This is a post I wrote a year or so ago. We celebrated Valentine’s Day on the 14th of this month. It made me think of this post, and what our expectations are of days such as Valentine’s Day and our engagement, and the day we wed our prince.
It may start out with Cinderella. A little girl wants to wear the frilly, flowing gown and the sparkly, glass slippers. And, “Oh yeah, I need a Prince to go with that pretty dress!” The husband of her dreams is actually an accessory.
I moved on to the cottage perched daintily in a grassy meadow, pink flowers sprinkled here and there, a rose covered white picket fence guarding the little house. I would have lots and lots of children skipping through the meadow, laughing and playing together in utter enjoyment of one another’s company. I don’t know where they all slept in that tiny house, but dreams don’t make sense a lot of the time. A husband and father…he was around…somewhere.
As I grew older, I thought more about the kind of husband I actually wanted to be married to. Of course he would have to be handsome and love me immensely. Yes, I would love him and I still wanted the little cottage and a couple of children. They would still frolic in the meadow, loving one another and never arguing. I don’t know why I thought this, I grew up the oldest of four. But again, dreams seldom make sense.
Thankfully, by the time I was old enough to marry I was thinking more about the attributes of a husband. I wanted him to be patient and kind, hard-working and willing to support a family. (Remember, I was down to two children by this time, not a tough job.) I wanted him to love the Lord as I did and live his life for Him. Of course I still hoped he would be handsome and funny and love me forever. I still wanted the rose-covered picket fence and adorable house.
And what kind of wife was I going to be? I knew I could cook and clean and again, I was the oldest of four and had babysat…a lot before I married. I could do all the everyday tasks of general survival and I was and am still pretty good at them. But what kind of wife am I?
Do I lift my husband up in prayer each day? Do I support him in his endeavors as he always has mine? Do I give him a smile even when I don’t wish to, a stroke of his back when I know he’s down? Do I prepare a special meal for him just because he means so much to me and I want to show him I care…even when my day has been lousy? Do I love him and stick with him even when there are times when I want to run from all the responsibilities of being a wife and mother?
Honestly…I can answer ‘no’ to each question above.
The wife I want to be when I grow up…is no longer a dream. I can make it my reality, my life. Not through my own strength, but God is there, showing me the way. The wife I want to be is loving and kind. Giving that pat and smile even when I don’t ‘feel’ like it. Being by my husband’s side even when I want to run. There is no honor or beauty in ‘having our own way’ or expressing our ‘rights’.
I am fortunate and blessed. My husband shows me daily how to be loving and kind. He always has been there for me, even when I haven’t deserved it or earned it. No, it’s not a special day for us…not an anniversary of any kind. But it is another day we have to be together and share our lives. God has blessed us abundantly over the past 32 years. And He is still working on me to become the wife I want to be when I grow up.
I pray the same for you.