Bug Spray # 5

 

by WES SEELIGER, 4027 Lanark, Houston, TX 77025

Our wedding was on October 14, 1966. But our marriage began three weeks later. We were dressed up and on our way to the swankiest restaurant in town. We had saved all week for the big splurge.

One problem--my bride was wearing the most horrible perfume ever manufactured. Smelled like a mixture of mustard gas, black pepper, and vaporized maple syrup. I still get queasy thinking about it.

We had stopped at a railroad crossing. It was cold outside. The windows were up and the heater was on. My nose and lungs silently begged for mercy. But I didn't want to upset my bride with a comment about her perfume.

I had decided the one perfect marriage in history would be ours. No conflicts...no harsh words...no hurt feelings...no tears...nothing negative. My wife had made a similar resolution. For three weeks we had walked on egg shells, protecting each other from the slightest unpleasantness.

Dare I break the spell? Dare I be honest and open? She had soaked in that blasted stuff every day of our marriage. I knew I couldn't hold out forever. So I said in my sweetest, softest voice, "Honey, that perfume smells like bug spray."

Silence! Like the silence that must have followed President Roosevelt's announcement that the Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor. I stared straight ahead trying to concentrate on the steady metallic rhythm of the train cars rolling by.

I glanced at my bride out of the corner of my eye. Her lower lip was quivering slightly. The way it still does when she's fighting a good cry. We drove on.

After an eternity she mumbled softly, "I won't use that brand again." Any married person can finish the story. We choked down our gourmet dinner. Pouted. Went through the "It's all my fault, Honey" routine. Shed tears. And were finally reconciled, promising never to be cross with each other again. The whole episode is now part of our family lore. Our repertory of delightful "young and dumb" stories.

But I still think our marriage began with my observation about the perfume. At that point we began to grow. We discovered marriage is a union stronger than emotions. We began to drop the foolishness about unruffled bliss. We took our first steps toward learning that one all important lesson, a lesson no one ever outgrows--love is a death resurrection relationship.

As for the perfume...I sprayed the rest on roaches. It worked!

 

 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Winning In Marriage

 

How do we keep our marriage invigorated and the flame of love alive in our relationships?  This is a huge question and there is no short or simple answer because in marriage, we are dealing with a partnering of two imperfect people. 

At the start of a relationship or marriage it all seems so easy.  We feel like we are floating on air and can soar like eagles.  At this stage of a relationship everything in the world seems perfect and in its place.  We find ourselves smiling at the world, completely happy, and often laughing just because all is right in our world.                                                                  

Of course, this feeling of euphoria never lasts because over time, we start to feel the pressure of life. This usually includes pressures of work, of buying homes and/or having and rearing children, while at the same time trying to juggle the finances. 

When we marry and say our vows or I Doís, when we promise to love our partner in sickness and health, for richer or poorer, for better or worse, generally speaking most people believe their vows and plan to keep them, or at least until things get hard and the going gets tough. 

These days we live in a fast paced, plastic and instant society, where pretty much everything is considered disposable and unfortunately this often includes relationships.  What a tragedy that many marriages end up in this category because in Godís great plan, marriage is for life, until the death of one of the partners. 

So what is marriage? 

Some think it is a joining of two people and that is partly true.  As Christians we understand that marriage is not just a joining of two people together by the mutual bonds of love, devotion and loyalty to each other;   it is in fact a joining of three people together, two as equal partners and the third person ĎGodí, at the centre of the marriage.   Marriage could also be viewed as a triangle having three sides that include a husband, a wife, and God.   This is a three way relationship where the most important figure in the marriage is not the husband or wife, but our God and Creator who is the glue that holds and bonds people together in love and for life.  If we keep ĎHimí at the centre of our lives and our relationships, we should naturally develop a strong and wonderful relationship with our spouse that will endure and grow over the years, rather than growing weaker resulting in the flame of love dying out. 

God created man and woman, He placed them together in paradise to love and care for each other, and He shared in their relationship as their Father Creator as they devoted themselves firstly to Him, and secondly to each other.   Of course this utopia came horribly unglued when mankind fell into sin, took their eyes off God, and failed to keep God as the central figure in their lives and relationships.

Marriage is a wonderful union of two people in love, but just like a garden, marriage must be constantly worked at and maintained.  In the natural world if we plant a garden and then neglect it, fail to water it and nurture it, it quickly gets overcome by weeds that choke the life out of it.

For a marriage to survive and for love to grow, both partners in the marriage must nurture each other, provide the best environment for the flower of love to stay alive and continue to grow, constantly maintain the relationship to ensure the weeds of life and neglect donít get a hold, and ensure the correct food and nutrients are constantly being applied by, to and for each other. 

How do we keep the relationship alive?   While there is no silver bullet, here below are some good suggestions that really help. 

The family that prays together stays together.  If God is at the centre of our lives, relationships and families, His guidance and love will help keep us on track.  Pray together daily, even if just for a few minutes at night before sleep. 

Read the bible together on a regular basis.  Try to make this a daily practice or at least weekly.

Consider each other and ensure both partners are sharing the workload around the house.  In this modern age when it is normal for both partners to be working, men need to take ownership of our share the workload around the home.  Our wives are not our mothers, or put on earth to be our slaves.  They get tired too after a day at work just as we do, so letís make sure we help out around the house.   Do the dishes after your meal has been prepared for you, cook a meal once a week or so and if you canít cook, learn how to.  If you donít know how, learn to iron a shirt or ten also, along with your wife and the kids clothing too if you have children, but ironing instructions labels first, and donít melt the shirts. 

Take turns with the laundry too but take my word for it, before you try out at laundry, get a clue first!  If you donít know how to do laundry, either take advice from someone in the know, or, go to Google for instructions.  Learn how to do it first because washing laundry is more of an art than you may realise.  Clothing is expensive and you can ruin items of laundry if you donít have a clue, so read washing instructions on the labels before washing and drying laundry.  Learn to use a vacuum cleaner, itís not hard, and itís not rocket science.  Oh, and by the way!  Learn to pick up after yourself.  Things donít pick themselves up off the floor, so if we donít pick up after ourselves we are saying to our wives, hey slave, pick my junk up. 

If one partner in a marriage is left to carry too heavy a burden and is taken for granted, it says I care more about me than you.  This will put a strain on any relationship and rightly so.   No one likes to be taken for granted or taken advantage of, and sharing in the workload is a way of saying I love you. 

Another thing that says I love you to our wives is, to say it with breakfast in bed.  Nothing says I love you more than giving your wife breakfast in bed, and guys, this act of love and appreciation scores some major brownie points with the lady in your life.   It is absolutely amazing how a wifeís attitude toward her husband changes for the better if they are shown appreciation and are not treated like slaves and washer women. 

Men donít have an exclusive license on being lazy around the home, or lacking in basic home keeping skills; and it is my observation that many people in the modern world have failed to develop the basic skills required for running a home such as;  Cooking, cleaning, sewing, general home maintenance and other necessary housekeeping skills, and this is possibly because many parents are so busy living and working these days; they fail to train their children and teach them  these most basic skills required for life.  

Say ĎI love youí to your partner every day, at least once a day.  It is hard to get angry with someone who constantly reminds their partner that they love them. Some people have problems expressing love and saying ĎI Love Youí, or, Love Ya Sweetheart, but we need to get over it and daily practice saying it and meaning it, until it is ingrained into our DNA.  Both partners should spontaneously remind their spouse that they love them, but once again I think it is a good thing for us guys to take the initiative here and on that note, buy your partner some flowers and/or chocolates from time to time with a note telling them how much they mean to you and how much you love them.   Chocolates are a real winner, because they usually end up being shared.

Never go to bed angry without speaking and making up before sleep.  Never let arguments linger and fester into more than they are. If you have spoken hurtful or unkind words in anger, say sorry and apologise quickly.   If both partners in a marriage agree to, and get into the habit of praying together before going to sleep at night, regardless of whether we are happy or angry, this is a great way to break the ice after an argument.  It is hard to stay angry with someone when we come with them before the throne of grace to God, because He is the author and model of love, and of unending forgiveness.

Make sure the flame of romance, intimacy and a healthy sex life is maintained in marriage.  If we become cold and distant from our partner and if we allow romance and intimacy to die in our marriage, it will put enormous strain on the relationship.   A marriage where one of the partners denies his or her spouse of the physical bonds of intimacy; is a marriage that is in serious trouble.  It is a marriage that is headed for failure unless the spark of love is reignited.   The key is for each partner in a marriage to ensure they are feeding into their spouseís life by respecting them, demonstrating that you love them in word and action, telling them you love them so they donít have to guess it, and considering each other in every aspect of married life.

On the subject or marriage and understanding the psychology and needs of men and women, every married person everywhere and those who intend to marry, should purchase and watch the amazing and incredibly funny DVD series by Mark Gungor:  Laugh Your Way To A Better Marriage.  Mark will have you rolling off your chair and busting a gut laughing, while at the same time helping you to finally understand the opposite sex and what makes men and women tick.   The secret to a happy marriage is to understand your partner; so that our expectations in and of marriage are in line with the reality of how men and women think, work and operate.   Buy and watch Laugh your way to a better marriage!  I promise you wonít be disappointed, and your marriage will greatly benefit from it.

Make decisions together:   We are not talking about small decisions like what tonightís meal will be; We are talking about major decisions like the financial kind and other important decisions.  These larger decisions are best made as a couple and not as individuals.  The area of finances can cause enormous stress in a marriage and should be discussed and agreed upon by both partners on a regular basis, even if one partner is better or more qualified at handling the day to day aspects and management of finances. Aspects like paying bills and managing the checking and bank accounts.   Keeping secrets about spending will drive a wedge into a relationship faster than anything.   If we can jointly agree on how our finances are handled, it will develop and strengthen a sense of trust between husband and wife.

Treat each other with mutual respect.  Never pull your partner down with negative comments and/or harsh criticism.  Always strive to build each other up with comments of encouragement.  If there are issues in a marriage, they need to be worked through and discussed in a calm and kind way that does not denigrate or patronise.  Never put your partner down or disagree about things in front of your children.  The highway of life and marriage is littered with couples that have hit the wall because of negative comments from one partner or the other. Negative and unkind comments always deliver negative results, it is an absolute guarantee.  Positive comments always build up and strengthen relationships.  They build into the person receiving positive comments from their partner, and into the marriage as a whole. 

Watch Out For Parasites:  (As quoted from the book ďThe Love DareĒ and the highly recommended movie; ďFireproof Your MarriageĒ) 

A Parasite is anything that latches onto you or your partner that sucks the life out of your marriage. 

Theyíre usually in the form of addictions like gambling, drugs or pornography. 

They promise pleasure, but grow like a disease and consume more and more of your thoughts, time and money. 

They steal away your loyalty and heart, from those you love.

Marriages rarely survive if parasites are present. 

If you love your wife or husband, you must destroy any addiction that has your heart?  If you donít, it will destroy you.

 

We could go on for hours on how to win in marriage and I have briefly outlined what I believe are some of the more important aspects to achieve a happy marriage.  My wife and I have been married for nearly thirty years which is quite a milestone in this modern throw away age.   I believe our love for each other is stronger now than it was when we married, but to say that our marriage of nearly thirty years has been picture perfect and without its share of trials and conflicts along the way would be a lie, because every marriage is a work-in-progress, made by imperfect people.  When we enter married life we start out with a heart full of love and full of hope and promise for a long and happy marriage.   Along the way we learn that a good and successful marriage is something that needs to be worked at and we either develop a strong and loving relationship that will endure over a lifetime, or, we crash and burn from neglect, lack of care and nurture. 

There are many excellent books and DVDís available to help us develop, grow and/or repair our relationships.  Below are a few books and DVDís I believe ĎEVERYí married person should read and watch, regardless of how strong or weak their marriage may be.    These DVDís and books are an incredible blessing and should not to be missed.  They will inspire and challenge people to rescue a marriage in trouble, or, to further build into an already healthy marriage.

5 Stars from 5 recommendation! 

Having watched ďLaugh Your Way to a Better MarriageĒ several times, I believe this is the single most important message on marriage and issues of sex I have ever heard.   Markís message is revolutionary, honest, and will challenge and change your thinking on marriage. 

If you donít already know these truths, this message will revolutionise your marriage, your understanding of how each gender thinks and processes information, our thinking, our attitudes, and will save a lot of grief and potentially shipwrecked lives and marriages. 

Problems with things like pornography should vanish if this message is taken on board and adopted, and; it is from self interest for everyone to adopt this message.   I believe it is the number 1 best thing I have seen on marriage, and I only wish I had seen it 30 years ago, because it is that good.

 

National marriage speaker and creator of:

Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage.

laugh your way image

ORDER HERE

Laugh Your Way:  Product Description 

Attend this hilarious, no-holds-barred weekend marriage seminar---in the travel-free comfort of home! With his trademark humour and entertaining illustrations, Mark Gungor makes learning the dynamics of male/female relationships fun, effective, and memorable. Sessions include "The Tale of Two Brains," "How to Stay Married and Not Kill Anybody," and more. Four DVDs; approx: 6 hours total viewing.

 

fireproof 

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Fireproof:  Movie Synopsis:  Highly Recommended

Lt. Caleb Holt lives by the old fire-fighterís adage: Never leave your partner behind. Inside burning buildings, it's his natural instinct. In the cooling embers of his marriage, it's another story.

After a decade of marriage, Caleb (Cameron) and Catherine Holt (Catt) have drifted so far apart that they are ready to move on without each other. Yet as they prepare to enter divorce proceedings, Caleb's parents ask their son to try an experiment: The Love Dare.

While hoping The Love Dare has nothing to do with his parents' newfound faith, Caleb commits to the challenge. But can he attempt to love his wife while avoiding God's love for him? Will he be able to demonstrate love over and over again to a person that's no longer receptive to his love? Or is this just another marriage destined to go up in smoke? 

 

love dare

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The Love Dare:  Publisher's Description - Highly Recommended 

The #1 New York Times best seller. More than 1.5 million copies in print.

Unconditional love is eagerly promised at weddings, but rarely practiced in real life. As a result, romantic hopes are often replaced with disappointment in the home. But it doesnít have to stay that way. 

The Love Dare, as featured in the popular new movie Fireproof (from the makers of Facing the Giants), is a 40-day challenge for husbands and wives to understand and practice unconditional love. Whether your marriage is hanging by a thread or healthy and strong, The Love Dare is a journey you need to take. Itís time to learn the keys to finding true intimacy and developing a dynamic marriage. Take the dare! 

Author Bio 

Alex Kendrick is associate media pastor at Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, Georgia. He helped establish Sherwood Pictures in 2003 and has directed and co-written each of its films: Flywheel, Facing the Giants, and Fireproof, playing the lead male role in those first two productions. Alex has appeared on ABC, CNN, FOX News, American Family Radio, The Glenn Beck Show, Janet Parshallís America, and many other national programs to discuss his award-winning work and ministry. He lives in Albany with his wife and five children.

Stephen Kendrick is a senior associate pastor of preaching at Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, Georgia. He helped establish Sherwood Pictures in 2003 and has served as co-writer and producer for each of its films: Flywheel, Facing the Giants, and Fireproof. Stephen has spoken about his work on ABC World News Tonight and CNN and in The Washington Post and American Profile magazine among others. Currently earning a master of divinity degree from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, he lives in Albany with his wife and three children.

Product Information 

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 224
Vendor: B & H Publishing Group
Publication Date: 2008

 

love marriage munroe 

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Product Description 

Probably no other dimension of human experience has been pondered, discussed, debated, analyzed, and dreamed about more than the nature of true love. Yet, for all our thinking and talking, where can we turn for genuine insight in matters of true love? Dr. Myles Munroe provides answers to the questions surrounding the true nature of love as he exposes the false images created in our culture. He shares practical and realistic truths that will enable you to discover and experience love-for God, for yourself, for your mate, and for those around you.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 240
Vendor: Destiny Image
Publication Date: 2005 

 

munroe parenting 

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Product Description

Parents face new---and sometimes frightening---situations every day concerning their children. They are often not prepared to handle the issues or solve the problems of today's youth.  Why? Because never before have youngsters had to deal with such incredible temptations as Internet pornography, gambling, suicidal song lyrics, the glorification of the "gangsta" lifestyle, and the collapse of traditional Biblical family lifestyles.

This book and study guide provides practical principles for you and youíre teen to apply to your lives that will combat the forces aimed at destroying your family. Practical helps to defend your family include:

- The Word

- Building Relationships

-  Discipline

-  The Original Plan

-  Study Guide and Scrapbook

Kingdom Parenting gives you the hands-on tools to successfully guide your children, especially teenagers, through today's treacherous world and provides hope that their tomorrows will be filled with promise and fulfilled potential! 

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 206Vendor: Destiny Image
Publication Date: 2007

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