For this week's My Husband Rocks post, Katy Lin provided an inspiration of Joy in the Journey. She asked us to first read this article, "Joy in the Journey" by John and Nancy Ortberg, and then prompted these questions:
Prompt/Theme for Friday, September 11, 2009
What are some of the ways that your rocking hubby adds joy to your life? What are some of your favorite joy-filled moments that immediately spring to mind? Do you have any rituals that are joy-inspiring?
. . . make your life-goal to become the primary joy-giver in your spouse's world.
I hope this doesn't come across as being a downer post, when the Friday posts about Rick are intended to be about how he rocks! But, I'm going to admit. This is a difficult one for me. It's not that Rick isn't one who provides me with laughter and happiness in my life. (Oh dear, the laughter we have had!) It's the concept of him providing me with Joy, or me being his Joy-giver that is tripping me up. Because, I think this is dangerous water.
I don't believe that you can GIVE Joy to someone else, just because you will it to be done. I don't believe that you can rely on another person to provide your Joy to YOU. God's Word instructs us that Joy is a fruit of the Spirit. It's something that flows from us to others by the Spirit's moving and involvement in our individual lives. Without the Spirit in our individual lives, Joy is absent .. TRUE Joy, that is. We often confuse happiness with Joy. They are not the same thing. (And, consequently, I do not believe anyone's daily happiness can be grounded in another person. That, too, will provide frequent disappointment.)
So this one stumps me somewhat. Because, the theory is excellent! I want to be the main person who puts a smile on Rick's face every day. And, I love when, at the end of the day, he has been the one to do that for me.
But, the second I put myself in a position of trying to be Rick's primary Joy-giver or means of happiness, that's the second I will fail miserably both to him and myself. And, he shouldn't have to take on the pressure of being my primary Joy-giver. He can't live up to that standard.
SO, what does this mean?
I think it all hinges, in my marriage, on a couple of things: laughter and oneness.
We have a motto in our house ... "You have to laugh or you'll cry!" Life is tough! Just about every single day has its monumental challenges. We can either choose to wallow in it, or laugh our way through the ironies of it. THIS is where I have been lacking in my marriage to Rick. This summer has been the hardest few months I have ever had to endure. And, as I look back, there has been a whole lot more crying than laughing. Even Rick's extreme level of humor has been stifled by the situations we, primarily I, have faced.
The Ortbergs, who wrote the article above, say this about oneness. They say that as a married couple we should create a Culture of Two. In the busyness and stresses of life, how many people are regularly, if not constantly, in your culture? For us, it's several! It's us two, our children, our extended family, Rick's co-workers, our neighbors, kids' friends, etc. But, the Ortbergs say we should strive for this:
Oh, and I just saw a very important word in there .. PURSUE. Although you may not be able to will Joy to happen, you can certainly pursue it. And a strong pursuit for something worthwhile with your spouse is a great thing! That puts a smile on my face just thinking about it!
But ultimately, to pursue Joy, you must start with yourself. I must start with myself. I have to get back in right relationship with God and allow the Holy Spirit to infiltrate my life and guide my days. By doing that, Joy will naturally flow.
While I am pursuing that, I can also do these two things actively with Rick:
1. Lighten up! Laugh more! Have more fun with my husband, and my children for that matter! Maybe just smiling more would help.
2. Actively pursue a Culture of Two with Rick. Look for those ways that he and I can be one, alone, together, regularly.
And maybe, instead of trying to be Joy-givers and Joy-providers, we could ENJOY each other. Honestly, I think that's what those questions above are really asking: What are some of the ways your rocking husband adds ENJOYMENT to your life? What are some of the moments you have shared with your husband that provided you with ENJOYMENT? Do you have any rituals that you ENJOY?
Ah ... in answering THESE questions, I can think of many answers. I think I'll plan for Rick and I to LAUGH about these tonight in the CULTURE OF TWO I work to create for us.
Are you ENJOYING your husband? And, probably more important, is he ENJOYING you?
Like I said, the concept is excellent! I really do want Rick to feel that out of this cold, harsh world, that he can ALWAYS rely on me to put that smile on his face and feel true love and freedom and happiness. I WANT TO BE THAT PERSON FOR HIM!! And, I want him to be that person who does the same thing for me.
So, this week,
Rick Rocks ~ Because He's the One I Enjoy and With Whom I Want to Pursue Joy.