Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Gratitude for My Husband

Earlier today, I was thinking about how romantic my life was when I got engaged. Wow. What a great date that was. I was swept off my feet! We danced, he sang, we were adventurous on our scavenger hunt. I ordered whatever I wanted at the restaurant—it was extravagant. It was romantic.

It was not how life is anymore.

Now, I iron his shirts.

And I get excited when we actually clean the whole house in one weekend.

And a trip to Culver's for ice cream is the event of the week.

And then I was tempted to wish for more romance—to say to my husband "why don't we go out on romantic dates anymore?" (Which we still do sometimes, anyway.)

But then I remembered a beautiful post by Ann Voskamp (who speaks much more eloquently than I ever could). It's about "boring" husbands. And it's about how boring is so much more beautiful than chick flick romance.

So I wanted to remember why my husband is wonderful.

I'm a little hesitant to write this post because I don't want it to seem like I'm attempting to brag about how I have the best husband or something.

However, when I see women really appreciating and valuing their husbands instead of criticizing them, it inspires me to do the same. I want to be a wife who pays attention to the eighty percent instead of getting hung up on the twenty percent like I am so often tempted to do.
“A wife, if she is very generous, may allow that her husband lives up to perhaps eighty percent of her expectations. There is always the other twenty percent that she would like to change, and she may chip away at it for the whole of their married life without reducing it by very much. She may, on the other hand, simply decide to enjoy the eighty percent, and both of them will be happy.”
–Lars Gren, husband of Elisabeth Elliot
So, the list below is (certainly not exhaustively) about that eighty percent. These are my husband’s strengths. Your husband’s strengths are probably different. My hubby looks wonderful to me, but please don’t read this list and lament that your husband struggles where mine doesn’t. Think about your own marriage and how your husband is a blessing. I encourage you to make your own list.... and consider the heart behind these words I recently read on a blog: "Be his lover, not his mother!" I think that starts with gratitude.

20 Reasons I'm Grateful for My Husband
  1. He loves God more than he loves me. 
  2. Because of that, he isn't afraid to tell me when I've been sinful, unreasonable, or hypocritical. But he almost always does so gently, in a way that leads me to think, repent, and trust that God will keep working in me... he does not speak in a way that makes me tell myself that I am a failure and should not be such a bad sinner.
  3. When he has time, he washes the dirty dishes before I wake up in the morning.
  4. He eats the food I cook. And he thanks me for making it.
  5. He's super-adorable with our baby girl.
  6. He's not too proud to change a diaper, and is still willing to do so despite the fact that I almost always complain about how he did it.
  7. He goes to work every day to provide financially for our family so that I can be at home.
  8. He owns his mistakes.
  9. He is faithful. I have no fear that he will be unfaithful.
  10. He is still there! He doesn't go away, even when I'm being unreasonable, critical, super-emotional, or otherwise ridiculous.
  11. He took me to get flowers to plant in the garden for Mother's Day.
  12. He loves people equally—a trait I can learn from. He's genuinely interested in people and how they are doing.
  13. He tells me he loves me every morning and every night.
  14. He is my friend. We like to hang out. We enjoy our conversations. Like the one we recently had about eschatology, Israel, and Isaac & Ishmael. 
  15. He teaches his students. He also teaches me. Gently, lovingly. Just like he always did even before we were married and he taught me how to do my taxes and how to play ultimate frisbee and tennis.
  16. He balances me out: He has a different perspective that makes me think. He's a big picture guy, I'm a detail girl. Together, we make a great pair. He casts a vision, and I can figure out how to make the vision happen. 
  17. I love the vision he has for how to raise and discipline our child(ren).
  18. He's snuggly.
  19. He deals with the mice. The ones that were in our apartment. He's willing to take care of those things so I don't have to.
  20. Let's face it, he's pretty handsome ;)

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