Ephesians 4:2-3: With all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
UNCOMMEN Husbands are Thermostats, not Thermometers.
Cherish Your Wife: Taking Care of Her Emotional Needs
I have a gift. I can take my wife’s emotional temperature from across the room. So I seek a cooler climate when she is hot (and I don’t mean ready to slip between the sheets with me), perhaps on the deck with an iced tea. When she’s cold, I look for a warmer personality–like a TV–to keep me company.
To be UNCOMMEN, cherish your wife. You should consider and care for your bride like you warm your own body. Unless you are in Seal training, you instinctively warm your body when cold. If it’s too hot outside, you put on your sandals and crank up the AC. If it’s too cold, you don the Merino wool socks and build a fire. So bringing warmth to your wife as we bring warmth to our own bodies is an encouragement to consider and care for her emotional needs in the same way we consider and care for our own physical needs. Provide emotional support for your wife when she needs it the most.
If she’s chilly, it’s our job to warm her up. If she’s steaming, then we help lower the mercury. Therefore, the call to cherish means we have to engage when we’d rather shrink back.
The Sliver vs. the Marriage: Reacting to Conflicts
Whenever I sense a slight irritation with my wife, I pull away. But if I get a tiny sliver in my finger, my whole body springs into action. My nerves shoot pain warnings to my brain; like a missile lock. My eyes fix on the problem; my legs halt any movement; my other digits dig out the intruder. Proportionally, the sliver affects a small surface area, but my whole body responds. I wish that were true in my marriage. When a sliver of bitterness or frustration gets between us, I let it fester rather than start.
In my recent readings, I came across this advice: “Do not go to bed angry, because when we let stuff build up, it destroys our relationships in the long run.” But, of course, this doesn’t mean staying up and fighting–but resolving issues quickly.
In our analogy of thermostats and thermometers, notice both moves slowly. In contrast, sometimes you or your wife temp can spike, and you find yourself in a pickle. But in most cases, temperatures rise slowly, almost to the point of unknowingly so. Until you come home from work one day and bam, she’s full boil, and you don’t know why. Something probably happened a couple of days ago, and the temp has been rising.
Slowly Boiling: Avoiding Conflict and Pursuing Peace
The boiling frog is a fable describing a frog being slowly boiled alive. The premise is that if a frog is put suddenly into boiling water, it will jump out, but if the frog is put in tepid water, which is then brought to a boil slowly, it will not perceive the danger and will be cooked to death. We often used this story as a metaphor for the inability or unwillingness of people to react to or be aware of sinister threats that arise gradually rather than suddenly.
It’s common to avoid conflict, but UNCOMMEN pursues peace at all costs.
- Is the temp off a bit in your relationship with your wife?
- Are you aware of the temperature change?
- How do you and your wife resolve what we call “Intense Fellowship”?
- I challenge us all to read the temperature of our marriage, as it may be time to adjust the thermostat. Be that emotional support for your wife.
I love the analogy. It’s perfect for the emotional climate within a relationship. And, agree with you in that it’s the little things, the subtle changes that can sneak up on us if we don’t create a solid habit of actively monitoring the climate in our relationships.