12 Ways To Show Who You Love More

I believe most women want their man to love them more than he loves himself.  But do men really understand what this means?

Well, here is a basic list of things that a woman needs to see in her man so she knows he loves her above himself, if he indeed does (so men, read up….or women, nonchalantly message him the link in hopes he reads):

  1.  Tell her you love her even when she annoys you.  If you can only express your love towards her when she does something that pleases you or when you are in a good mood, you don’t actually love her.  In that case, you just love the way she makes you feel when she does what you want her to.
  2. Do what she wants to do often, especially when you know it is something that brings her joy but that you dislike.  Example: If she really loves to watch a certain tv show but you think it is stupid or uninteresting, sacrifice that 30 minutes to an hour to watch it with her to make her happy.  It’s not a huge sacrifice of your time, and you get to snuggle up on the couch with her and see her smile/laugh the whole time.
  3. Help her with things simply to be of service.  More times than not she is doesn’t need your help with putting away the dishes or making the cookies, dusting the bookshelves or putting away laundry.  Just because she doesn’t need your help doesn’t mean she wouldn’t appreciate it.  Helping her with the small things builds up trust that you will be helpful for the big things in life, too.  Plus, it is a little more time spent together and we all love spending time with the one we love.
  4. Never leave without a goodbye hug and/or kiss.  Personally, I like both but one or the other would suffice.  This point should go without saying, but you are not guaranteed a return to her.  Life can be short and can end unexpected.  Kiss her.  Hug her.  Make sure you always take that extra 10 seconds before leaving.  Plus, she won’t tell you this, but you being gone for hours does make her heart sad.  She misses you all day while you are out.  That goodbye hug and/or kiss will help lift her up.
  5. Listen to her when she talks.  I mean really listen.  Put away your phone or computer, look away from the television or tablet.  Listen to what she tells you and be interested.  Maybe you don’t care about the components of her story, but if you care about her you will let her know that if it is important to her, it is important to you.  If she doesn’t feel heard and her opinions cared about, she isn’t going to want to discuss with you the big things or really important things in life.  And that, my friend, is going to kill you relationship slowly.
  6. Never say something you know will her hurt during an argument.  I get it, noone likes to be wrong in an argument.  In an argument in a relationship, NO ONE WINS.  If you get the last word or break her down enough that she gives up, that is not a win.  The only win is a resolution made by both of you and reconciliation.  When you get mad or frustrated with her, never ever say something mean intended to hurt her.  She will remember it.  She’ll remember it long after the argument is over and long after apologies have been made.  She’ll remember it when she is feeling down.  She’ll remember it when she feels like you are disappointed.  She will always remember it…and it will shape how she sees herself.  If you really love her, you will build her up.  You will not let your words tear her down.
  7. Compliment her.  Yes, we still like hearing that you think we are beautiful even when we don’t feel like it.  Yes, we still like you telling us you like the meal we made you even when we have made it a dozen times already.  Yes, we still like to know if you like our new shirt or pants or shoes.  Yes, we still like to hear if you think we are smart.  Your woman wants to hear the things you like that she does and the things you simply like about her, even if she has already heard them a dozen times.
  8. Encourage her.  This is different than a compliment.  A woman loves to serve and to give and to love.  We all do.  It goes back to the beginning of our existence.  We were created as helpmates, companions, lovers.  But we still need encouragement. Your woman tries very hard to love you well.  She is still going to fail sometimes.  She is still going to mishear what you say sometimes, forget something, mess up dinner, break a cup, etc. She is still going to go through things.  She needs you to encourage her.  Be her number 1 fan.  Be her personal cheerleader (uniforms not required).  Tell her that whether or not she thinks she can do something, you believe in her.  Tell her it’s okay when something goes wrong and that accidents can happen.
  9. Forgive her.  This sounds easy since relationships are about love and forgiveness is a big part of love.  But when you forgive her for something, let it go.  Forgiving doesn’t mean you forgive one day, then bring the transgression back up in a fight a week or two later.  That is not forgiveness. You let it go.  You put it down and you do not pick up that offense up again.  You can remember it, but don’t borrow the hurt from it again
  10. Spend time with her.  This is so very simple.  Playing your video game in the same room as her is not spending time with her.  Being on your phone or tablet while sitting next to her is not spending time with her.  Engage in her attention.  Invest in her presence.  Do things together.  Examples: go play a sport together, take a walk and agree to put the electronics away during it, make a craft together, build something, go to a museum or gallery and discuss each exhibit together, watch a movie together, play games with one another, etc.  Quality time means so much more than a grand gesture here and there.
  11. Be romantic.  You woman needs you to romance her.  She has plenty of friends and most likely family who will do many of the things y’all do together (eat, shop, play sports/games, watch movies, etc.).  However, she only has one significant other — you. You are the only ONE who she expects to and wants to romance her.  If you can’t think of something romantic to do or say or give on your own, take to the internet.  Use Google or Pinterest.  There are plenty of ideas out there waiting for you to bring to life for your woman. She needs romance in her life — frequently, not just on anniversaries or birthdays.  And you know, it’ll make you feel good to see how much a little romance can warm her heart.  Trust me.
  12. Lead her.  A woman is great at following good leadership.  She needs you to be a good leader.  This means in the house, out of the house, with others, with family, etc.  Lead her in showing others compassion, volunteering your time to show selflessness, being kind, being financially responsible, being adventurous, trying new things, etc.  Personally, my number one for wanting to be led from my significant other in faith.  A man who can lead a woman into a deeper, more devoted relationship with God is a good man and good leader.  Into the heart of God is the best place a man can lead a woman.  Do that for her.  Do that for yourself.  It makes a big difference.

 

This is my short little list of things that come to mind instantly when I think of how to show someone you love them more than you love yourself.  It all boils down to sacrifice in the end.  Love always does.  I mean, the greatest act of love of all time was the sacrifice Jesus made of all of us on the cross. So, if you truly love someone more than you love yourself, you will sacrifice for them.  And if you truly love them, it will be more of an honor than an obligation.

On an ending note, these points above can be reversed on how a woman can show a man she loves him more than herself.  I wrote primarily to the men here because I am a woman, but I believe it is just as applicable with the genders reversed (aside from #12).

Be kind to one another.  Show love to each other.  Do good.

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Wedding Vows: Short and Sweet

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I know that it’s hard for a lot of men to write their own wedding vows.  I also know that most women want their husband to write his own wedding vows.  Lucky for all of God’s children, He already knew all of this and wrote some in the Bible for all the men to be able to go off of.  How stinkin’ sweet of our Heavenly Father!  

Where are these vows, you ask?  Well, these gems of scripture are found in Hosea 2:19-20

“I will take you to be My wife forever.
I will take you to be My wife in righteousness, justice, love, and compassion.
I will take you to be My wife in faithfulness, and you will know Yahweh.”

In this passage from the Bible God is talking about His people, Israel.  He is talking about renewing His covenant with them, despite their unfaithfulness to them.  Why?  Because God loves His people.  And He forgives.  And He loves faithfully.  

Now, if a husband loves his wife according to the Bible, he will love her as much as Jesus loves the Church (i.e. as much as God loves His people).  Thus, these vows should work quite nicely — and it should be what marriage should always embody:  a forever kind of love, a righteous love, a relationship rooted in justice, compassion, faithfulness, and God at the center.  

There you go, bachelors out there!  Here are some vows sure to make your Christian wife-to-be swoon.  

You’re welcome.  🙂

 

Go F*** Yourself.

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I bet a lot of you clicked on this solely on the fact that “F***” is in the title.
Well, folks, it’s not what you think.

Free.

Go free yourself.

Almost always we are our own limitations.  We place ourselves within made-up parameters so that we never go very far.  So many times we, as humans, are so afraid of failure or rejection that we put on our own shackles, just to hold ourselves back to a level far below our potential.

Don’t be like that.  Unlock those shackles you clasped around your own feet.  Break down those invisible walls.  Reject those parameters.

Go. Now.

Go free yourself.

You were made for beautiful, wonderful things.  Big or small, you are filled with purpose.  You are full of life.  You have been given talents and passions, dreams and capabilities to make a difference, to be a help.

What are you waiting for?

Be free. 

“You are not limited by us, but you are limited by your own affections.”
(2 Corinthians 6:12)

“For you were called to be free, brothers; only don’t use this freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but serve one another through love.”  (Galatians 5:13)

“For we are His creation, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time so that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10)

You Can’t Win With Love…

…in a tennis game, but on Valentine’s Day (and in life) it’s a whole different story.

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There’s a lot of talk about love and even more so in the month of February.  Think about it.  Go into Target and you are instantly met with graphics of pink and red hearts with some sort of phrase about love or that “someone special.”   (Sidenote:  You are all someone special.  You don’t need a significant other to validate that.  They just help remind you when you forget it.)

People think that for one day, their “love” can be shown through heart shaped candies, overstuffed teddy bears, candle-lit dinners, and large romantic gestures because, hey, the calendar says that on February 14th you’re suppose to actually live out that whole love thing.  Lucky for all of us, we’re told how to “love” on Valentine’s Day, too. 

It breaks my heart every year to see friends of mine and acquaintances who feel so negatively about Valentine’s Day.  We all have (or some of you are) that friend who has been single for so long they have forgotten to believe in real love anymore.  Or, there’s that friend who will choose the worst guy/girl possible to spend Valentine’s Day with because they are afraid to be alone.  Then there are the friends who, from past relationships and more battle scars on their hearts than many of us can imagine, are not sad on Valentine’s Day , but rather bitter.  And overly critical of any and all relationships of their loved ones.  Still yet, there are the newly hurt hearts who long for the idealistic love that media has come to portray through Valentine’s Day.  Oh, and can’t forget the “I don’t know why I am single” friends who try to act too cool for relationships and love.  (Sidenote:  You aren’t that cool.  Next time you ask the rhetorical question of ‘seriously, what is wrong with me?’ I sincerely hope a friend or family member loves you enough to answer that.  It’s for your own good.)

It also kills me to see friends who really buy into the whole one-day love of Valentine’s Day.  I know those girls who will purposefully date a man right before Valentine’s Day just to get attention on that day and presents.  Or, there are always the newly-formed couples who think that saying “I love you” just feels right on Valentine’s Day…despite the fact that they have only known each other a matter of three or less weeks.  Let’s not forget the ‘we’re not together but let’s be together today’ couples who have broken up and been put back together more times than a preschool puzzle.  Just say no. 

So who are the real winners on Valentine’s Day (aside from the jewelry, flower, and candy markets)?  I’ll tell you:  the ones who treat that day as any other day in their life-long love story, just with an extra reminder or two of the love that is shared.  The couples who are long-standing, who believe in marriage and keep it holy, who fight for love against daily life and hold one another in the winner’s circle every single day.  The real winners are the couples who know that love isn’t always sweet like heart-shaped candies, elegant like diamonds, or vibrant like flowers, but know that it is always worth it. 

The real winners on Valentine’s Day are the couples who know what it means to fight for love.  The real winners on Valentine’s Day are those who understand that there are no easy buttons.  The real winners on Valentine’s Day are the ones who have had issues and refuse to give up because, well, they couldn’t imagine life without their significant other – and wouldn’t want to.  The real winners on Valentine’s Day are the couples who hold on to one another instead of trading one another in for something else or someone else.  The real winners on Valentine’s Day are those who understand one simple fact, and have given all of themselves within that understanding:  love is sacrifice. 

The real winners on Valentine’s Day are, also, those who have yet to find that romantic, long-lasting, never-giving-up love but can be joyful and genuinely happy for those who have.  The real winners go on to include the widows who spend the day without the presence of the person they vowed to love forever, but never spend a day without cherishing the memories.  Finally, the real winners on Valentine’s Day must include those who have been hurt, scarred, rejected, and crushed but have yet to give up. 

Don’t give up, buttercup. 

Be a winner this Valentine’s Day.  

You are lovely. 
You are loved.
 You were made to love and be loved.

 Live that way.

Men Must Be Strong And Wealthy….Or Must They?

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I think we, as a societal whole, have chosen standards that are grotesquely inaccurate for men.

Look around.  Everywhere is telling men that for them to be real that they have to be: strong and wealthy.

But what if that’s all wrong?

I do think men need to be strong, but not from hours in the gym or an emotional detachment.  Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate a man with muscles.  However, I appreciate a man who derives his strength from his faith in the God more.  Way more.  A man who knows that strength is found when he admits his weakness to God and allows God to BE his strength is the best kind of man.  Oh, and men, you are human.  You can have emotions.  If you are sad, it’s okay to be sad.  If you are excited, it’s okay to be excited.  If you are disappointed, you can be disappointed.  If you’re happy, it’s okay to be happy.  Seriously, I don’t know a single lady who has ever preferred a man who shows no emotions at all.  That isn’t considered “strong” — it’s considered sociopathic.  I recently had a conversation with a male friend of mine who admitted that he didn’t want to seem weak to anyone, so instead he just pushes them away.  Don’t be that man.

And now in steps the topic of money.  It’s often assumed that women want to marry a wealthy man.  Why?  Because many girls do.  But do you know why girls flock towards men with money?  It’s a stability and thing.  Women see having an abundance of money as a life of stability.  (Of course, you do still have those women who just marry money because they are amoral shopaholics — but they’re the exception, not the rule.)  Be a man who is stable to a woman, and the money part won’t matter as much.  Now, a man should want to work and help (notice I didn’t say solely do) provide for his wife/family, but I think it’s a nasty pseudo-requirement for society to tell men that they are less of a man for not having a higher monetary value in their bank accounts.  Men:  you are the same YOU whether you make $170,000 a year or $17,000 a year.  Don’t let a woman or a society of women tell you that the higher the number, the more valuable you are as a person.  It’s a lie.

Ladies, you’re ruining good men by telling them they disqualify as a man if they don’t meet your made up and irrational requirements.  Men, by believing those lies you are disqualifying yourself.
Stop it.

One of My Favorite Promises of God: His Vengeance on Those Who Hurt Me

Righteousness:  According to Google, it can be defined as “the quality of being morally right or justifiable.”

Anger:  According to Google, it is defined as “a strong feeling of annoyance, displeasure, or hostility.”

Now, how about righteous anger?
One could logically deduce from the above definitions that righteous anger could be described as a morally right or justifiable feeling of hostility, annoyance, or displeasure.  Right?

Okay, now confession time:  I try really hard to not get angry with people.  I associate anger, most times, with rage or with a more lingering feeling of hostility.  I usually resign any displeasure, annoyance, or hostility to the term of “aggravating” rather than “angering.”  I say I’m annoyed with someone instead of angry with them.  But honestly, it’s pretty much all the same in my world.

I hate being angry at someone.  It steals away some of my joy, and I really don’t like a thief.  It takes a lot to make me truly angry.  I understand the warning against being “quick to anger” very well, trust me.  But sometimes, things just build and build until I can no longer deny that I am authentically angry.

One of those times is right now.  I am authentically angry at a certain person who fed me full of lies.  When someone tells you something different than what God does, you should NEVER believe them.  I can offer that advice from experience.  When you admire and trust someone because of their intelligence and the good face they put on, it’s easy to blindly follow their lead.  Don’t do that.  I am authentically angry at someone who ripped a little part of me away, and then pretended it was no big deal.  It is a big deal.

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But as angry as I am, I can only imagine how angry my Heavenly Father is at this same person for how they have treated His daughter.  Ever seen a father who is angry at a guy for hurting his daughter?  Okay, now same situation only the father is God, the ultimate Judge and Ruler.  His wrath has swallowed up nations.  God’s anger is righteous anger.

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On that note, it’s now hard for me to go around wanting to be hostile.  I’m a firm believer in being efficient, effective, and giving the job to the person best qualified for it.  Needless to say, the one who can give the best justice is the Judge.  The one who can execute the best revenge is my Heavenly Father.  The one who can bring truth through the lies is the One who IS Truth.  Obviously, my anger is no match for the wrath of God.  So, I give up the hostility to God so that He can be my revenge.  He’s better at it, anyway.

“Friends, do not avenge yourselves; instead, leave room for His wrath.  For it is written: Vengeance belongs to Me; I will repay, says the Lord.”  – Romans 12:19

Breaking Myself

Broken people break people.  
Broken people break people.
Broken people break people.

This sentence has been echoing in my mind all day.  I woke up this morning and that was what my mind seemed to tell me, as if I had been thinking it over all night.  So, as I started my day I tried to think of specific broken people in my life.  Maybe this is something God laid upon my heart.  Maybe it’s something I have just been thinking about without realizing it.  Either way, the one broken person I seem to keep coming back to was…..me.  

Yes, I’m broken.  I have jagged edges and broken corners in several areas of my life.  I have scars from past brokenness.  For example, I come from divorced parents, and no matter how much I try to pretend watching my parents decide that “I do” wasn’t forever at the age of 8 didn’t affect me: it did.  Something breaks inside a child’s heart when Mommy and Daddy are not who they get to eat dinner with each night, who they get hugged by before going to sleep, who they get to recant the whole school day to every afternoon at home.  Something breaks inside of a child when they have to settle for one and not two, no matter how spectacular that one is.  Something breaks.  

Something also breaks inside a girl’s heart every time she’s told she isn’t good enough, especially by someone she loves more than herself.  Even in my world of caution, there was that one boy — the one I gladly handed my heart over to, the one who broke my heart without even knowing it.  Something breaks inside a person when any failed relationship is accepted as a personal failure.  

Something breaks inside a person when they know they have to give up what they really want in the name of sacrifice.  I wanted a normal life — college, law school, career, family, retirement.   I wanted the stability and security it brought.  But then I was asked to give it away, to just give it away if I really had the faith I claimed to have.  So I did, but it broke me.  Something broke.  

Something breaks inside when you go against your principles and compromise for someone.  When you give up a piece of yourself to someone who never deserved it in the first place, you willingly break off a piece of yourself.  Something breaks when you compromise who you are for who someone wants you to be.  Something breaks…and that something is YOU.  That something is ME.

Broken people break people.  

I’ve deduced that I am, indeed, broken.  I’m broken in a lot of ways — or have been broken in a lot of ways.  A lot of the past brokenness was not my fault.  I cannot take back how others have broken me.  But presently this brokenness is my own fault.  I am the broken person who is only breaking myself.  

I believe the lies.  I compromise.  I hide.  I pretend.   I break.  

I know that there’s one way to stop breaking myself and that’s to do just that:  stop.  For me, I know the only way I’m going to stop breaking myself is to give that power up.  For me, that means throw my hands up in wild abandon to the only One who can make me whole — God.  For He is holy, and I wholly need Him.

He gives love.  He forgives.  He offers refuge.  He brings truth.  He makes all things new.  

Tonight I cling to God instead of my broken past.  Tonight I cling to Him and His Word.  
“The Lord is near the brokenhearted; He saves those crushed in spirit.”  -Psalm 34:18