Have you ever heard this phrase?
What you starve will die and what you feed will live…..
I have actively tried this concept on my self, in my marriage and in teaching my children.
For me it started when I began to pay closer attention to my responses to certain people or situations. When I resolved NOT to give into a learned reaction, I starved the bad habbit. The more I abandoned those tendancies, through starvation, the less likely I was to continue in them. But, if I tried something new and fed it with the motive of producing a positive reaction in others, then I was in essence feeding myself and would eventually bask in the overflow.
With My Children
Being the mother of biological and adopted children with “special needs”, I have to get creative with new ways of discipline. Sometimes one way isn’t enough to get the desired point across to each individual. If I find a method that works, I feed it by continuing to do it. My ultimate goal is to eliminate the bad and absorb the good. For me this meant I was lowering my state of suffering, while getting a reaction I liked in return. It’s a Win-Win situation.
With having a house full of teenagers, this has looked like my learning to listen and seek to understand what is behind their actions/ reactions.
To show them I care about what they are working through internally, instead of reacting outwardly and jumping to conclusions. Ask questions. Don’t judge their answers. Value their thoughts and opinions.
Listening builds bonds and relationships, enabling them to flourish and grow, while Reacting tears down lines of communication and builds walls, which means in the end I loose their heart.
In My Marriage
My husband and I began our 18th year of marriage this last December. We have learned this valuable principal of starving and feeding certain behaviors is what makes our marriage an enjoyable one.
For us, if we neglect service to one another, then our relationship suffers. But, when we are deliberate about actions that display love and honor, being obvious that we prefer the others interests above our own, then we are as happy as a couple in-love can get.
Why? Because we both reap a bountiful closeness that is quite addictive and intoxicating when both of our love tanks are full. It is so good, that neither of us want anything less. This unity that our service to eachother creates, errects a wall of protection that makes it hard for negative to penetrate in. It will certainly try, but we both have decided that the growth and passionate increase that this feeding one another in this way has resulted in, is much better. We feed IT and starve anything else that tries to over ride.
Let me make it a bit more personal for you. My husband is not naturally inclined to speak praise, yet he knows that my spirit needs it. So every night before we put our heads to the pillow, he will voice a Word of Affirmation. He will also speak a word of praise or honor to others about me. My heart is lifted when other’s tell me of his loving expressions of praise to them. He has also remembered the act of being a chivalrous gentleman. He still opens doors, brings home flowers, winks at me, gazes at me, builds beautiful masterpieces of wood work for me…. Treating me like a desired and valued woman.
His needs like most men are respect, touch and quality time. He needs my full attention and our “romantic getaways with no interuptions and NO KIDS. Just me as his “Girl”. He needs me to remain flirtatious over texts and in the bedroom. To engage in efforts to keep myself fit and attractive for his eyes only.
He also likes a clean house. Often I am so busy with my job as home school teacher and mother that I cannot always attend to that throughout the day. But I know how much this makes his transition from work to home, so it becomes a proactive attempt to feed our relationship. When I take the 45 minutes before he is home to tighty it up, his arrival home is received with a relaxed, nurtured and well fed spirit. Which I ofcourse also benefit from.
We have both tried to be proactive about asking each other…. ” Is there anything else that I can do for you?” And make sure that is done before the sun sets.
In our attempts to see the need and meet the need, we are constantly aware of the other. This has helped our relationship in tremendous ways.
What about you?
How have you seen this statement at work in your life?
I’d love to hear about it!!