Tag Archives: Romantic Vineyard

Is Your Husband A Liar? with Debi Walter

Debi Walter is a marriage blogger with The Romantic Vineyard—a fabulous blog that inspires and encourages biblical marriages. Debi and her husband Tom are also masters of date night ideas.

I’m thrilled to welcome Debi to Hot, Holy & Humorous for her take on Feeling Beautiful. (For more about the series, check out the introduction video.) Take it away, Debi!

Is Your Husband a Liar? with Debi Walter

Is your husband a liar?

I’m sure most of us would answer this question with an emphatic, NO! However, many of us treat them as if they are. It’s true that most husbands see their wives as beautiful, yet we roll our eyes when they compliment us, or say, “Yeah, but…” pointing out the flaws we see staring back at us in the mirror.

I was thinking about this attitude recently and wondering why it is so common for wives to think their husbands aren’t telling the truth when it comes to how they see them. It has to be discouraging to our man to hear his compliments so quickly disregarded on a regular basis. It’s a wonder he doesn’t stop all together!

It’s led me to ask God why we do this? Why are we so quick to dispute with our husband on something they see as good?

I believe there are three reasons:

1.  We have allowed our culture to influence our definition of beauty. We are bombarded daily with women who seemingly have it all, and tempt us to see how poor we look in comparison. We measure how far short we fall in comparison with the outward beauty on display on TV, in magazines and at the movies.

They draw us in to buy whatever it is they’re selling, and it obviously works! Statistics show that in 2013 we spent over 56.6 billion dollars on cosmetics alone in the United States. We spend so much time trying to improve the outside of our bodies, when what will really make us the most beautiful is left wanting.

2.  We think more highly of ourselves than we do our husbands. When our husband takes time to compliment us and we are quick to disagree, what we’re basically doing is saying my opinion matters more than yours. We walk away thinking we’re being honest, but in reality what we’re really showing is how deceived we are. We’re deceived into thinking we can never be what our husband is already saying we are in their eyes. We are craving something based on our own opinion that will never be satisfied.

The Bible calls it the “lust of the eyes.” What?! Have you never considered lust to be used in this way? Webster’s 1828 Dictionary (which by the way, is the original dictionary that Noah Webster wrote using the Bible to define all the terms used in that day) says that LUST is a longing desire; eagerness to possess or enjoy. If our husband is our priority, shouldn’t we believe him when he compliments by offering a sincere, “Thank you?” Instead of allowing our unsatisfied lust to reject his words or worse—his love?

3.  We have forgotten what true beauty is. The Bible defines beauty with a well-known verse: “Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised” (Proverbs 31:30 ESV). When we focus on outward beauty it will always disappoint because such beauty doesn’t last.

We are like flowers fading away, but inside God has placed the beauty of His grace which will never fade. “Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear—but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands” (1 Peter 3:4-5 ESV). True beauty is found beholding the One who is eternally beautiful—Christ, our Bridegroom. As we behold Him, He will transform us more and more into His image. This is true and lasting beauty. Seek this and no matter how many birthdays you celebrate you will become more and more beautiful.

The next time your husband compliments you, I challenge you to look in his eyes and say, “Thank you.” His opinion is all that matters.

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Also check out these posts from Debbie’s blog with her husband, The Romantic Vineyard:
Biblical Love Language
Finding Love Right Where You Are
Everyday Romance – Life Giving Words

Tom and Debi WalterTom and Debi have been married for 36 years and have 3 grown children and 8 grandchildren. They have called Orlando, FL home for most of their married lives. They are enjoying the empty nest stage for the first time in 33 years, and would be quick to tell you that in this season they have discovered a whole new freedom in expressing their love to each other. It’s wonderful! 😉

Through the Eyes of Grace book coverDebi has written her fist novel—Through The Eyes Of Grace, an historical fiction based on the life of her grandmother set in Indian Territory in 1904.

Pain brought on by the ill motives of another forces Grace to abandon the only security she has ever known in the hopes of finding the lasting love she has only dreamed of.

It is 1904 in the township of Ceres, Oklahoma Territory. Fifteen-year-old Grace Stella Kirwin’s life is blossoming like the prairie flowers she has grown to love, yet she is unaware of the encroaching storm about to ravage her heart. It will seek to destroy all the hope she has of finding genuine love.

A protective ultimatum by Grace’s father leads to a violent response by the only man Grace has ever wanted. Shattered and bruised, Grace fears she’ll never be free from the nightmare caused by Doogan Maguire. Hope dawns when she moves to the new township of Jenks in Indian Territory, only to discover a darker night awaits her. Will she find the lasting love she’s longed for?

A Letter to My Newlywed Self: Age 25

A few weeks ago, I read with delight two posts from The Romantic Vineyard: Wife Debi’s A Letter to My Newlywed Self: Age 19 and Husband Tom’s Letter to His Newlywed Self: Age 24. They invited others to take a stab at writing such a letter to their former self. Here I go:

Bride & Groom - legs only

What now?

Dear Young J,

Forget the wedding. That’s like the first five minutes of an epic-length movie. So what if everything didn’t go exactly like your dreams? You managed to pull off something far more important than the right reception food or an album of pretty wedding photos: You married a good man. 

Trust me, this guy will not cheat on you. He will hang in there when the going gets tough. He will care about you, even when he thinks you’ve gone a little crazy. He will try to be the best father he can be. He will be faithful to God. He doesn’t now and will never put all of his shoes back in the closet. But he’s a good man. So pat yourself on the back for a good choice, and let’s move on to other stuff you should know.

Honor your families. No matter how weird your own family seems, his family seems to have immigrated here through the Men In Black alien visitor program. But your families’ personalities and interests are just different, not better or worse than one another. Rather than wasting time wondering what is wrong with his family, get to know them. See them as God sees them — as children of the Most High King. Don’t worry so much about protecting your heart; let God do that for you. Instead, reach out and act with love.

As for your own family, your parents’ marriage will dissolve in your first year of marriage. It will feel like they couldn’t pick a worse time, right as you’re trying to get your sea legs for this marital voyage. But honestly, is there any good time for one’s parents to divorce? Honor your parents through this difficult time, but be sure you nurture your own marriage. And cut your guy a break when he doesn’t know what to do with a blubbering wife: Don’t expect him to read your mind; just ask him to hold you.

Be who you are. You are not and never will be a domestic diva. Do not compare yourself to other wives or some unrealistic ideal. Believe me, I’m saving you years of worry and that wrinkle that formed in between your brows by telling you to LET GO.

Sure, you want to be a terrific wife and mom, but domesticity is not the key. Your husband will be happier in the long run having a happy, functioning wife than one who always feels bad about herself because she isn’t up to snuff in the domestic world. Make an additional effort when you feel like it, but feel good pursuing interests and activities that play into the strengths that God gave you.

Get involved in your church family. Attending church and being involved in church are different. Get outside of what this church can offer you and your husband, and start thinking about where you and your husband can serve. 

Indeed, God will refresh you as you serve others. And you’ll see sides of your husband you wouldn’t see otherwise, increasing your love and awe at his dedication, leadership, and eloquence. (His public prayers are beautiful.)

Don’t let kids derail you. Your children are going to throw a wrench into the wheels of your marriage. Remember that week of drum major camp when you woke up on day 2 and thought, “I can’t move because every bone, muscle, and nerve in my body hurts”? Yeah, that was an amusement park ride compared to night #53 of colicky baby.

You’ll lose sleep. You’ll lose patience. You’ll lose the time to shower for more than one minute. You’ll lose your sex drive. You’ll lose connection to your husband. You’ll lose yourself.

Unless . . . you take my advice and tackle some of this stuff. When you’re feeling moody and overwhelmed, research postpartum depression and don’t quit talking to your doctor until you feel better. Read fewer parenting books, and talk to grandmothers, the ones with hindsight on what practices worked and what really matters.

Set aside time to be a couple as well as parents. Talk with your husband — not about what’s wrong, but about your shared lives, your hopes and dreams, your love. This early childhood is just one season of the long marriage you plan to have. Focus on your marriage and let God carry you through the difficult days.

And know that motherhood will end up being one of the best blessings in your life.

Accept God’s forgiveness. I know it hangs over you — that past sexual history. If you could go back and change anything in your life, that would be it. Yeah, well, you can’t. But God’s going to use your experiences in a big way in the future. First, however, humble yourself before Him and accept His forgiveness.

And stop thinking that your sex drive is a leftover from your “slutty” days; it’s a God-given desire that you abused in the past but now you are using according to His plan. He wants you to take pleasure in this gift. The past is simply that: past. You’ve got your whole marriage ahead of you, with a good man who loves you and wants to be intimate with you. You’ve finally arrived where God always wanted you to be — in His design for sexual intimacy, a covenant marriage.

Grace and peace (and chocolate),

Older J

What would you write to your newlywed self? What lessons have you learned over the course of marriage?

Does Your Husband Stink at Romance? Mine too.

Thus far, I’ve only identified myself as “J” — anonymous Christian sex blogger living somewhere in the United States with a husband and family. But I have decided that it is time to reveal something personal about myself — something about my family. I want to tell you about my husband.

Well, not so much tell you about my husband as tell you who he is. So brace yourself, hold your breath, because here he is — the man to whom I am married:

Live long and prosper.

My husband actually has a different name, but the personality is pretty much the same. I am married to Spock. It’s all about what is LOGICAL.

Bringing your wife flowers for no reason is not logical. Buying expensive jewelry because it’s pretty is not logical. Telling her that she’s beautiful today when you already said it last week is not logical.

I’m pretty sure that I’m not the only one married to someone who just doesn’t “get it” when it comes to beauty, spontaneity, and going the extra mile for a big gesture of love. So how do you get a guy like this to engage in romance in your marriage?

Here’s what I’ve learned from my marriage to a Vulcan:

Take the lead. It does not occur to my husband to create a romantic environment for date night or lovemaking. Since I am the one who craves romance more — although he enjoys it — I merely take it upon myself to set the scene. I light the candles, I turn on the music, I pour the bubble bath, or whatever. Putting forth a little effort can create an atmosphere where the only instruction left is “Simply Add Water Hubby.”

Ask for romance. I need to hear that I am beautiful, that my husband desires me, that he loves me. Sometimes he forgets that. I used to be hurt by the omission. But after several years of marriage, I realized that my husband doesn’t gush about his mother either, and she is downright heroic to him.

Rather than feeling injured by his inattention, I invite his attention. For instance, I can put on my sexy nightie or nudie and ask, “So what do you think?” Or say, “You know what I like about your body?” and go through a list, followed by “What do you like about mine?”  I have now opened the floor for him to express what I need to hear.

Establish routines. I had a friend whose husband’s lack of affection was hurting her feelings. She finally told him, “I need you to kiss me before you leave for work and kiss me when you get home.” It became their routine. Was it forced at first? Yeah, a little. But now it’s something they both enjoy — a romantic tradition.

Routines can be great for both of you. Demanding lots of spontaneous romance from a non-romantic guy is like mounting a Mount Everest expedition with a few Kit-Kat bars in your pack; don’t get your hopes up. Asking your honey to introduce a romantic routine into your relationship, though, is predictable and tangible — something he can put on a to-do list and check off. Perhaps the routine is a kiss or a hug at a certain time. Perhaps he takes on planning a date or a vacation for the two of you on a special day each year (giving him plenty of time to prepare). Perhaps the routine is that he undresses you in particular way, noting as he goes all the beautiful parts of your body. Just make the romantic tradition something achievable for him and enjoyable to you.

Remember your hubby loves you. When your best friend tells you how her romantic hubby swept her off her feet with a surprise trip to a mountain cabin where he cooked her favorite meal, serenaded her with his guitar, and sprinkled the bed with rose petals before making love to her, you may wonder why your husband doesn’t love you like that.

While I encourage husbands to up their game when it comes to the romance department, some guys are amazing at it and some guys aren’t. Whether he has natural wooing talent is not related to how much he loves you.

Plenty of non-romantic guys would respond to “Do you love your wife?” with an unequivocal “Of course.” In fact, it isn’t logical to Mr. Spock to restate the obvious over and over. So ask your husband to tell you and to show you, and when he follows through, remember that he is outside his comfort zone in expressing the love for you that is well within his comfort zone. He loves you like crazy; he just needs cues to know how to demonstrate that love.

Enjoy the surprises. Because my guy isn’t a hard-core romantic, I revel in those times when he goes above and beyond. For a recent birthday, my husband wrote me a love poem. A love poem! If you knew this guy — which you do if you ever watched the original Star Trek — you’d know how big a deal that is. I was on Cloud 9½ for the next month.

We wives should all enjoy the romance our husbands bring to marriage, but when it’s not your guy’s thing, those moments are super-sweet. Instead of thinking, “I wish he would do this more often,” just enjoy the moment. Bask in it. Know how hard it was for him to make that effort, and how much that means he loves you.

For the hubbies reading this post, make the effort. Go the extra mile. Woo your wife. If you don’t know what to do, ask your sister or her sister; ask a group of female co-workers what they like from their hubbies; seek ideas online (The Romantic Vineyard and The Generous Wife have date night suggestions).

For you Trekkies, here’s proof that even Spock can be romantic (from “All Our Yesterdays”).

Meanwhile, wives, do what you can to introduce the romance you want into your marriage. Your husband likely won’t be as romantic as the hunk in the latest chick flick romance. He doesn’t have a screenwriting team to come up with all of that for him. He’s on his own. So help him out.

I can honestly say from my life with Spock that melding minds is far outweighed by melding hearts when we make the extra effort. (Plus, aren’t those pointy ears kind of cute?)