"Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her" Ephesians 5:25
There are just some days where I really feel beyond blessed in my marriage. Particularly, when I hear other women complaining about their husbands. We've all been involved in those conversations, the husband who isn't very helpful around the house, the husband who sits in front of the tv all day long, with nary a glance for the zoo going on around him. I'm very blessed to not have that at all. My husband will just glance at the messy living room and decide to pick it up, without thinking that I should have done that already, or that I should have been more forceful in getting the kids to do it. He just does it, because he knows what a crazy busy life I have, and he wants to help out. I love that. Not so much that he'll help with the housework or spend a few hours with Zander so I can get something done, but because he looks around, sees that maybe a little help would be welcome and simply does it, without complaining about it.
I think that part of the reason he does that is because he's giving a part of himself up for me and for the kids- according to the verse above. It would be very easy for him to come home from work and sit at the computer, or head for his work space and spend it building something. Instead, he sets aside those selfish desires and gives me a hand, and you know what? It comes back to him. Because, then, at the end of the day, when the kids have been tucked in bed I can relax. I don't have to keep working to get something done, and we can sit and watch something on tv together, or discuss something we've read recently in the Bible or in a book. Had my husband not helped out at all, that time that we have to spend together might not have happened.
And even better, both my kids see this example in a man. Abigail sees the kind of man she wants for a husband someday, and Zander sees the man he should grow up to be. The line of mom duties and dad duties are hazy in our household. Sometimes Daddy is responsible for getting dinner in the oven and on the table, and that really helps Mommy out, and they both see that. Sometimes Mommy has to go out and shovel the driveway without waiting for Daddy to do it, and they both see that too. Most importantly, I think they see that we operate as a team, as partners, not as two individuals who sometimes have common meeting points. Something that the kids stopped doing, because it didn't get them anywhere, was playing Andy and I against each other. They know that when they ask me something, I'm going to ask if they've already checked with Daddy.
I guess this morning as I wake up and see Andy already busy doing this and that I just feel incredibly blessed. I know I am blessed as I hear from other women all the time, and they ask for advice about how to get their husband to help more... I certainly don't have any magic answer, but I can say that communication is a huge help for us. And prayer. How often do you actually spend time praying for your husband or wife?
"For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh." 32This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband." Ephesians 5:31-33
One thing that I have learned is that respect is not something that can be taken or simply expected. That respect is something that is earned. I am not going to respect my husband if he comes home from work and sits in front of the tv all day. I am also not going to respect my husband if he has a few days off from work and spends the entire time at the computer or sitting with the video games. My husband earns the respect I have for him by being an active part of the family. We have a fantastic partnership with mutual respect for each other, and for that I know I am incredibly blessed and thankful.