I waited a long time to find the perfect husband for me. I went through broken engagements, saying “no” to a man I was unequally yoked with, and a relationship or two that ended in ways I never saw coming.
So naturally, God would honor those years of faithfulness and waiting with THE man I was supposed to spend the rest of my life with.
I wanted to find the perfect husband. Didn’t you?
When Guy came along, I had taken a year off of dating to get my feet back on the ground and clear my head.
I was ready.
But then that first year of marriage came and hit us like a ton of bricks.
And as you know from my post, “I Married Mr. Wrong, But It’s Alright”, I discovered that he had married Ms. All Wrong. I suddenly didn’t have the whole wife thing down as well as I imagined I would. I was a big disappointment to myself as much as I was let down by my husband.
As women, we can dig in our high heels. Grin and bear it. Feel trapped. We can wake up hopeful that today will be the day that our husbands meet our needs and morph into that Prince Charming-and then become discouraged when he is simply, himself.
Or we can find what we have had all along.
You see, I thought my ideal man was one who is full of romance. Brings me flowers and knows my shoe size. He brushes by me with a tender nudge when we pass in the hallway and with all sincerity catches me off guard with his daily compliments. He orders for me from the menu at restaurants and treats me like a lady. He makes me feel like a million bucks and provides a million bucks too. Tender when I’m down, and strong when I’m weak, his intuition of my heart and emotions is always right on.
And there were times when I was so disappointed that this was not the kind of man I married, that I was deeply discouraged. Which in turn, led to resignation.
What fun that must have been for my husband, to live with a resigned woman.
Those days of resignation were better than the times I just got fed up and decided to punish him for not being what I wanted him to be. Sometimes I was passive, other times I just nagged, and I shudder to think of the days I spent being downright mean. Not to mention bitter.
I knew that these attitudes, even if I entertained them for a very brief time, were from the enemy of our souls and hearts and he was doing a good job wrecking mine.
There came a crossroads in my heart, I got a hold of myself, and I began to pray. I did a lot of self-examination. And I prayed some more. And then some more.
I asked God to..open…my…eyes. Blaming my husband or even God, was not working. I knew it was all about my own sinfulness.
I pleaded, “Open my eyes, Lord, to the man I have before me. Help me to see who he really is, not who I think he is not.”
One afternoon, I was watching an episode of House Hunters (God works in mysterious ways!) when it hit me.
A couple was browsing through houses with a realtor, trying to choose a new home. The wife wanted a nice open backyard. The husband wanted a big deck. And we all knew that he was going to get it. The way he spoke to his wife was embarrassing, and strong-willed, and harsh. I said to myself, “Guy would never do that to me-he would always want me to have what I wanted before himself.”
The light bulb went on. (Also known as the Holy Spirit.)
I had forgotten to see all the amazing qualities of the husband I already had because I was so busy noticing all the ways that in my selfishness, he fell short.
So I started taking notes on all the ways my husband is “the perfect husband” for me and I began to put in black and white.
It looked something like this:
He is kind towards strangers.
He is generous and the first to suggest helping someone in need.
He lets me pick the movie when we go out to the theatre.
He makes me coffee every morning.
He loves the Lord.
He does the dishes for me.
He jumps right in to change diapers.
He rarely complains about anything.
He never despairs, even when other men would have broken under the same set of circumstances.
He doesn’t measure his manhood by a job loss.
He loves me.
He desires to honor God.
He prays for me.
He prays for our sons.
He goes to church with me every weekend.
He encourages me to go to my women’s life group and watches the kids for me.
He is the most wonderfully involved father I have ever seen.
He is loved by everyone he has ever worked for or with.
He knows how to hold his temper and make good decisions out of self-control.
He massages my feet for me when they hurt.
He helps me unload the groceries.
He rocks our baby to sleep and gets up in the night to resettle the boys after nightmares.
He exudes a gentle strength.
He is there for me when I need him.
When he is not sure about how to help me, he still tries.
He has a beautiful smile.
He makes me feel safe.
He follows his dreams.
He makes great pizza.
He holds my hand when we are out and about.
He loves to surprise me.
He has integrity.
He is above reproach.
The list could go on and on. He sounds pretty amazing to me when I look at it like that.
The perfect husband. And that’s because, after all-he is.
I don’t need to try and find the perfect husband. I already have him. I just didn’t always see it.
I’m betting that you do too. He’s probably in the other room, being all kinds of wonderful that you have forgotten to notice.
And I have to ask you, sister. Is there something your husband said or did that he has tried to make right? Are you still punishing him?
How long are you going to do that? How long are you going to keep punishing him? How about gracing him?
Just grace him. It’s time. All you are doing is punishing yourself too.
No matter what the state of your current marriage, all of us could do a whole lot of good by being purposeful to appreciate our spouses more often. Do it out of a humble heart that simply wants to love without any ulterior motives. And maybe even tell them what it is about them that you value so much.
The perfect husband may not be hard to find after all. If only you too, will notice him.
YOUR TURN: How about you? Are you spending more time focusing on your husband or wife’s “failures” to meet your needs than cherishing and affirming their strengths? Start today, here. What’s one wonderful quality that you appreciate in your spouse?
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. I Thessalonians 5:11
"If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. Luke 6:32
You were cleansed from your sins when you obeyed the truth, so now you must show sincere love to each other as brothers and sisters. Love each other deeply with all your heart. I Peter 1:22
At that point Peter got up the nerve to ask, “Master, how many times do I forgive a brother or sister who hurts me? Seven?”
Jesus replied, “Seven! Hardly. Try seventy times seven. Matthew 18:21-22 The Message
Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you. 2 Corinthians 13:11
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