When A Wife Needs To Die To Self

So...no video testimony today because I have bad cold and I refuse to get out of my pajamas and pretty myself up today. And since I want to be as well rested as possible for our Marriage Intensive on Thursday, I am typing this post from the comfort of our big smushy bed amidst crumpled kleenex, cups of cold tea and lemon water on my nightstand and the scent of Vick's vapor rub lingering in the air.


I do have a testimony for you though, part of our own and part of mine and I'm not gonna lie to you, it was a difficult pill and one that I (Annalea) needed to swallow.

Can you believe it?

I know. Totally true though because, believe it or not, I'm not always right even when Michael makes it all about me. Kidding.

It goes like this. I've been feeling as if we've hit a plateau over the last couple of months and so about a week ago, I gathered up the courage to ask Michael if he was happy with me and if I was being a blessing to him. He said that he never really thought about it because he was always so focused on being about me and the kids but that he'd give it some thought. Being a passive person, I teeter-tottered between fear of what he'd say and relief that he didn't really say anything on how I was or wasn't being with him.

Now let me just say that over the last three years, Michael has absolutely become a safe place for my heart; it's just the anticipation of hearing that I may not be measuring up as much as I could or should and the reality is that I already know the answer, which is that I'm not. Michael didn't have to say anything for me to already know this.

Here's a small example: Michael rubs my head every night. Without fail and never any less than 10 minutes; in fact, it's usually for 15-20. It's my absolute favorite and I know he enjoys doing it too. Welllllll.... I know that he loves to have his back rubbed but, honestly, I'll do this for him maybe about 1 time out of every 10 that he rubs my head and usually only when he asks it of me.

How lame is that?

Okay, so I already know that I'm missing the mark and that's just one area. I also feel that we've hit a plateau of sorts and breaking through it is largely up to me at this season in our lives because I know that I'm the one holding myself back and thus holding us back.

So, it came down to this: I know (that I know that i know) that Michael will do anything I ask him to. The question is, will I do anything he asks of me.

Which turned out to be hearing him out ~ without getting angry or defensive ~ when he answers the kind of question I asked which, truth be told, was somewhat loaded on my part which is entirely unfair ~ which he brought to my attention and which I got defensive about....


He said, "Annalea, what you're doing isn't what we teach. We tell wives to respond to their husbands to the extent that he's blessing her." He's totally right, we do teach that. And where we are now it should be 100%/100%. So I'm thinking over all of the ways that Michael blesses me and thinking, "shit! he does a lot!" and knowing that I could be responding a lot more positively than I do.

And it's not that I don't bless him ~ I do; it's that I could do more ~ a LOT more ~ and I know this. And I got angry and defensive about it.

Who needed to die to self? Hand raised over here (she says sheepishly).

We talked it out though. And talked and talked and made love to which I laughingly asked Michael, "is this make up sex?" and he said, "no, just connecting with you."

I liked that better. I think make up sex is overrated anyway...


A Wife's Role

You've probably figured out by now that the marriage ministry we're involved in really stands on a husband's toes with regard to how God calls him to treat his wife. Some people, even believers who don't fully understand what this looks like (they haven't read the books, been on the calls, gone to a Marriage Intensive, etc.), get really bugged by this saying that a husband can't be blamed for all of the trouble in the marriage...hasn't the wife played a part in it too?

Of course she has.

Doesn't she have any responsibility in the restoration process?


In this week's Testimony Tuesday video, I (Annalea) talk about a wife's role and responsibility in getting an Outrageously Happy Marriage. After all, this isn't just The Man of Her Dreams....

It's also The Woman of His!


Why We Settle

We all have dreams about what married life will be like. A little girl dresses up like a princess and dreams of being loved by a handsome prince; a little boy pretends he's a super hero who vanquishes the evil dragon and rescues the fair maid.

So what happens? Many would say it's unrealistic expectations that are the problem. Many would say, "that's just how men are...that's just how women are..." Wives might say, "he never takes me out or tells me I'm beautiful and when he comes home from work he just sits on the couch and watches television but at least he comes home and he doesn't hit me and the kids can go to private school."


Husbands might say, "I may not have her heart and we may not have sex that often but at least I get hot meals, clean clothes, a clean house and I can play golf whenever I want."


Why? God has high expectation of His children and for His children. Why then, as Christians, do we leave those high expectations of ourselves and our spouses seemingly at the alter? Why do we just settle and think that this is as good as it gets?

Michael and I stopped settling three years ago and it was one of the most important decisions we ever made.

You so don't have to settle either!


Why A Husband Resists Restoration...and what a wife can do

Even though they know their relationship with their wife is suffering, many husbands will resist efforts of marriage restoration. A typical scenario looks like this: a husband thinks he's trying and doing his best and because of this he will say it's his wife's fault that the marriage is suffering. Since that's the case (in his mind), then he doesn't need to do anything more than he already is, read any books, seek counseling, go to marriage workshops, etc. He tells himself (and his wife) that if she would just accept him as he is and recognize all he does for her and their family, then everything would be fine.

This is so not the case.

I (Michael) was one of these husbands even though I did read marriage books, went to workshops and sought counseling with Annalea. However, these things never taught me how to be a genuine Christian husband like this ministry has.

At seven months pregnant, Annalea said we either go to this Marriage Intensive or we're done (just a note, she'd already filed divorce papers and tried everything I'd asked her to including all of the above). I realized she was serious and began to genuinely consider the possibility of me having to look at myself and what I was (and wasn't) doing as being the problem in the marriage.

It took me a month of resistance ~ a month of keeping Annalea guessing and holding up the miracle we needed ~ before I agreed to go.

So what can a wife do if she has a husband like I used to be? Watch this weeks video to find out and don't wait another day to get your miracle!

If I can do it....Your Husband Can Do It Too!