Wednesday, June 27, 2007

P4E.029 Zombie Flesh

"My flesh is like a zombie, I kill it and it keeps getting up and I have to kill it again and again!"
Ken Nair, Life Partners

I don't know about you, but when I blow it, I tend to blow it big time. This last weekend, to make a long story short, I blew it big time. Through my misunderstanding my wife, I became offended and defensive. I told Gwen that I didn't want her to disrespect me by thinking that I wouldn't stand up for myself. She told me I knew better than that. She said she couldn't believe I "would fall for that!" It hit me when she said it and I knew she was right.

What I realized was that I didn't want to disrespect myself. But, what I was thinking and feeling was worthy of disrespect. I have to keep killing my zombie flesh and reminding myself that Christ's values are diametrically opposed to my natural values. My values are self-preservation and self-defense. His values are others-oriented. He simply did not defend Himself. This comes through Scripture in so many ways. Everything from loving your enemies to turning the other cheek to being led like a lamb to slaughter.

Gwen is not my enemy and the flaw that she was pointing out in my character was true, but I defended myself just the same. I have apologized, but I know that I've set myself back quite a bit. God help me to go on creating a new track record, caring for her and understanding her more and more... Here's hoping you can learn from my mistakes.

Blessings, Kim

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

P4E.028 Horse Sense 6 (the last)

"He was going to make a mistake and then he corrected himself..."
Clinton Anderson about the horse he is training

Clinton Anderson defines horse counter conditioning as "The horse trains himself not to do the thing you don't want him to do." Casting us men in the role of horse again, I see the correlation with some Scripture in this idea.

In Romans 7:15, Paul says, "For that which I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate." Later, Paul acknowledges that he needs help and asks for it and thanks God for providing it.

I'm looking at the idea that I must change, I must correct myself (as in fleeing immorality, following the 10 commandments, abandoning Un-Christlikeness, etc...) When I change my thinking I CAN be victorious in Christ even and ESPECIALLY when I am ALONE. I will be tempted. It's in that moment of temptation that I have the opportunity to say to myself, "I'm going to make a mistake, I need to correct myself..." It can be done! God help me.

Your ally in the pursuit of Christlikeness, Kim

Thursday, June 14, 2007

P4E.027 Horse Sense 5

"I want two eyes, not two heels. Two eyes equals respect. Two heels shows disrespect."
Clinton Anderson about the horse he is training

So, I've caught some flack about drawing lessons about women/wives through horse training. This time it's the men's turn to play the horse part.

I have been known to not give eye contact when my wife is talking to me. Sometimes it was intentional, many times not. Gwen would even move her body and face into my line of sight to emphasize the fact that I was not looking at her when she was talking to me. This would, of course, make me embarrassed, defensive and upset. What was the big deal? So what, I'm not looking at you! I can hear you and talk to you without seeing you!

Well, in the first place, I've come to see and believe that it was just plain bad manners. In the second place, I realize that by not looking at Gwen when she was talking to me I was sending the message that I did not value, agree with or respect whatever it was she was saying to me. Many times, I actually would not remember her saying things to me, in part, because I truly hadn't been paying attention.

When I think about it, I don't want to send that message to her. I do value and respect the things Gwen wants to say to me. I do want to pay attention to the things she wants to say to me. So I'm making every effort to look at her face and her eyes when she's talking. Even when she's not talking to me, but to someone else in my presence. It lets her and others know that I care about her and what she's saying. This has even gone to my phone etiquette. Gwen can actually feel through the phone whether I'm listening to her or distracted. She can hear when I'm tapping away at the computer while she's talking to me. So, now I make every effort to stop whatever it is I'm doing to BE THERE when I'm talking to Gwen on the phone.

One added benefit is that I'm better able to read Gwen's spirit when I have eye contact with her. I've always heard that the "eyes are the window to the soul." Eyes can be "wide- open," "shifty," "beady," "averted," "downcast," "sparkling," "rolled," "riveted," "teary," "shut tight," "squinted," "hardened," "baleful," "sad," "happy," etc. Notice that any emotion you can think of can be attributed to or expressed in the eyes. To be an effective spiritual leader, I must be able to read my wife's spirit so that I can know how to minister to her and represent Christ well. Looking at her eyes is my window into her spirit. And my eyes are her window into mine. We become one. That's what it's all about.

Peace, Kim

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

P4E.026 Horse Sense 4

"I'm analyzing her. I'm reading things she wants to tell me."
Clinton Anderson about the horse he is training

I've come to the realization that I don't know my wife well enough. I want to write a book about her. Not for publishing purposes, but for my own. So that I can research her. Study her. Analyze her. Become an expert about her. She's the most important person in my life. I bound my destiny to hers when I married her. We are "one" in that sense. But, I don't know her like I know myself. And this is after what will be 30 years of marriage in December.

We have a friend who told us that after over 20 years of marriage she realized that her husband did not know what her favorite donut is. (Quick, do you know your wife's favorite?) I don't want to be in that boat. Obviously, there are other, even more important things to know about my wife.

You see, Clinton Anderson is analyzing the horse, is reading the thing that she wants to tell him because:
he's interested.
he's motivated.
he wants to know how she thinks.
he wants to know what she's trying to tell him.
he wants to be an effective leader.
he wants to become one with her.
he wants to gain her respect.
All are good reasons why we should analyze our wives and read the thing she's trying to tell us.

In his "Discovery Seminar" Ken Nair describes a language that is foreign to us men. We don't naturally understand it, but we must if we are to communicate effectively with our wives and other women in our lives. It's called "Womanese." It's vocabulary is emotional/spiritual. When we get to know Womanese, our wives are more understandable and their ways less mysterious. I always knew understanding a foreign language would be useful!

Peace, Kim