I have always been a reader, ever since I can remember. My parents were often telling me to "get my nose out of my book" and partake in family activities. I was a social butterfly, but could easily immerse myself in any story for days at a time. There is just something that books do to my soul. They make me cry, make me angry, fill me with love...
Each year as I grow older I find myself being drawn to different styles of books. In fiction, I never would have picked up a science fiction book until a few years ago.
The last few weeks I have been running the grain cart in the fields most days and nights. I have read about 5 or so books. And it isn't because I have nothing to do, it's because soybeans tend to go slower, and there is always that perfect timing of a breakdown, or when the semi is running behind and isn't back to the field to be reloaded with grain.
A few days ago I was digging through my back pack trying to decide what kind of mood I was in. I then had to snap this photo as I chuckled at my various subjects.
I have a Christian Fiction Romance (Moonlight On The Millpond- Reread, so I love!) and my Bible study book (Not A Fan- Which is extremely convicting! LOVE!). I also have a book on the importance of advocating for agriculture (No More Food Fights- also a real eye opener!) and a book on marriage (Love and Respect).
Now, I am pretty much in love with every one of these titles rights now. But, I really wanted to talk about Love and Respect. My husband and I received this as a wedding gift four years ago. With all of the reading I do I haven't even touched it until the last few months. Amazingly enough. I think I have finally reached a maturity in my marriage to need it.
And it isn't because my husband and I are struggling, it's because I find myself wanting to find new ways to make our marriage even better.
The concept is that love best motivates a woman and respect most powerfully motivates a man.
An example that comes through in the book is the idea that in an argument a woman feels unloved, where as a man feels disrespected.
I completely, fully agree. When my husband and I do argue I find myself sometimes feeling like he doesn't love me (Even though I know he does). I feel like he must not care enough to really want to do what I want or really listen to what I am saying. When in actuality he may just not be wanting to hear what I say because of how I am saying it to him.
Now, I am only into Part 1 of the book- The Crazy Cycle. There are two other parts I haven't gotten to yet- The Energizing Cycle and The Rewarded Cycle.
The Crazy Cycle is exactly what is sounds like. A viscous crazy cycle. Without love she reacts without respect and without respect he reacts without love. It also gives some great advice for how to get out of this cycle.
I see this concept can often be applied in all relationships. I have often used the saying "To get respect you have to give respect".
So, I think the idea of this book pretty much hits marriage relationships right on the head.
I'm not saying that to have a perfect marriage you need to pick up this book. But, I will definitely say it has already in the last month changed some of the ways I communicate with my husband. I try to respect him more and I think he naturally has shown more love. And he hasn't even touched this book.
After four years of marriage, two miscarriages, life threatening medical conditions, and one beautiful little girl, I would say it is safe to say we have been on a roller coaster most of our marriage.
Our marriage has been through a lot and we have learned a lot about one another as individuals, as a couple, as business partners, as parents. And I foresee many more roller coaster rides in years to come. And I think advice on how to make things even better in our marriage is something I could never turn down.
Don't be afraid to pick up books on communication, marriage, or relationship advice. You may have something perfect already, but having the tools in place when you hit the bumpy spots on your road will only strengthen your relationship that much more.