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Saturday, January 21, 2012

Honoring My Husband

Sounds so offensive, doesn't it?

How dare I even think about doing something so archaic, so, so...Biblical?  Good job, Lisa.  You and women like you are setting back the Women's Movement buy centuries there...

Honestly...if that's what you think...GIVE ME A BREAK.

Sure, some women are doormats.  Sure, some men are oppressive beasts.  But let me tell you something, when I say I want to honor my husband, I mean it.  And when I'm doing it...when I'm truly loving him according to God's plan (which, OK, isn't as often as it should be), things are awesome.  I feel awesome.  And it doesn't matter if I'm not getting my way, or if life is playing out just like I planned.  Everything is still awesome.

It's a funny sort of thing, how I came to write this blog entry.  I was doing Bible study with my girls one morning a couple weeks ago.  We do one verse from Proverbs a day.  We were on Proverbs 16:8.

Better is a little with righteousness
than great revenues with injustice. 

How on Earth did I get from that to honoring my husband you ask?  Well, let's take a little journey into my thought processes for a moment, shall we?  (Don't be scared...we aren't going in that won't be permanently damaged...)

After Jonah reads the daily verse, we discuss it's meaning.  So I began by asking them, "would you rather have a little house with not many toys, or would you rather steal a bunch of money and have a really big, nice house with a whole bunch of stuff?"  Being well trained little robots, they told me what I wanted to hear.  *sigh* I mean, they pondered the question and gave a truly thoughtful answer of "the little house."

So we went on to talk about how hard we should work and focus on how we can serve the Lord, not on what we can get.  And we should find joy in the blessings we are given, not look at what we don't have.

After our discussion, the middles are to draw a picture of how they can apply the day's verse, while Jonah and I write a prayer in our journals.  This is how it usually plays out:

Me: Ok, Jorja, what are you going to draw?
Jorja: Well...I think I'm going to draw myself in a really pretty dress, and I'm a princess and....
Me: How does that apply to the verse, Jorja?
Jorja: I'm going to write the word "GOD" right here.
Me: How about you just draw a picture of yourself doing your chores and not complaining?
Jorja: Ok, but I'm going to be wearing a pretty dress...
Me: Josie, can you draw a picture of yourself doing chores?
Josie: I'm already drawing a mermaid.
Me: A mermaid has nothing to do with the verse.
Josie: (sighs loudly) Fine.  I'll draw myself as a mermaid doing my chores.
Me: (sighing loudly) How about if you draw Daddy working hard for our family.  He always works hard so we can have everything we do.  
And then we have "silent time."  Silent time is the time where I try to write my prayer while shushing the girls 900 times and I'm usually lucky if I get to focus at all.

But this morning...I started thinking.  "He always works hard so we can have everything we do."  And enter conviction.  I suddenly realized just how little I honored my husband when I complained that the wood trim was ugly.  Just how little I appreciate the long hours when I get angry that our carpet is worn out and how I moan that our countertops are not granite.  Or that the blinds are broken, or that the master bath still has not been caulked.

Don't get me wrong...I'm not saying I don't contribute.  I do.  I try and stretch our dollars and I try to stay in budget and make our home comfortable and nice.  But I don't deal with unrealistic expectations from clients (of course, after being married to me, he should be an expert in that field).  I don't try to manage employees (sure, I manage children...but let's face it, he can't put an employee in time out!)  And I certainly don't have to leave my family before most are awake in the morning and sometimes not come home until my babies are asleep.

The weight of what I do have became very great.  As did the weight of the sacrifice of my husband for us.

So this was the short prayer I wrote after I had my little 'aha' moment.

Thank you for our incredible blessings.  Thank you for my husband who works so hard for us.  Please help me to honor him by being joyful and content with the blessings you have given our family through him.  Help me to instill this trait in my daughters, so that one day they may honor their husbands in that way.
I have a long way to go to really live this out.  And yes, since this prayer was written, we have been very blessed to start doing some repairs and upgrades in our home, but I have not forgotten how much of an impact that morning had on me.