Today my post is not about motherhood or anything kid-related. Instead it’s about my husband and cherishing our spouse.
This week has not been a week of happy stories. On Monday, I heard first-hand the stories of two women who are victims of domestic violence. Then came the not-happy-news of a serious medical condition of someone we love dearly. And yesterday brought the news of a friend whose husband, after many many years of marriage, has stated their marriage is not going to work out.
My heart has hurt the last few days from these sad stories. Especially when I think of my husband, the wonderful loving man he is, and how I have not communicated my gratitude for him enough.
If you are like me, when you made your wedding vows, you were still in the happily-ever-after mindset. Then real life hits and the honeymoon is over. The two of you are living under one roof with bills to pay, are finding out each other’s annoying quirks, and other hardships slowly come your way.
Then comes kids! Your life as a mom has completely transformed from being that energetic, giggly love-sick girl with a twinkle in her eye to an over-committed, sleep-deprived mom trying to juggle the kids, the house, the hubby, and who just might scream if the kids don’t stop fighting or if the middle child asks “Why?” one more time. (Please tell me that’s not just me.)
In my post “Finding Balance: a juggling act”, I talked about the importance of prioritizing our spouse. Yet, today, what I want to say goes deeper than that. I want us to really make an effort to show and tell our husbands that he is our #1 earthly priority.
Back in those early love-struck days, it was easy to tell Brad all of his wonderful qualities. It was just us and I concentrated on him more. Even today he still has all the same qualities that made me fall in love with him (and more), but he rarely hears them. Now those moments of whispering sweet nothings sound more like…
“Can you fix the internet… again? And see why there is water running from underneath the washing machine.”
“Your kid did _____________.” (Insert misbehavior here. Note that the child must have picked up the bad behavior trait from your spouse, right?)
“Thanks for feeding the boys!” (But said in a sarcastic tone that really means “FINALLY… one meal I don’t have to make!?!)
After child #2, Brad shared with me that he felt that I put the boys first. While part of me had the “you’re a big boy, you can take care of yourself” attitude, I knew he was right. And it made me feel terrible. (Yes, babe… I’m admitting you were right in front of all my readers! XOXO) I’m sure I tried to deny it and justify it. But in the end I realized it was the lifelong commitment to love, honor, and cherish each other that Brad and I made years ago that made us a family.
So today as I’m thinking of broken homes and the “in sickness and health” part of our marriage vows, I just want to encourage you all to take a few minutes and express your gratitude for your husband today. The most sentimental way to share with your hubby is face-to-face. However, if I tried to tell him this on our date last night, I would have been sobbing at the table. Make sure you are somewhere you are comfortable talking. If you’re not good with this kind of face-to-face ooey-gooey communication, or if you’re struggling in your marriage and this is uncomfortable for you right now, get creative on how to share your appreciation for him. Leave him a note in his lunchbox, write him a series of little post-it notes around the house saying “I love you because __________” and “I appreciate when you __________”. Sometimes writing it down is actually a good thing so that he can reread it whenever he needs a pick up or an encouraging word. Just TELL HIM just how thankful you are for him. He probably needs to hear it more than he will admit.
And for my own wonderful husband, this is for you…
Brad, thank you for being such a strong man of character and faith. I appreciate you more than I show and more than I tell you. You have such a loving and sincere nature. You speak with truth, you are slow to anger, and you are quick to forgive. And that means so very much to me. You always support me when I need help or a boost of confidence. You calm me, you talk through things with me, you comfort me. You are so very very patient with me… even when I don’t show that same reverence. You always know what I need and how to love me and I am so grateful for that.
Your love for our boys makes me melt. You are so patient and kind to them. Your voice just exudes love when you speak to them. I love that they have a whole list of fun things they can’t wait to tell you about when you walk through the door. I love that they want you to teach them how things work. I think it’s adorable that they follow you around in the backyard wanting to help you.
I am very thankful that you willingly give me some “me time” and a break from the boys some days. I appreciate when you clean the floors and toilets before company comes over or wash dirty dishes or fold the laundry voluntarily. I even appreciate you doing the trash every week. You do so many “thank-less” tasks for me and our family. (It really does not go unnoticed though.) And I love that you work to keep our flame going by bringing me home flowers occasionally or secretly scheduling a date night for us.
I am so proud of how you show compassion and friendship to your co-workers and the employees that you lead every day. You are definitely an example of God’s love and grace to all those you are around.