. I recently mentioned that I’m an elephant. Elephants take almost two years to grow their babies, the longest of any mammal. It takes me forever to gestate and birth the ideas God lays on my heart.

Exhibit A….it took me 10 years to write Sufficient Grace. Exhibit B…it took me 8 years after our losses to start Sufficient Grace Ministries. Exhibit C…It took me 6 years after I spoke the idea of peer support for families walking through loss as a key note at the Grand Rounds at Good Samaritan in Cincy to make it happen. In truth….that opens me up for watching others around me give birth to beauty much quicker. See number one for the remedy to that ensuing dilemma. Be you. Don’t compare. Do your thang.

3. While this is turning into a blog post…here’s the thing I learned about elephants after stating I was one (due to my long gestation time)…

They love to gather as women and stay together, serve together. YES!
They are altrustic. They have been known to go above and beyond to help one another…and even others in need. They are comforters, nurturers at times.

Excellent memory…well that part…we unfortunately do not have in common. But what I do typically try to remember is the good stuff about people…and rarely the bad. Sometimes that gets me in trouble…vulnerability takes courage…because it means repeated wounds…but that’s a blog post for another day.

(Let’s just say I’m more of a cards on the table…heart on the sleeve gal… than a keeping it all close to the vest gal. But, you already knew that.) ;)

#gracerebel

Because I’m in Africa

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Celebrating Every Moment ~ Scarlett & Vivienne

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I listened to her message on the way home from a vacation in the mountains. When I called her back, she didn’t answer. I left a message. And, called again a few days later. Because I know the courage it took for her to pick up that phone and make the call to ask for [...]

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With Unveiled Face

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Yesterday during a weekly prayer session with my friend Lynette, it happened. One of my favorite nuggets of grace…when God allows His Word to come alive and the words jump out from the page, piercing into your soul, written just for you. Three words from the scripture below… “with unveiled face.” But we all, with [...]

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Redemption

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The Grief Bearer

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A dear friend was working with me at SGM Headquarters this week. I was preparing a package containing a tiny casket we would be delivering for young parents who had lost their baby. His observation, his words, as I packed the sacred package, have not left my mind since they left his lips. He spoke [...]

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The Insatiable Desire to Mother and to Be Mothered

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It exists in each of us. The unquenchable, insatiable desire. To mother our children. Even when a child passes from this earth, we still long to mother our babies. That may look different for each person. It may be the planning of a yearly birthday party. It may be decorating a grave, spending time, sitting [...]

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A Father’s Love ~ Baby Owen

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  He stood beside his wife, feeding her ice chips, tenderly. Sometimes using humor to soften the heaviness of weary moments as they waited to meet their son. Because, if he can make her laugh…then all is still right with the world…even when nothing seems right at all. Humor is a wonderful diffuser for the [...]

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Servant to All

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Sometimes in the midst of walking with a family, there are moments when my own cup is filled in the pouring out. There are many moments really. He came to pray with the beautiful parents waiting to fill a lifetime of love into the moments they were given with their son. I met him after [...]

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