Every day my husband goes down to a storage room filled with, well…stuff we are storing. That and weight equipment. He sits at a table with all his little tools and his wax and creates…beautiful, stunning, intricate pieces of jewelry for all kinds of occasions. Weddings, anniversaries, Christmas, Valentine’s Day. He creates pieces that help people remember defining moments in their lives. He gives them something tangible to remember what’s really important.
He’s started doing this when he was 15, so needless to say, after 40 years, he is a skilled craftsman. Do you know what’s funny though? He doesn’t see himself that way. He loves what he does, and he’s thankful for that and for the fact that it has been the means to support a family of 10(on one income) for many years. I have to be the one to remind him how talented he is.
Do you want to know something? He gets tired. Tired of providing. He feels guilty for that sometimes, but who can blame him? I know as a mom, I sometimes weary of giving relationally. I just never really thought about him feeling that way.
Our husbands are the men of the house. We see them as the decision-makers and the ones who are stronger than us and, in most cases, that is true. But they are also human and the amount of stamina it takes to be the leader of the home has to be both exhausting, and maybe sometimes intimidating.
I think back to all the years, literally thousands of days, Darryl has gone to his workbench and carefully created each piece of jewelry to pay the electric bill, insurance, buy groceries and so much more. I think about how faithful he has been and how much perseverance that takes. We went through hard times financially. That was very hard on him.
The truth is that my husband is a visionary. He could be chasing all kinds of crazy notions because he has a lot of them. But if it wasn’t for his vision, we wouldn’t be where we are today. It’s a good place, but somehow, as a visionary, he still has more ideas. He always will.
When we were first married, he scared me. I really thought he was going to do everything he talked about. Then I realized that a lot of it was therapy and most of it he wouldn’t actually do and it helped me embrace more of who he is.
Your husband may be like mine, or very different. What I am hoping for is that you will take a few moments to stop and think about your husband’s strengths and the ways that he blesses you and has blessed you over the years.
I look at my wedding ring and think about how he carefully chose the design that he thought I would love the most and how nervous he was to find out whether or not I liked it. That’s why I will never change the design…it’s sentimental. Our men were unsure of themselves, young and in love. They still are unsure sometimes. As wives have the privilege of being the most encouraging person in their lives. We can and should be their biggest fans.
Sometimes I lay in bed and remember back to the days when we were first so in love, full of dreams and hope. Many of those dreams came true, but life has also been messy. We have walked it together and God has used those times to draw us to Him and to each other.
I also lay there in bed and wonder how long I will get to wake up next to him? I listen to him breathe and touch his warm shoulder. Who will be the first to go? You start to have these thoughts when you’re in your late forties and your husband is 55. No, I don’t think it will be soon, but judging from how quickly the years have flown by already, it could be here sooner than I realize. So I feel the need to face that fact, if only for a few minutes and I know I cannot understand the full impact that it would have. I just know that it would feel like someone had cut off half of me and it had vanished.
Darryl and me with 2 of our 6 grandkids
So take a look at your wedding ring. Think about your marriage and ponder ways to breathe new life into it. Tell your husband, OFTEN, maybe in a letter, how much you appreciate him and respect him. Thank him for the little things and the big things. Let him know you love him in ways that are meaningful to him. Surprise him with a big, wet kiss when he least expects it! I see many couples who live like business partners, or less. Our marriages were meant to be a blessing…all the way to the end. We don’t have to settle for anything less than ending well.
So take some time to slow yourself and slow your heart and just BE with your man. Because it’s not the extravagant that matters. It’s the everyday marriage that will stand the test of time.
(Durenda has written a simple, mercifully short book on homeschooling based on her 24+ years of homeschooling her eight children. Check The Unhurried Homeschooler out on Amazon!)