I Love This Chick

Edric and I locked ourselves in the bedroom this morning to share a private conversation. He sat on one end of the bed and I sat on the other. The kids attempted to knock their way in and Titus spied on us from the balcony. (He peered through the blinds, grinning mischievously. Typical Titus.) But Edric was adamant, “Mommy and Daddy have to talk,” shooing them away gently.

We needed this conversation.

Lately, our relationship felt functional and our intimacy waned. Concerned about my unresponsiveness and general indifference, Edric insisted that we identify why I was emotionally distant. He invited me to psychoanalyze myself as he propped himself against a pillow and folded his hands, looking very much like an attentive psychologist.

I mouthed out all kinds of superficial issues that skirted the deeper longings of my heart…

I feel blah. I need intellectual and spiritual feeding…

You and I have been so pragmatic with one another. We are together often but I haven’t felt connected to you…

Sometimes I feel tired of following God’s principles for marriage. Like I’m trying to imagine how I can keep on submitting as a wife and resisting the tendencies of my personality and it’s tiring to think of what the next years will be like…

I also feel like I am disappointing you as a wife and homemaker, like there’s always a detail that I miss and fail at…

Edric was silent. Unusual for my intense and talkative husband. He motioned to me to come lay on his chest. “Come here, I know what you need…” His voice trailed off.

At first I didn’t want to be vulnerable, but Edric was persistent, so I relented and inched toward him, resting my head against his arm.

It was his turn. “I want you to know how much I appreciate you, as a wife, as a mother to our kids. Lately, I have been so self-absorbed and selfish. Will you forgive me? Of all the people in the world, you are the most important to me. And I think you are feeling a lot of the things you are because I haven’t affirmed you enough. I could counteract every statement you made but all you need to know right now is that I love you so much. I don’t know what I would do without you.” He held me closer.

“Do you really mean that?” I asked, latching on to every word and hungry for more of this tender interchange.

“Of course!” He cradled part of my face and smiled. “I love this Chick!”

And just like that I felt a renewed inspiration to be Mrs. Edric Mendoza. Before this day, I evaded Mr. Mendoza, announcing excuses each time he wanted to be alone with me. I would say, “Okay but I have to take care of such and such first.”

I am pretty easy. Just give me a concentrated dose of positive words and I perk up immediately. It’s like Edan’s bean plant experience. When he noticed it languishing, with its withered leaves drooping low and sad, he transferred it to a place where it could receive a softer version of the sun. The next day he declared with pride, “Mom! My bean plant is okay now! Look at the leaves! Come see!” Sure enough, it was standing up tall.

Like the bean plant I deteriorate without encouragement from Edric. This past week, I felt like he was nitpicky and easily agitated. Admittedly, I did have my shortcomings. On Thursday, I packed him lunch so he could eat on the way to his ANC taping because he was running late, but I forgot to put cutlery in the bag. I apologized profusely when he called me befuddled by my forgetfulness. The poor guy had to find a spoon and fork at a gasoline station, which delayed him further. So yes, I will not make false claims about myself and say that I am always on top of things. But, everyday this last week, there seemed to be a failure to highlight and after a while, I retreated to activities and busyness so I could avoid interacting with Edric.

In contrast, when Edric affirmed me this morning, it was like being injected with an adrenaline shot of love. I stood tall once again!

The Bible says, “So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does this church…(Ephesians 5:28-29)

Previously, the passage of Ephesians highlights that a man is to be the head of his marriage. Verses 28 and 29 expound on what it means to love his wife. I interviewed Edric so he can teach about this part (in case you wives hand this article to your husbands!)…

To nourish, he began, is enabling a wife to maximize her potential. It is placing her in an environment where she can bloom into the woman God wants her to be. This means equipping and enabling her with the tools and opportunities to develop her gifts and abilities.

In our marriage, Edric studied me well. (He still does.) He knew I gravitated towards writing and enjoyed it, so three years ago he provided the means to start a blog site. When we moved into our home, he kept prodding me to do acrylic painting again. He bought me large canvases to paint on so I could resurrect this hobby.

Edric has reiterated on many occasions that one of his responsibilities is to help me grow and mature as a person. (He actually has a spreadsheet where he indicates yearly, 5-year, and 10-year goals for each person in the family!)

The word, cherish, he expounded, is to make a wife feel convincingly loved and valued. Does my wife feel secure in my love and affections? Does she believe that her concerns are important to me? Do I treat her with kindness and patience, seeking to understand her?

Interestingly, Edric and I were at an event today where we were one of the guest speakers. At the end of our talk, we were asked, “How can a husband prioritize his wife when he is so busy?”

Here are some tips that we shared (and more)…

  • Block off date nights where you can talk heart-to-heart, address issues in your relationship, and enjoy one another.
  • Put the gadgets away when you are spending time together, especially at the dinner table.
  • Learn your wife’s language of love. Edric knows that words of affirmation matter to me. Gary Chapman names four others – time, touch, gifts, and service. A woman whose language of love is met by her husband is an inspired woman eager to fulfill her role as wife and mother!
  • Remember special events – birthdays, anniversaries, mother’s day, etc. Edric writes me long letters that I’ve kept through the years. He doesn’t always give me extravagant gifts, but his gestures are extravagant and these matter more to me.
  • Be a gentleman. More often than not, Edric opens the door for me, pulls out my chair before I sit down, makes me walk on the safe side of the road, and carries my shopping bags. I hope he does these things forever!
  • Make sacrifices that communicate concern and thoughtfulness. Early in the morning, when Catalina wakes up, Edric takes her down to our househelp so I can rest. I know other husbands who give bottles to babies and change diapers in the middle of the night so their wives don’t shoulder the burden of caring for an infant. These small acts of kindness are exclamatory statements of love.
  • Compliment your wife in public. My dad is a businessman but he also preaches the Bible. During worship services when he is giving a message, he singles out my mom if the context makes sense and declares how much he loves her and appreciates her. Edric does the same when we are with others. He will compliment me when we are with friends and family. He will say things like, “My wife is the best…My wife is amazing…” I don’t want it to seem like I’m tooting my own horn here. The point is that he finds ways to make me feel special.
  • Be generous. I don’t shop that much because I really don’t need to. I’m at home most of the time. However, when I want to get something and it is out of my budget, Edric will usually say, “Sure. I want to bless you.” (I think the key for the wife is not to be extravagant either! My sister rarely shops for clothes so her husband actually tells her to go shopping!)
  • Listen to and acknowledge your wife’s feelings. This is a challenging one. Women can be dramatic and emotional. Edric listening to my morning rant about nonsensical issues was not pleasant for him but he made me feel like I could tell him anything.
  • Say I love you everyday. I once heard a speaker say “Tell your wife you love her before someone else does!”
  • Pray for your wife. Wives need prayer! We can’t manage everything we have to without supernatural enabling by the Lord. When Edric prays for me, I feel empowered by the Holy Spirit.

It may take time for a husband to change and learn what it means to nourish and cherish his wife. But take heart. The Bible says, “The king’s heart is like channels of water in the hand of the Lord; He turns it whoever He wishes.” (Proverbs 21:1 NASB) A husband’s heart is not so out of reach that God cannot minister to it or direct it. Edric and I have counselled many couples and seen God transform husbands from insensitive, selfish, and unloving to the complete opposite!

“And Jesus said to them, ‘With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.'” (Matthew 19:26) This passage was given right after Jesus’ disciples asked how anyone can possibly be saved. If we look to people only, change seems implausible. Therefore we must hope in Christ to do the unimaginable work in our hearts and the hearts of others!

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Comments

  1. Dearest Ate Joy!

    I love love love your blog and how God is using you to bless women like me. Your marriage is what I pray for in the future. Imperfect but a great testimony of God’s faithfulness, honor, and ways. Bless you and Kuya Edric with a conspicous outpouring of His Spirit always.

    Keep writing! Your life has made a huge difference in my life. All glory to Him.

    XX, S.

  2. Thank you Sis! My husband and I read this post and we were blessed. Praise God!

  3. this made me cry. this exactly what im feeling right now i even told my husband the other day i feel that we are having transactional discussions lately. our marriage is a work in progress and the Lord is faithful to His promises.

  4. Thank you for your sharing. I have been blessed!

    Interestingly, you have also left me to wonder at how I can, in turn, be the kind of wife God wants me to be to tye man he gave me to love. How can I work toward God’s goal so that my guy can grow God’s way.

    Thank you…

  5. This post touched me as your usual posts did, but this one made me cry. You are blessed to have a beautiful relationship, with both husband and wife moving in a way that God directs. Thank you for blessing us with your posts, Joy, God bless you and your family more.

  6. Aaaaawww. Love this! Such perfect imperfect role models

  7. This brought tears to my eyes. Glad that you were able to sort things out. 😀 So sweet! 😀

  8. Im so touch.This happened to me and my husband last week..I feel unappreciated.The devil was instilling in my mind that I am not a suitable helper to my husband as God created me to be.That my service and submission to my husband and daughter is not enough.So I just suddenly burst out in tears,and my husband was so clueless.He was like.whooaaattt’s going on?Can you tell me what’s your problem?And women by nature,we just want them to emphatize and read our minds.Hehehehe.But praise God I really prayed hard that He will touch my husbands heart and He will be the one to convict his heart because I dont want any fight,I just want reaasurance to charge me up.Praise God,my husband grabbed me,kissed me,told me how much he loves me,secured me on his chest and we had our afternoon nap.Once we ask God to take charge,He will surely will in such an amazing way.God Bless you and your family.

  9. Thanks for this article that you wrote. My husband is the one who sent me this link for me to read and it and I was so amazed. I would love to go back with every word that you have said asI know it helps in for nurturing our newly-married life and for having GOD us our console foundation to journey what is yet to come in us. Thank you Ms. Joy. God bless you and your family as well. 😉

  10. I saw you guys in one of my flight. I am the lead attendant then, you’re with your kids. I admire your transparency and broadmindedness. You’re a lovely couple with cute kids. Me and my partner also do that, for 11 years now. And we still cherish every moment together, especially during travels. God bless you and your family.

    Anton – (your Cebu pacific crew)

  11. Last night I had a fight with my husband because he thinks that i am complaining to much. I am working full time,enrolled in a special course plus taking care of our daughter. I never said it would be easy but I think that I just need his encouragement for me to do it and guess what he is doing the exact opposite I feel so down.

  12. This made me cry, I’ve been married for 12 yrs. and still waiting for GOD’s mercy to give us a child. But my faith make me strong each waiting hours that the time will finally come soon. We sometimes argue on the matter but with patience and prayer I still know that GOD has the best plan for ( whatever it may be). Thanks for sharing your story…

  13. I love this blog, specially this post about how a husband should be. I shall be reminded of these things and become a wonderful husband to God and to my soon to be wife next year! Thanks for the tips sister Joy.

  14. Hi Joy,
    I love reading your blog before because through your blog sometimes I feel Ptr Peter is also my dad. I used to dream of having a good father. I wish I grew up with dad who will protect me but then I know God has a reason why mine is not similar with yours. (teary eyes). I feel bless with this blog because I feel the same toward my husband who is very insensitive about my feelings. I really feel less important today and I feel like giving up. But, looking at Joseph life I know someday God will reveal to me His best plan. Keep it up! cheers

  15. Scared_Husband says:

    Your blog is encouraging. I wish I could be like Edric. I admire your husband on how expressive he is with you. This is from a point of husband. It’s really hard for the husbands to be more open to their wives. We don’t like drama, we don’t like mushy talks. But this is really needed to encourage and uplift our wife. How can I do it? I’m scared really. Can you give me advise.

  16. As I read your post, I think I die of envy. I always strive to be a wife my husband should be proud of but to no avail. It seems that I am only one trying to pull the string, left alone, unappreciated and not enjoying his support in things that I needed it much. I pray that God will do miracles in my marriage. It’s been 10 years of laughing a little and crying a lot.

  17. wow

  18. Hi! Your article has touched me instantly that while reading it i couldnt stop crying and stayed in my car for awhile as i was feeling God’s divine intervention thru your experience. I felt the pain, the struggle and the experience of trying to be a good wife and mother since i am a career mom and miles away from my comfort zone – im here in qatar with my family, 3 kids and without a maid…surviving each day from the pressure and stress at work and coming home to perform the responsibility of a mother and wife is very difficult…thank you for this very reassuring article and i want to get your permission if i can share it to my friends whom i know is experiencing the same. Send my regards to Edric as well

  19. Im so inspired. God bless your family! P.s. How do I subscribe to this blog? I csnt find the subscribe button.. thanks!:)

  20. I bookmarked this article. It’s just like God directed me to your article. Recently me and my wife had some misunderstanding because of our distance. A very timely one, but a very hard part for me during this time. I wish I could do all these things (although I already did some on the list) to my wife but because of our physical distance (I am in Thailand for my Masters while she was left there in the Philippines with my kids), I felt devastated. Anyway, please do pray for us as I am making every effort for us to be together again, apply your points and refresh to what my wife deserved. Thank you very much and God bless.

  21. This is such a great post! And much timely, since my husband and I also just hurdled a hump during our wedding anniversary week even. Stumbled upon this being shared by one of my Facebook friends, and I have been blessed. Our relationship is a work in progress every single day, even after 15 years of friendship and 6 years of marriage and one daughter. And yes, we shall not stop working on it. A homeschooling mom of a preschooler here as well, and I remembered Edric as he spoke on the Homeschooling Conference. I was really empowered to continue for next year when we enter Kinder level. God bless!

  22. every husband and wife really needs to renewed their affection for each other…this story will help all the couples… we must read this,its amazing…

  23. If only husbands take time to listen, internalize and understand their wife’s everything, I think there’s no room for a big space from each other..

  24. Thank you for your article, Ms. Joy. So amazed on your relationship and marriage. Very inspiring!

  25. Thank you for this wonderful article, Ms. Mendoza! Indeed, you have allowed God to use you and your family to inspire others. I am not yet married (hopefully soon to be), but I learned a lot from this article. Will share this to my girlfriend and friends as well. God bless you and your family always!

  26. Oh look, beautiful people with beautiful people problems. Your marriage issues are a walk in the park compared to couples with seriously dysfunctional relationships. This post made me gag.

  27. Lorie May Buenaflor says:

    Im blessed! Thank you for writing this.. May God empower you more.. 🙂

  28. Our relationship is some what like this, I’ll just make a poem mareng Kerl Lopez

    COOKISS

    Shes From the North, Im from the South
    We met in the City Mouth-to-Mouth
    She’s this, I’m That
    We always make our Own rant!

    Each day is Lovelier than Yesterday
    Perfect Imperfect Lady always had a way
    To make my day away from disarray
    She always says I LOVE YOU Please Stay.

    Kinky Sex always have new Flavor
    Not bad for a hectic work-day endeavor
    She Cooks, Sings, Hugs and Kiss
    After a burp, whispers stay please.

    Icing Treyl was born for a direction
    She’s baking love and packing affection
    Motherhood and Fatherhood a bperfect imperfection
    Rather than on vices till morning each owns addiction.

    Magnets were made for attraction
    All opposite things such a confusion
    Each have own confession and illusion
    But never broke each heart’s restriction

    Relationship is all about acceptance
    Mistakes made with repentance
    Mutualism is what we hold
    ONE GOAL ONE LOVE as foretold.

    <<>>
    8:45PM, 11/26/14

  29. Hi Joy,
    i love your story, it speaks for me personally, and to all husbands out there.
    God bless your marriage. Blessings!

    Berlie

  30. Tnx po…i really love ur blog…il share it with my friends..

  31. Thank you for sharing this… God Bless your marriage =)

  32. Shaun Porras says:

    Thanks for this wonderful post. Keep on inspiring couples. 🙂 God bless!!

  33. The message of the your post is very inspiring. I’m praying for the father of my daughter, too. We are not married yet. I’m a Christian and he is not. He came in the picture when I was lost with life’s inevitable wrecking moments. Yes. But I am slowly taking back my freedom through God’s abundant and unchanging grace. We argue 60% of the time. He’s nothing like your husband. But as you quoted from the Bible, on the book of Matthew 19:26, “And Jesus said to them, ‘With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.’” I am putting my hope in the Lord. He will make GREAT changes in his life. And I don’t mind if he encounters God with me and our daughter or he encounters Him when his by himself… Whichever way. As of the moment he is living with us. As his partner in caring for our child, I do my best to show him how I do things through God guidance and I’m happy to say that he’s taking in some. Although he has his own beliefs that he want to push on. Even if he gets in to me sometimes, I just calm myself down and deal it with understanding and love. Someone once told me that if you want someone to believe and experience the presence of God, you need not force the person to do so. Instead, you show him God’s love through you, in your actions, in every thing you do. Sometimes, I feel like I want to put him down and rest from all of it but God gives me this semi-hard tap on my shoulder reminding me to never give up on him. To never give up to anyone. Now I’m juggling these options that I have in mind if I should just let him leave the house first and seek God alone or keep being patient with him and let him stay with us as he takes his journey in knowing God more. I also have to consider our current situation. We have a daughter. We live in one house. We’re not married. I have great plans in my mind but I understand that however beautiful and organized my plans are, God will break them all if it is not according to what His’s. So now I’m surrendering everything to God. For my own strength will never be enough. And maybe you can give some advice. I would greatly appreciate that. 🙂 Thank you. Bask in every blessing!

  34. i actually said “Awwwwwwww!” out loud (and yes, more than once) while reading this. God bless you and your family more!

  35. Hi Joy, i actually had tears in my eyes reading your thoughts. Hubby and i have been married for 10 years, childless, and both very focused on our individual careers. I’m independent to the point of it perhaps being a little stressful.. for example, his parents stay with us so I have never cooked during our marriage (his mum is a great cook)… i buy whatever i want because our finances our separate and because of that we do not talk much about our hopes and dreams, and yes… we do not actually have a date night, and our time together is dominated by electronic devices.. i’m going to have a chat with hubby tonight, and share this article to see how we can improve together..

  36. “Husbands love your wives”, “wives submit to your husbands”. the challenge many face when following biblical model is when both parties end up not doing anything because they feel the other is not doing their part.

    Selfless love needs to be cultivated in our lives and this relates strongly to our dying to self, and we practice this daily in our relationship with God. 1 Corinthians 13 describes this well. Learning to put God first also also teaches us to put others before ourselves. This in turn helps us to create an environment in our relationships where our love for another person is not built on expectations of the other persons behaviour, but based on the Word, and strengthened by our relationship with God.

  37. Chanced upon your post via an FB Share.
    Wow. I was tearing. I have soooo much work to do. I have lots to learn from your hubby and you.
    Thank you for sharing!

  38. Hi joy,

    Thanks for a great sharing 🙂 as a new mom, I can totally relate to this. And luckily I have a husband who’s also trying to nourish everyone. He made me a blog so I can start writing again, and he plays with our son as he wakes up so I can sneak in more sleep. Sounds familiar yea 😉

    God bless!

  39. hi Ate Joy!

    Sana makahanap ako ng ganitong lovelife. HAHAHA. Single mom here. Hehe

  40. Every husband and wife should read this. Life changing.

  41. Lately I have been Waisting my time in absolute useless things..childish hobbies ..my wife gave me this blog of yours to read..and.i am not ashamed to say that touched me deeply..I have tears in my eyes..it’s like God put this in my hands so I can read..I want this wonderful intimacy that you and your husband have in my own marriage..I want God more..no more useless things in my life.in Jesus Name.and yes it’s life changing.every couple should read this

    • Joy T Mendoza says:

      Wow praise God, Peter! Thanks for your honesty! May God bless you and your wife so you can experience his design for marriage.

      • peter voicu says:

        in this world inwich we are consumed by materialism, bad news everywhere, all around us, stress, to open our heart wide for God’s touch and presence its much more than anything we can experience if we fill ourselves with wordly things,,
        i still struggle but i know that i am not alone in my battle..
        thank you again, sis joy
        sincerily peter

  42. This is just beautiful. Your post actually makes us, young adults(and single), have a view how it is to be in a marriage. I do pray to find a partner who loves God and puts Him in the center of our relationship.

  43. Thank you for sharing. I was really blessed. 🙂 Praying with you 🙂

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