I read two great posts today about loving and respecting your husband, one by Southern Housewife and another by Homemaker's Cottage. I highly recommend both posts.
I am not nearly as articulate as either of these ladies, and I don't have the time or the mental energy right now to organize a proper series (or heck, even a proper post!) on the ins and outs of loving and respecting your husband (although I would love to in the future and hope I can). BUT- I was just so impressed with these ladies, and am so in a period of loving my husband, and growing in my trust and respect for him, that I wanted to share a few thoughts, no matter how random or imperfect or inarticulate they might be.
First I'd like to say, that respecting, trusting, and submitting to your husband is not easy, because it's not in our fleshy nature to do. That old adage about weight loss applies here: "it's simple, but it ain't easy." Everything in my nasty old flesh wants to run the show, be in control, have my say, have my own needs met first, be demanding, you name it. And it is ONLY the work of the Holy Spirit in me, and the renewing of my mind through scripture, and the encouragement of Godly women who are living it out, and seeing the fruit that comes from doing it God's way, that has been able to change any of these nasty desires in me. Praise be to Jesus, honey!
Without divulging too much information, let me say that I believe that an outsider looking in might have termed my marriage, at different points along the journey, as a "difficult one". I'll leave it at that becuase I'm big on protecting the privacy and guarding the honor of my husband and my marriage, but the point is that my marriage, as I'm sure many of yours, has had it's ups and downs. There are a myriad of ways in which Caleb and I have failed eachothter over the years. And yet, I love my husband and believe I have a very strong, good marriage. And it's only the work of the Lord that has accomplished that, and I can say without an ounce of pride, and only boasting in the Lord, that my efforts at loving, respecting, trusting, and submitting to my husband have gone a long way in making our marriage not only better but good.
I'm definitely at the point in my walk with the Lord and trust in Him that I've pretty well got the whole honoring and submitting to my husband's leadership in action down. And if I do act foolishly or disrespectfully, I'm pretty quick to admit my mistake and apologize. BUT... the place I'm still needing a lot of growth in is the trust and respect and submission in the heart. Sure, I do what I know I should do, but that doesn't mean I want to, or like doing it one bit. And you know, sometimes that's just the way it's going to be. But I know that the Lord has been working in my heart to learn to let go of the need to control so much, let go of the need to run things, even if it's just in my own head, and learn to trust the way that He is going to provide for me through the leadership of my husband. I have experienced some great moments in the past little while of worry where I realized I needed to just relax, and let it go, and trust my husband's decisions or heart on something, and have only been blessed for doing so.
And I think that there is a great thing that happens, ladies, the more we seek to trust and respect our husbands. One, it shines through, it shows, and that only builds up their self-respect and makes them better husbands, fathers, workers, ministers, men. But also, when we let go of that control and learn to trust and respect, we are blessed all the more in having our eyes open to what great guys our husbands are in their own ways, and there are so many more moments were you are proud, or thankful, for who your husband is, and that just makes you all the more desirous of trusting and respecting.
I'll leave you with one example, and then I must get back to work (from my couch, thank the Lord!). Our first few years of marriage, I always looked after the taxes. I just did it, probably becuase I didn't want to bother Caleb with it, but also probably becuase I wanted to control it. I wanted to look after it. If I'm honest, maybe somewhere I thought caleb wasn't capable of doing it (not a conscious thought, but you know how that whole control/mistrust thing goes).
Then Caleb started his own business last year, and I was fretting over him getting the right tax software, and saying I was going to learn how to do it for him, and yada yada. Well... he just did it. And did mine in the process. And I was so pleasantly surprised and proud of him (why was I surprised? My husband is very capable... see, it's the whole control deal).
Then this year, just last night in fact, I was out here crocheting. Now, let me back it up and say that just a few minutes before this, Caleb and I were finishing up an episode of Sherlock Homles. It was 11:00pm and he said he wanted to watch another episode, but that he wanted to finish up the taxes first. Now, the control, have it my own way monster inside wanted to do a whiney, "well, but I want to watch another Sherlock and I have to go t bed soon so if we don't start it now it won't happen" or ask him if I could watch something else, or some other deal. But, instead, I said no, I'm going to crochet and wait for him. Just saying ok to him, and letting him not have to worry about hurring up to fit my schedule to watch another tv show, was just a way I knew I could bless him, and learn to just be patient and self-sacrificial, as small as it sounds. So, righ ton the heals of that conscious decision, I'm listening to caleb call the service number for the tax program he's using, and I can't tell you the way my heart was overflowing with pride in my husband. Caleb hates the phone. HATES it. He has always had a near-irrational dislike of talking on the phone with anyone but me. So anytyime he makes a phone call, I'm always a bit proud of him, but for something like this, as I sat there and listened to him take care of business, do the tedious tax thing for his business and for our personal stuff, I was just beaming. I was smiling until my face hurt. I know it probably sounds so silly to someone looking in, but that's almost my point: when you pray and ask God to help you cultivate trust and respect, you just have these great special moments where you get to totally dig your man. And be thankful that God gave him to you, warts and all.
OK... if you actually read to the end of this post, you ought to win something. I guess it was long-winded because I'm just loving my man. And that's not because he's some idealized hollywood version of what a man "ought" to be. He hasn't given me any romantic soliloques today, or helped around the house, or even said sorry when maybe he sould have. Heck, just earlier I was ticked with him. But I love Caleb becuase Christ first loved me, and because when you work at loving someone, they become more lovable. Plus, he's just a cutie and sweetie, and he calls me bunny so what else could a gal ask for? :)
Go love, respect, honor, and make passionate love to your man tonight, ladies. :)