Monday, November 30, 2009
*For married men
In his series, The Purpose of the Male Man, Dr. Myles Munroe (one of my favorite motivators) expounds on how God has created and designed the ‘male’ man to be a cultivator.
Genesis 2:15 says, “And then the Lord God took the man and put him into the Garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it.”
Cultivate means to make something grow, produce, and increase. Dr. Munroe says that the original assignment God left for Adam was for him to make the garden better.
In this, we men also find our assignment. God placed Adam in the Garden of Eden. Where has God placed you? Who has God placed you with?
As husbands, I want to encourage us all to cultivate our wives! Brothers, let’s rise to the occasion to help our wives bloom and blossom into something much more than they are today—that both their inner and outer beauty would continually increase.
And, I do not mean trying to ‘change’ her. But when a gardener tends his garden, he gives to it. He tills the soil; he waters it regularly; he doesn’t allow weeds to grow; he applies the right fertilizers (nutrients); and he kills off all harmful pests.
Because he loves his garden and wants its beauty to flourish, he’ll do anything it takes, and do it faithfully.
How can we cultivate our wives? I want to recommend something from Dr. Gary Chapman. In his book, The Five Love Languages (How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate). He encourages us to understand the “love language” spoken by our spouse. He highlights five ways people express and receive love:
• Words of Affirmation: encouragement through words (can be verbal or written).
• Quality Time: focused and intentional time spent together.
• Receiving Gifts: gifts are visual symbols of love.
• Acts of Service: doing something to meet a practical need for the other person.
• Physical Touch: hugs, rubs, kisses, strokes, and touch that conveys warmth and affection.
Dr. Chapman says that it’s important for us to know what our spouse’s primary love language is —and not to just use the expression that we naturally favor, but to relate to our spouse in the language that is their primary language.
Some ways you can discover your wife’s love language are: by observing to see how she expresses love; or by experimenting to see which of these expressions of love she best responds to when you use it on her. Another way is by simply asking (don’t be shy to ask).
How’s her love tank?
Dr Chapman also borrows a term from Dr. Ross Campbell, a child psychologist, who says “Inside every child is an ‘emotional tank’ waiting to be filled with love.” This is likened to the oil tank in a vehicle. In order to run smoothly, it needs to be full and well maintained. The same is true for our marriages. How’s your wife’s emotional love tank?
Brothers, it might be time for all of us to check on that tank! It’s easy for us guys to get caught up in cars, sports, hobbies, and television. Hopefully, we are not spending more time on these than we are making deposits into our wife’s love tank! Chapman says that we can expect “people to behave differently when their emotional love tanks are full.”
Let’s really surprise and bless our wives by using her primary love language, filling up her love tank, and making a commitment to ourselves to cultivate her all year round!
Also commit to telling one friend about your cultivation pledge and plan. And, then call out the cultivator in him as well!