Wednesday, June 27, 2012

What's In A Name?

I started this blog several years ago as a way to honor God by encouraging others and hopefully pointing them to Christ.  Over time, the focus of the blog changed from honoring God to gaining acceptance and popularity.  I wanted to be liked.  I wanted to be considered "wise".  I wanted people to think I was funny and ultimately, my motivation in writing changed from honoring God to honoring myself by gaining practice writing and earning recognition so that maybe one day I could become a published author/speaker.

Seriously- because, you know, all bloggers become published writers, don't they?

So, I got lost along the way.  I started writing posts to glorify myself, or to draw attention to myself and I lost my true and original focus- to honor God.

Through a series of events, it has come to my attention that the nickname I call my husband has played a major role in drawing the focus of the blog away from honoring God.

When Hurricane Ike hit Houston, my husband and I were at the lowest point our marriage had ever seen.  It was after I had decided I could no longer handle being married to him that my mentor challenged me.  She said: "If you can only think of one thing that you like about him, say it out loud in some way each day.  Over time, your list  will grow and your heart will change."  It was kind of a "fake-it-til-you-make-it" type of challenge.  I felt only disdain for him during this time, but I never stopped being attracted to him, so I thought if I had to start anywhere, I'd start there.

So I started calling Kyle (My Husband) "The Hottie" as a last resort to work on my marriage.  I wasn't ever trying to brag about his looks.  In fact, I thought maybe if I kept saying it, that it would stick and he would finally see what I saw- and it did, and although he's not arrogant, I think he finally sees past the 20 years that he felt completely unlovely and the first 4-5 years of our marriage that I spent tearing him down.

And then a strange thing happened in my heart.  I started looking at him in a different light.  After I had been calling him this for a while, he began to take ownership of the name.  He walked taller.  He was definitely more confident, and there was this strange thing inside of me that I hadn't ever experienced before.  You see, when we first married, we were in lust (as are many young marrieds).  But after I spent time and effort building up and encouraging my husband, I realized God was using those words to meet a need He had placed inside of Kyle .  Then Kyle was more aware of and started meeting my needs and over time we fell deeply in love.  I'm not talking about roses and candy-type love.  I'm talking about learning to speak each other's love languages and loving each other with the love of Christ.

And so I continued to call him that because you  know... a little salt is good, so why not use the whole bottle?  Right?  (Christi-logic, folks...)

Anyway, 4.5 years after I started this journey, I can definitely see that both my husband and I have changed in a beautiful way.  But within the past week, it has been brought to my attention- several times in various ways- that continuing to publicly acknowledge him with that nickname doesn't honor God, or my husband.  In fact, continuing to call him that was offending some (something I definitely never intended and humbly apologize for), and may have  had other negative effects on others.

Either way, now that this has been brought to light, I wanted to say:

1.- Thank you to those of you who took the time to comment on the summer blog to help me see what I was previously unable to see on my own.  I'd respond one on one, but the blog system only shows me anonymous, so I am posting publicly in the hopes that the large group of you who sent me your thoughts will know that I received them and appreciated the honesty and the enlightenment.  

2.  I sincerely apologize for continuing in a behavior that was offensive, degrading, or dishonoring to God, to my husband, or to any of you readers.  Like I said- my intent was to honor God by encouraging others, and I can see how focusing on my self and my selfish need for approval, attention, and achievement completely had the opposite effect.

They say sometimes ignorance is bliss, but I say when ignorance makes you look like a fool, ignorance is not so bliss.  I guess that's why they call life a journey- because you have to take steps towards your destination, leaving behind what was and moving towards what is to come.  

Moving forward...

Again, thank you all for being so open and so honest with your thoughts and opinions. In an effort to honor God and honor my husband, I'll make sure that I abstain from using the aforementioned nickname... outside of our home.   :)

***Also, because of the blogger restrictions, I am unable to see where comments originate, but if I ever write something that crosses a line, offends or upsets you, or causes you to question where my motives lie, please feel free to e-mail me.  I can be reached at: and would love to discuss any questions, concerns, or issues you may have with anything I have written here.  I try to be teachable and am always open to constructive feedback, opinions, and thoughts.  

As always, thank you for reading!

May God and God alone be glorified in this place.

No longer I,

The Real Life Mom


Anonymous said...

Love the nickname. I feel honored by you honoring him in that way, Publicly.

Good stuff! Thanks for sharing.

desiree said...

I have known you now half of your life and selfish
Would never be a word I'd used to describe you. I
Have been there and watched your Relationship from day 1 literally! LOL. Storms have come as they always do but I have seen your marriage completely turn around and it is inspiring to see what God can do. And when you distain someone so much you have to see the good or the hatred will just fester. I say for every negative you say 3 positives. If it took you calling your husband "the hottie" then so be it. I think it is amazing that you are still in love after all These years and plus it is a good model of what marriage is supposed to be to your children. So if that is what you want to call him and not only does that lift him up but also strengthens your marriage, then go
For it. I don't know what other ppl have said, but this
Is a blog about your life and what happens in it and
A lot of that involves your family including "the hottie" So be proud that after 10 years you still your husband
Is HOTT!! Though some may say negative things think
About all the people you inspire, like me one of your oldest friends. Love ya girlie!