For the next few weeks we will be reposting from He’s Not Your Prince Charming, reaching way back in the archives to remind and reteach and rethink what we’ve been learning together. I have asked my blog team to help choose their favorites, and I am hoping you will add fresh comments to shed new light on these posts. In the meantime I will be writing ahead for the new series, studying, reading, thinking, and praying about what to say and how to say it. Any suggestions and thoughts about what you’re wondering about will be most welcome— after all, you are my girls!
From my heart,
Last week we talked about all those differences that can make life and love so difficult. We talked about the three ways most of us women cycle through solving these conflicts of personality and values.
First we try to ignore that difference that’s irritating us. Maybe if I don’t think about it, it will go away.
Only differences don’t go away. Instead they grow and chafe and loom larger and get blown up bigger.
Sometimes we convince ourselves that by clinching our teeth and determining to “overlook” it we’ll be okay.
Only differences cannot be overlooked in real life. That might work for dating but the very daily-ness of living with a man, day in and day out tends to aggravate those differences.
And then what we all seem to resort to when nothing else works: we take out our relational wrench and fix it.
Only it doesn’t work.
In fact, I think many of those conflicts sited as “irreconcilable differences” are really just differences with a fix-it wrench doing deep damage.
Because, dear girls, your men don’t need to be fixed.
Just ask him.
Ask any man why he fell in love with his wife or fiancé or girlfriend and not one of them will tell you he loves her because he hopes she will fix him.
Help him… maybe. Challenge him…perhaps. But mostly what you’ll hear is something like this:
I married her because she likes me.
Think about that for a minute because here’s where things get strange:
I did not marry Phil thirty-five years ago because he liked me. I married him because I liked him.
When, just a few minutes ago I asked Phil why he fell in love with me, he listed all sorts of lovely reasons. But woven in there every phrase or so was something along the lines of: you understood me, you fit with me.
My man’s way of saying, you liked me, and that made me like you even more, and think we could have a really good life together.
Because girls, that man of yours doesn’t want you to fix him— he wants you to like him.
When you and I set out to fix those differences that really bother us… he doesn’t feel liked.
When we heave a great sigh of not-so-subtle disappointment over yet another Sunday afternoon with the annoying noise of a football game drowning out our yearning for romance… he doesn’t feel liked.
And when we hint and poke and suggest and remind him again… he doesn’t feel liked.
It's like he needs. Great gobs of like. Loud like.
He needs you to like him whether he’s messy or manically neat. Whether he’s cool or… kind of dorky. Pudgy or buff, hairy or bald, pushy or polite, successful or out-of-work and out-of-steam.
Deep down he yearns to be liked just as he is, right now, today.
And you can do that, dear girls. You can like him. Yes, you can. It’s a choice we make.
But you’ll have to remember this: He’s not your Prince Charming.
He’s not supposed to be.
That place in your heart is carved out for God alone. He’s perfect. Everything you ever wanted and so much more.
And when you know that… you can look at that man across the table and just like him. A lot.
And all of a sudden those differences aren’t so bad. They don’t disappear, but they certainly start to shrink. You’ll start to wonder what you were so worried about way back then in those conflict-riddled days. You’ll see that you over-did it, that you made your relationship too much about you.
How do I know?
Because I’ve tried all three ways of dealing with those difficult differences between the two of us. I’ve stirred up conflict, sent my man cowering into the corner of the roof, been that irascible, unsolvable, hard-to-please woman.
All because I forgot…
That Phil is not my Prince Charming. He’s the man God gave me to love, to serve, to help, to partner with— to like, for the rest of our lives.
And that's what this series is all about. Next week I'll show you what I've discovered about the four ways God asks women to love their men. And then we'll talk about how to do that in a way that makes him feel really, really liked.
From my heart,
P.S. Here’s your chance, girls. Tell us what you like about him. Your boyfriend, your fiancé, your husband… make a list and let us see it. And then tell him. I think you’ll be amazed at how much he loves being liked.