I have a couple t-shirts from Union 28 with statements like these written across the front. To be honest, though I love my t-shirts, I don't wear them often. I realize that when I do, I am the one making the statement. I don't want to look or sound anything but real...or cheesy. Well, last Monday as I was choosing my outfit for the day, my eye caught sight of my pink t-shirt that sports the statement: 'My Husband Rocks'. I stopped to wonder why I link wearing that statement with being sincere...
The thing is, it seems that in our modern-day American culture, women don't often talk like we love our husbands or that he rocks. Instead, we share about the things he didn't do at all or the details he did all wrong...you know, all the things he is not. It seems like husbands often fall short, don't meet our needs, and just plain don't know how to make their wives happy.
This Scripture verse came to mind: "Likewise, teach the older women...to teach what is good. Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands.." ~ Titus 2:3-4. An older woman (someone who has been there, done that) urge a younger woman to love her husband? Is that necessary? Isn't love just a natural overflow of our heart-felt emotions and therefore not hard, not to mention, not something to be urged?
Well, somewhere between my parents' marriage falling apart and regularly listening to radio broadcasts from ministries like Focus on the Family and Family Life, I learned that ending up with an emotional wall in a seemingly loveless marriage relationship is a brick by brick building process. Marriages don't just suddenly fall apart and divorce doesn't just happen. Like most of life, these tragedies are usually a process in the making. In large part, through the stories of others who had already conquered difficulties (been there, done that), I learned that just like bricks can be stacked, they can also be taken down and maybe even left in a pile - unused.
Now, almost 17 years into marriage, I get how easy it is to stack those bricks! Sometimes it's because of unmet expectations, maybe words said without thinking, not to mention problems at work or in the extended family, or even lack of time for each other during those child-rearing years. All these make it difficult to hold-on to the initial Cinderella-feel for our husbands and easy to focus on "what isn't".
Funny enough, I've also learned that those who "have been there, done that" are right... In most circumstances, the secret to pulling down those bricks or not stacking them at all, truly is perspective - aka: what we choose to focus on. Sure - he forgot to empty the potty and I figured it out when I picked it up the next morning to take it into our bedroom - yuck! But, is it true that he doesn't care...even though I gently reminded him a few times? No, it isn't. The truth is that my "gentle" reminder wasn't clear. He needs me to tell him exactly what I want him to do without sounding frustrated. (I did...and he never left that potty dirty again!)
Here's the truth, ladies: no man will make the cut on every detail when we are focusing on what he is not. Apparently, God has created us, and marriage in general, to thrive when we think on everything that each other is not isn't. SO...
I do love my husband; he does absolutely rock!! He knows me as I am and loves me anyway. He plays games on his phone while he waits and I finish cleaning and straightening-up at a day's end; he makes our evening when he walks through the door after a long day's work; together, we juggle our family schedule and make it work; and even though he often leaves smelly socks on the floor next to the hamper...he carries the hampers down to the laundry room for me every Sunday night. What more can I ask for? He's MY best-thing-since-sliced bread.