Friday, February 27, 2009

What She Really Wants

This post is for husbands and for men who want to be husbands. I've been thinking about this topic for a long time.

Do you know what your wife really wants? Do you ask her? Do you ask her regularly?

One thing your wife wants is to know that you love her more than any other person or anything in this world. She longs for your assurance. If this need is not met, she will feel unsatisfied, agitated, irritable, and frequently angry. This is a legitimate need and you are the only one who can meet it. Are you doing your job?

Remember the story about the wife who complained to her husband that he never said that he loved her? The husband reasoned, "I told you the day we got married that I loved you. If anything changes, I'll let you know." Well, it wasn't good enough for his wife, and it's not good enough for yours or mine. She needs to hear the L word from you everyday, and she needs to feel like you really mean it. If you don't, how can you expect to hold her?

As husbands, we are commanded to love our wives:

"Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it...He that loveth his wife loveth himself." —Ephesians 5:25,28

Are you obeying this commandment?

Another thing she really wants is your attention. You can pay no higher compliment to your wife than showing her your full attention, the kind that she wants. Do you call her during the work day just to find out how she is doing? When you are home, do you give her both eyes and both ears? When something is bothering her, do you try to understand what it is before jumping in with a solution or dismissing it?

Here is a question I ask my wife, "What is one thing that I could do right now that would make you feel more loved?" Yes, it is a dangerous question. Sometimes the answer is painful. Sometimes, to respond to her answer with integrity, I have to set aside something that I want to give my wife something that she wants. It remains an important question. It's a question I know I should ask her every day.

Your wife might want you to ask a different question. Ask her what it is. She'll tell you. It will likely have something to do with (1) feeling like she doesn't have to do everything around the house or (2) even though she adores her children, she needs a break.

What if your wife is surly when you get home and you are afraid to say, "I love you"? (Chances are she wouldn't be as surly if you had remembered to tell her that you loved her the day before.) Well, what do the scriptures say?

"There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear...He that feareth is not made perfect in love. We love him [the Lord], because he first loved us." —1 John 4:18,19

Likewise, if you love her first, and really mean it, consistently, she will love you back. "That which ye do send out shall return unto you again..." (Alma 41:15). It's an eternal law. Put it to work.

Back when I was an elder's quorum president, one warm evening, I got a phone call from a quorum member. He was at a hotel. He asked me to come talk to him because he had been kicked out of the house by his wife. He wanted some advice about what to do. I didn't know what I was going to say, but as I drove down to see him, I prayed, "What do I do? What do I say?"

This is what came out of my mouth when I talked to him. I knew it came from Heavenly Father.

"You have to say this to her. (1) I love you more than anything in the world. (2) I am very sorry. (3) I would do anything to correct what's wrong with our relationship. If you say those things, and mean it, she will accept you back."

He did say those things, and his wife did accept him back. Years later when I told this story to a woman, she said, "I don't know how any wife could say no to that."

So, brethren, here is the price of entry. "Thou shalt love thy wife with all thy heart, and shalt cleave unto her and none else" (D&C 42:12). "None else" means not only another person but anything else—a job, a pickup truck, a set of golf clubs, video games, TV, a hunting trip, a horse (gulp), anything. Your wife may not be perfect, but neither are you. She deserves your love and undivided attention. She deserves your protection, not only from physical harm or want, but also from the emotional wilderness that haunts her. If you want to keep her for eternity, love her in a way that she knows that you love her.

In conclusion: "This I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully" (2 Corinthians 9:6). Love her and receive the same.

Next time, I'll address what he really wants. It's not what you think.

Monday, February 23, 2009

"The Guy in the Glass" by Dale Wimbrow

You might have heard or read it before, but here's a great poem to think about today.

When you get what you want in your struggle for pelf [riches],
And the world makes you King for a day,
Then go to the mirror and look at yourself,
And see what that guy has to say.

For it isn't your Father, or Mother, or Wife,
Who judgement upon you must pass.
The feller whose verdict counts most in your life
Is the guy staring back from the glass.

He's the feller to please, never mind all the rest,
For he's with you clear up to the end,
And you've passed your most dangerous, difficult test
If the guy in the glass is your friend.

You may be like Jack Horner and "chisel" a plum,
And think you're a wonderful guy,
But the man in the glass says you're only a bum
If you can't look him straight in the eye.

You can fool the whole world down the pathway of years,
And get pats on the back as you pass,
But your final reward will be heartaches and tears
If you've cheated the guy in the glass.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

"Unleashing the Dormant Spirit" from F. Enzio Busche

I felt very inspired by this video which is based on a BYU Devotional talk given by Elder F. Enzio Busche. You can find the words found in this video near the end of this transcript of his talk.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Resist the Devil and He Will Flee from You

Several people in our ward have expressed their feelings of discouragement to me in the last few days. Their discouragement lies not so much in their circumstances as in their feelings about themselves. I certainly can relate to that, and know that they are not alone. This is a problem that most people struggle with. If you don't, you are truly a rare person.

I like to use several scriptures to help myself and others combat these feelings. First, D&C 50:23:

"And that which doth not edify [build up, uplift, or enlighten] is not of God, and is darkness."

To me this means that Heavenly Father would never say anything to us that could be considered negative, a put down or even sarcastic. The devil, on the other hand, and his servants, hardly know how to speak in other terms. In fact, Satan is called "the accuser of [the] brethren...which accused them before our God day and night" (Revelation 12:10). That's how he makes his living, so consider the source.

I am not saying that all negative thoughts or feelings come from the devil; however, all negative thoughts and feelings can be put into his service, whatever the source.

If you feel an impression or words come into your mind that are negative or harsh or that you feel are putting you down and making you feel inadequate, know that those words would not and could not come from your Heavenly Father. He loves us too much to use language like that.

Another verse I like to use in counseling is from James 4:7:

"Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you."

As a son or daughter of God, you have complete power over the adversary. He doesn't want us to know that. The only way he can have power over us is if we permit it by accepting his deceptions. Now it takes practice and detective skills to overcome his wiles, and we need to learn to resist "lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices" (2 Corinthians 2:11).

So how can you resist the devil? The same way the Savior did—with the truth that is found in the scriptures. Remember how after Jesus fasted for forty days, Satan came to Him when He was physically weak in order to tempt Him (Matthew 4:1-11)? Jesus met each temptation of the devil with a scripture, and Satan departed from Him.

Also, remember that is when we are weak that Satan tries to take advantage of us the most. When we are physically tired, weak, worn out, exhausted, or sick, that's when the devil tries his utmost to deceive us or to drag us down.

So if you have any thoughts or feelings like, "I can't do all this. Why did I get this calling anyway? The bishop was out of his mind. I'm not any good at this," remember that Heavenly Father would not say anything like that to you, only the devil, but he makes it so subtle that we think it is just coming from ourselves.

We can resist him! When those thoughts occur to you, you can say a prayer, "Heavenly Father, you wouldn't say anything like that to me. Please give me the power to resist the devil's evil influence." Or you can just simply say, "That's not true and I don't believe it." Satan and his servants cannot long bear the light of day, and as you become more constant in resisting him, he will flee from you.

Another verse I'd like share is a powerful one from modern scripture: D&C 88:40. If it is true, as this verse says, that "truth embraceth truth; virtue loveth virtue; [and] light cleaveth unto light," it is also true that falsehood embraces falsehood and darkness cleaves to darkness. In other words, if we follow the light, we will find more and more light, and if we follow darkness, we will draw more and more darkness to us.

As you resist the devil and appeal often to your Heavenly Father, you will draw more and more light to you, and the darkness will become more and more distinct and distant. As we follow the light, we will find ourselves resembling this final word from D&C 50:24:

"That which is of God is light; and he that receiveth light, and continueth in God, receiveth more light; and that light groweth brighter and brighter until the perfect day."

May our light grow brighter and brighter as we detect and resist the adversary, the "accuser of our brethren."