Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Pleasing Your Husband: Part 1

Laine's Letter

Dear Ronda,
I love to see my husband content. I find that a woman has a powerful influence in the home which results in her family members being just that...content. It is absolutely impossible to do this without the wisdom of God. A woman needs to ask God for this wisdom as each husband and each family member is so different. I will be sharing from my experience which might be different from yours.

My husband is Mexican and grew up in a home that had a lot of problems. Many times he would stay outside until his father had gone to bed to avoid dealing with his anger from alcoholism. His older brother was heavily involved in drugs and brought frequent ugly scenes into the home as well. His mother was a traditional stay-home mom who tried to keep the peace as best she knew how. At the age of sixteen, my husband (along with his mother) gave their lives to Christ with the help of a local pastor in their living room. His daily life hadn't changed, but his inner spirit had!

When I first married my husband I knew that his mother had waited on him and was there for his every need and wish (which is typical of a Mexican mom). I was raised quite differently. So I had to learn to adjust to my husband wanting me to be there for him every time he was home. Many of my friends teased me about always having to be home when my husband came home from work. Or always having his meal ready as I knew he would be hungry after working construction all day. Or having to ask him if I could go to the mall with them or some other function. Or not remaining on the phone when he was home as I knew he wanted to spend time with me. Many of my friends told me to stand up for myself and not let him "rule me" like this.

I never followed their advice as I really had respect for my husband and liked to do things for him. I liked to see him content. I asked his mother for help on cooking some of his favorite meals and was an eager student. It took me months to figure out the refried beans as I didn't know adding salt while the beans were gently simmering toughened them. Many times I wanted to give up, but as I would master a recipe from my mother-in-law that my husband loved, I felt closer to her and pleased to have him say it was just like hers. As my kids grew up they would get so excited to find out I was making Grandma's enchiladas that day, or her chile rellenos. The bond between my mother-in-law and me grew as I tried to please her son with her delicious recipes. My husband felt so special that I would adapt my cooking to his personal favorites. And my kids reaped the benefits of homemade enchiladas, chile rellenos, refried beans, tortillas, spanish rice, fajitas, puerco con chile, tacos, tostadas, burritos, chorizo, nachos, green or red salsa, salsa fresca, and taquitos.

Mealtimes became very special at our place. I couldn't cook a bit when I first got married, but with the help of my mother-in-law I was building up my kitchen. My own mom always made great pies and because of watching her roll out pie crust so often, I learned to make pies using my her mother's recipe. My kids love it when I make a pie, and that is from the influence of their grandmother building up my kitchen.

I still try to be home every day when my husband comes home from work with my meal ready or on its way to soon being ready. I still will tell a friend if I'm on the phone when I hear our volkswagen pull up in the driveway, "Oh, I have to go; Art is home." I still always ask him first if he minds when I do some special outing with a friend. (He usually tells me to go ahead.) The neat thing is that I have found he will do the same thing for me.

I have learned to pace myself in doing things with other women, as I know him so well, and I know he can only take me away from our home so much at one time. So if I have been asked to do several things in a row, I will have to let some of them go as I know he will get frustrated with me gone a lot. I also will not plan a lot of home school functions that prevent me from getting home before him and having his meal ready. I know he doesn't like to come home if I am not here. So I try to be here. Recently I was asked to speak next year to our home schooling moms on the subject "How to Please Your Husband During Home Schooling". My husband laughed when I told him the subject and said that was easy as he is so easy to please. (Everyone, including my mom, cracked up over that one. Even Art laughed as he knows he is strong-willed and can be difficult at times. He has changed so much over the years, as I have.) I explained to Art that many of these husbands were coming home to an empty house and no dinner; or a woman who is wiped out with still no dinner. He just smiled and said, "Well, I don't have that problem." I didn't say anything. Just smiled. I knew he didn't have that problem because I learned early on who my man is and have tried my best to keep him content. In the process of doing that (not living for myself, but for those God has given me to love), I have found my own contentment. And our home is a place my husband longs to get to at the end of the day, rather than waiting outside to steal into bed.



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