Monday, March 11, 2013

My Man

I have written quite a bit lately about marriage, as it is a topic that is close to my heart and so very important for Christian husbands and wives to hear about. Many times I write from my own experiences, in the hope that they will give my readers a way to connect to my writing, and maybe even spare them from making similar mistakes.  But maybe in doing so, I have painted a picture of my husband or my marriage that is less than favorable.  So, the purpose of today's post is to set that straight.

First, let me tell you what kind of man I am married to.   My husband is not perfect.  Big surprise, right?  But he is GOOD.  My husband works hard with the talents God gave him to earn a living and support our family.  Scott not only does what he does (which is teach middle and high school music) because it earns a paycheck, but also because he sees that he is investing in these kids and planting seeds of Godly influence in each one.  He has encouraged me to stay home with the kids while they are little instead of putting them in daycare and finding a job myself, because he sees my investment in them as far more important than the financial advantages that we would have if I worked.  (And moms, if you work, please don't see this as a judgement on your choice!  This is definitely a personal choice for each one of us, and I in no way think I'm a better mom than you because you chose to work outside the home!)  He also knows that by staying home, I have more opportunity to pursue my passion of studying and writing, which he continually encourages me to do.

My husband also uses his gifts to honor God, which makes me so proud.  With all of the evening obligations that go along with his job, he could easily claim that he is too busy to make it to meetings or rehearsals or to plan worship times.  But he doesn't.  Instead, he willingly gives of his time, his experience, and his gifts.  He leads worship on Sunday mornings with thoughtfulness, with sensitivity to God's Spirit, and with amazing skill.  And while  I've never been there to witness it myself (for obvious reasons), I know that he serves at Men's Encounter with humility and compassion, and I have heard from other men that when Scott teaches at Encounter, he does a fantastic job.  I am extremely proud of the God-honoring work that my husband does,

But let me also tell you about what my husband is like at home.  Last week, I hosted a group of ladies for a Bible study, and the women were at our house for over three hours.  Not only did Scott put all the kids to bed on his own without grumbling, not once has he complained about being ousted from the ground floor of our house for three hours!  He does dishes without me asking, he cooked dinner last week while I played outside with the kids, he voluntarily does laundry for me... I have gotten so used to these kind of things that I forget that other husbands are so often accused of never helping around the house.  And I find myself grumbling about the trash being full or his clothes not being put away.  So maybe today's post is as much for my own benefit as anything.

I've been telling you all about the things that my husband DOES, but what I'm trying to tell you is the kind of man that he IS.  My husband is a man of integrity and a man who is doing his best to live an authentic, Spirit-led life.  He is compassionate, generous and hard-working.  I know that he loves me, even when we have hard times, and I know that he loves our kids.  No, he's not perfect, and he never will be, but gives his best each and every day and trusts God to make up the difference.

I'm really not good at being all mushy and lovey when it comes to my husband, and I confess, I'm terrible at verbally building him up.  I find it much easier to focus on his weaknesses than his strengths.   Do you find yourself in that same boat with your husband?  If so, I challenge you to do the same thing that I just did for my husband: take a few minutes to purposefully focus on his strengths.  Write them down, maybe in letter-form, and let your husband read what you've written.  Keep a copy for yourself to read when you're frustrated or angry with him.  Philippians 4:8 tells us "whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things," and I think we are not wrong to apply that to our marriage relationships.  I plan to come back to this post often (and maybe even add to it) to help me remember how good of a man I am married to.  I hope it will open my eyes to the many other ways that God has blessed me through this man.  And I hope that Scott will read this and know how incredibly much I love him.

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