Beth Frederick is a Chicago girl, now living in Colorado. I got to know her through a ladies' Bible study which started a few months before COVID 19 shut everything down in March of 2020. As a woman from the midwest, Beth isn't afraid to be bold with the truth. So during Bible study, when I heard her say that her marriage changed when she began making her husband her hero, my hearing sharpened. Hopefully, if you or a friend are experiencing a "crunchy marriage," then Beth's wise and practiced advice will make for a smoother sail. The truths that Beth shares in this blog have never changed and never will. Enjoy.
THE BACKGROUND OF A TROUBLED MARRIAGE WITH UGLY FIGHTING
TFC---Beth, you shared in our ladies' Bible study how you learned from a Jewish Rabbi that a wife must make her husband her hero. Can you explain this, please?
Beth--Justin Sterling is the reference I made in Bible study; he is not a Rabbi but Jewish. He runs an organization called The Sterling Institute and has women and men's weekends. The feminists and liberals say his training is a cult. He does not use biblical principles; however, the principles line up where love and respect in marriage are the unified goals. Resource for learning: https://www.sterling-institute.com/sterling-institute-justin.php
When I did learn that statement from Justin Sterling, "Make your husband your hero," I had no idea what it meant because, at the time, Mike and I were verbally fighting like professional boxers. We would scream, yell, and curse viciously at each other, and it was evil and awful. We assaulted each other, often going 12 rounds with insults, injury, and incursion. The results of these figurately bloody battles left us both brutally wounded, broken, and beaten. (Some of you have been there, and it is ugly and wicked. ) We both lived in resentment, bitterness, and anger, and we both thought and spoke of divorce. We were married in the Sacrament of Marriage and had made a covenant before God, and that was the only thing that kept us from filing.
An older friend of mine told me to honor and respect my husband. I thought she had brain damage to say that to me at that season. My husband was acting like the son of Satan on several steroid layers, and WHAT ABOUT ME! I scorned back at my older, wiser female mentor. She, however, said, pray and start to see him as a hero. What hero; he was a zero in my book! I humored her and said I would try. I did try and made changes as Jesus got ahold of my selfish, angry, and resentful heart. I also got Christian Counseling and did a bunch of forgiveness work. Slowly, I was thanking Mike and acting kinder towards him. He would be less verbally abusive, and I was praying for him, serving him in a more loving tone, and thanking him for taking out the garbage. The little things were making a small difference.
MARRIAGES CAN CHANGE TO LOVING AND RESPECTFUL MARRIAGES
Beth-- I saw progress slowly. I learned to give him ten minutes of undivided attention. For example, when he would come home from work, I would greet him with a smile, say, "Hi honey," and hug him. Then I would let him be for 10 minutes to change his clothes from work because I gave him time. Afterward, I would ask about his day and let him spew about his boss, job, and world. I was bored to death at first, but he was softening towards me. Hmmm, could this love and respect thing be working... ? I learned to thank him for being the provider and let him know how much I appreciated him working so hard for our family. I made sure the dishes were not in the sink when he came home; they used to stay in the sink for a day--yuck! The dishes were one of our famous arguments before getting along.
I learned to say, "Mike, I am proud of you," and listen. Not give advice or snide comments, but listen. We went to several Christian Marriage conferences and met with a husband and wife who were married ministers. It was not an overnight change, but things were changing. Praise God.
We also had friends praying for our marriage, and then we started praying together. A simple prayer, "Jesus, thank you and help us. Amen." Then we prayed the Lord's Prayer as we held each other at night, and we said it out loud. We started to tell each other we loved each other. Mike got prayer for anger, and I got prayer for resentment. I continued to make him my hero, thanking him daily for what he was doing for us and to praise him in public vs. criticize in public. We became friends again and then became lovers again. We look back, and both brought junk with anger and expectations of resentment into the marriage. We were committed, but more importantly, Almighty God was committed to our marriage, and through the healing of the Holy Spirit, our marriage was spared. Realize our souls' enemy wants strife, bitterness, rage, and unforgiveness to multiply in your marriage. But God Wins!! Fight on your knees for your marriage!
TFC-- How has this one change in you changed your marriage?
Beth--I appreciate him and accept him now for who he is. Men love respect, and it's not what most women think of as respect. A man likes to be admired, their egos are frail, and a good woman can build his ego up. I thank him often for his work ethic. (Work ego is hard-wired in men and a God-given gift.) TFC-- Have you noticed changes in your husband from making him your hero?
Beth--Yes, he is kinder and wants to be my hero. It's like his chest gets all peacock proud. He will help me around the house if I ask, as a kind, loving wife vs. the bitter bitch of nagging. TFC-- As an older married Christian woman, what advice would you give to the younger married women on how to love their husbands and their children, as found in Titus 2:3-5.
Beth-- Ladies, your husband is a gift from God. Cherish him and protect that gift. We don't realize that we hold the power and glue for our homes as women. Love your husband and encourage him to be all God has for him. Let him know the good things you notice about him. Gain the self-control of a kind heart towards him and his children. The culture teaches us to blame, criticize, and nag our husbands. Those things do not work. Write him a love letter, but actions always speak louder. Those of you from divorced homes don't have to continue that pattern. It's not your fate and not what God wants.
The creator of the Universe designed marriage, and The Holy Trinity is part of your marriage. Get as many tools as you can and marriage retreats. You got this, ladies! To God be the Glory.
Titus 2:3-5 New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE)
Likewise, tell the older women to be reverent in behavior, not to be slanderers or slaves to drink; they are to teach what is right, so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be self-controlled, chaste, good managers of the household, kind, being submissive to their husbands, so that the word of God may not be discredited. Beth Vargo- Frederick "A Little Help, Please" 303 810 3010
Beth and Mike have been married 19 years this July 2021
Martha Wild King, M. Ed., Author
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