I’ve been listening to Life Leadership’s marriage series in my car over the past week or so. It is kind of amazing how many things I already knew but wasn’t actually applying to my marriage that now are in the forefront of my mind when I interact with Jason. So much of it is just little choices to be selfless and forgiving when I would rather not, which is true in all relationships, but being married brings out all the crap in my heart that I could ignore before. He is just there. ALL. THE. TIME.
So in the CD I was listening to today they were talking about how in the Bible husbands are commanded to love their wives and wives are commanded to respect their husbands. Other versions use the words revere or honor, which is interesting.. to me those words sound even weightier than respect. A light bulb went off for me when they explained that to my husband, the way that I feel when he lets me know that he loves me despite my shortcomings is the way that he feels when I let him know that I respect him despite his flaws.
All my life I’ve been preparing to be the best wife possible. I don’t have huge career goals or specific plans necessarily, but the area of my life that I most want to excel is in the role of his helpmeet. Therefore, as one who is coming up on three months of marriage, I am yet a baby respector. My honoring is still being honed and my reverence of his husbandliness has cracks in it, but I am determined to perfect this.
Before dinner tonight I tried an experiment; I told him how great of a husband he was; that I was so grateful for how kindly he treats me and that he takes care of things and leads our little family. All of those things are true but I don’t know that I’ve really voiced them before that directly. His entire demeanor got softer and he responded to me with such love and gentleness after that and I realized that love and respect really go hand in hand. When I respect him it frees him up to love me which makes it easier to respect him.
So in an attempt to be a better honorer.. let me brag about the man I married a little bit.
- He always has an open hand, wallet, house and car for people who need it.
- He works with young men who have mental disabilities and watching him with them makes me so proud that I want to cry.
- He makes friends easily with people of all ages, religion and walks of life.
- He uses his God-given leadership ability to inspire people to be better, to have integrity and be courageous.
- He accepts people where they are and loves them without asking them to change.
- He doesn’t succumb to someone else’s idea of how he should act or what he should do.
- He appreciates and encourages my input but does not let me run our marriage.
There are tons of other things, but these were the first that came to mind. I’m going to keep developing the art of reverence for my husband, and while I don’t want to becomes someone who can’t shut up about her marriage, God is teaching me so much through it that I can’t help but find my blog centralizing where my life and heart are right now.
This isn’t to say that everything is perfect, that we never fight, that his words don’t hurt me and that some nights don’t end up glaring at each other while poor Zach tries to pretend like he can’t tell that there is tension in the house. But I can curb my hurtful words and he can control his desire to walk away and we can choose love instead of selfishness.
And I believe that my biggest job right now is to make that choice the easiest thing for him to do by choosing it first.