My husband is such a blessing to me. There are so many things I admire about him, respect about him, cherish about him, adore about him, like about him, and also have learned to love about him. I’m definitely no expert, but in the 11 years we’ve been married, I can tell you this – when one can see marriage for the treasure that it is, blessings will follow. When one sees it through the eyes of what your spouse can do for you or how he/she should meet your needs – watch the walls be built brick by brick.
What are some of the “things” I love most about my husband? A friend once encouraged me to write a “Top 10” list, and it was a great exercise to go through. There are many things I love about Aaron – I love the way he makes me laugh, always have. I love the way he stops on his way past me, just to give me a kiss. I love the way he is intentional with each one of his children. I love the way he honors his parents. I love his integrity in the work place, and his commitment to do the best he can, honoring his promises. I love the way he allows me to serve him by picking up his socks he so lovingly placed on the floor next to the bed each morning 🙂 I love the way he pursues his walk with Lord. But most of all, I love him for who he is. Have I always thought these thoughts? Sadly no. Do we have a perfect marriage? Of course not. May I humbly share just a few tidbits the Lord has shown me along the way.
Stop me if you’ve heard this one, but I used to be an expert in motherhood (that is, until I became a mother), and in the same sense, I used to be an expert on marriage, that was until I said, “I do.” In my naive innocence, I really believed that marriage just got easier the longer you were married, after all, you already knew everything about each other, right? Wait, I’m still chuckling… I praise God for his ultimate plan and ultimate timing – knowing I’m on a need-to-know basis. One first thought has continued to ring true – marriage does grow (in depth and intensity), love does grow, patience goes grow, all because they get stretched, tested, and refined (yep, the yucky-pain stuff).
News flash – if I want my husband to know what I’m thinking – I have to tell him (radical, I know). And how I tell him shows my heart. If my heart has a deep concern, passion, and intensity for our relationship, the words drip with love. If my heart is angry, bitter, and bent on revenge, those same words with come from a heart set on just that – destruction. So what do I do with feelings of frustration, hurt, and anger? I know God has given them to me to use for the perseverance of truth, but the judgment needs to be left in His lap. Therefore, I must be responsible for my heart. How do I process? Well, these questions led me on a search. Amongst his Word, I was also led to several books – yep, I had (have) lots to learn.
Shaunti Fedlham has written a book called For Women Only, and within the pages, she records results of surveys and interviews taken with men. One light bulb statement mentioned that, “men would rather feel unloved than inadequate and disrespected”. Wow, different because my greatest need is to feel loved. What words, lack of words, or actions had I taken to tell/imply that Aaron is inadequate for my needs, or that I trusted my own opinions and decisions over his, leaving him feeling disrespected? Needless to say, we had some honest talks…
“…each one of you must love your wife as you love yourself, and a wife must respect her husband.” Ephesians 5:33
Martha Peace has written a bible entitled, The Excellent Wife, that plainly, clearly and bodly points out God’s plan for a wife through Biblical context. Wow. This is a must in your library (or one to borrow).
Thirdly, the Lord has led to be back around to what I should be doing first, one four-letter-little-word – pray. Stormie O’Martin has written a book entitled The Power of a Praying Wife. There are several short chapters within that lay out different topics to pray over your husband, including a prayer already dictated for the reader – powerful. I actually picked it up again, not too long ago, and reread the chapter my bookmark last indicated. It was months ago, but I’m seeing those praying answered right before my eyes, almost forgetting that I had even prayed for them. By pouring my heart out to God, leaving (and trusting) my concerns with my Lord, not one nagging, berating, or belittling word was uttered. God can change hearts. I can trust that because He tells me that his plans for me are good (Jeremiah 29:13)
“The king’s heart (my “king”, AAron), is in the hand of the Lord; he directs it like a watercourse wherever he pleases.” Proverbs 21:1
So what have I attempted to practice after studying? I run (of course). But this time, I run to Him. First and foremost I pour out my heart (the good, the bad, and the ugly) to Him – not “h”im. With a heart intent on communicating in love, I release and process my thoughts to God so that I am free to hear and “see” His thoughts, trusting He knows the best plan. When we trust (by choosing), and allow the Lord to expose our “uglies”, we grow in character, and actually change into the person we all long to resemble whether we realize it or not – Jesus Christ.
Aaron, I love you, with all my heart, with all my soul, with all my mind. I am proud to be called Mrs. Conrad. Thank you Jesus for how you change hearts. May I be reminded to run to you everyday. May your name be praised for all credit is due you.