All reasons Michael and I began a relationship with one another 7 years ago. Were they the right reasons? It seemed so at the time. Looking back, however, we see now that while well intentioned, those reasons backfired almost from the get-go because they weren't centered around what God desired for our relationship; they were centerend around our own desires of we thought we needed.
Early in my life I (Michael) reconized my need for a Savior. This came about mainly because of the instability in the home I grew up in; my father and step-father were prime examples of how not to do marriage and fatherhood. I made a childhood vow that I would learn how to love and be a good husband and father from Jesus. After all, He is the author of love and so becoming like Him became my life's passion. When I started dating Annalea, my desire was to pursue her passionately, only I wasn't aware of how to do so in a way that would touch her heart in a positive way. I simply thought that passion in and of it self was more than enough to win her over.
Let me back track a bit. Before I met Annalea I did a lot of self work to prepare myself for the possibility of marriage. During that time I asked God to heal me of all my junk; I read numerous books on relationships and marriage; I went to and volunteered in small groups that promoted Christian maturity and manhood. When it was over I believed I was ready and so when I met Annalea and started dating her I wrote long love letters proclaiming that I would do anything for her. I would buy random gifts that would represent some aspect of our relationship. I would take her on romantic dates.
With me doing all this I thought we would be passionately in love but it didn't work the way I thought it should. Why? Because I was loving her under my terms, even if on the surface it appeared to be good there were always underlying conditions and when she didn't respond the way I wanted her to or thought she should my insecurity would raise it's ugly head and Annalea's heart, along with our relationship, would suffer the consequences.
The following question begs to be asked: If I'm loving my wife who decides if it's in a way that she needs? If I decide then it's conditional and on my terms. If she decides and I recieve what she thinks and feels then she can freely live out her thoughts and feelings in our marriage...with me. Self work aside, my woundedness still showed up in our marriage. Initially, I thought my marriage created problems; what was really happening was that problems within me were being revealed.
Here's the amazing thing though ~ the answer to my pursuit of becoming more Christlike, to being a great husband and father, was right before my eyes. It was my wife!
Guys...the same answer is before your eyes too. The shift in your heart will come when you realize that you're not loving your wife with a Christlike love. Christ doesn't love half-heartedly or blame shift or demand a response or any of this craziness. Make a decision today to truly win your wife's heart and to allow any negative stuff in your belief system and heart to die off.
Remember, if I can do it...You Can Do It Too!