Good husbands are vulnerable with their wives. Will she admire his masculinity, respect his beliefs, help him discover his gifts and help him succeed? Down deep he hopes she will choose to believe in him, but he will not demand admiration.
Who will care when the demands of work are overwhelming, when failure may be unavoidable, or when old age approaches? Will your husband go it alone, or will you also be there learning how to succeed or fail? Will you be there to say, “We’ve made each other,” as you grow old with him? Will you feel his burden, make it yours and lighten the impact? Will you have the courage to speak up when he may be on the precipice of a bad, really awful decision? Your feminine wisdom is the affirmation of your trust, your interest, and your comfort. You care enough to stay, to speak up, to share what marriage really means: two who have become one in the fullest sense.
When our marriage began to grow strong, right at about fifteen years, the old Dodge was still around. Route Fifty in Florida goes straight East and West. Living as far West as our City goes, and then driving straight East on Route Fifty to his workplace (into the sun), took my husband an hour and fifteen minutes every morning. He came home straight toward the western sun every evening. For ten years he commuted in that old car. The air conditioner never worked, the sun visor was long gone. He was hot and sweaty when he arrived home at night. Exactly how hot an old station wagon gets on a 95-degree day we never checked, but he was in need when he arrived home. His days were filled with high pressure and low praise.
I began to understand that I could do something about it. I should make coming home, a highlight for the day. I grieved for his suffering. Never did he complain; but his fair Swedish skin was always more red than normal on those hot days. I began to pour out my complaint to God about that car. Finally, we saved enough to buy a newer old car, one with air conditioning, electric windows, radio and tape deck.
Compassion will bring pain to the depths of your soul: you will feel the pain of your husband and of those around you. Allow it. The grieving, the brokenhearted, the poor, the sick, those who are afraid or lonely — and our husband’s sometimes silent pain — all happen. It is at this moment that we can do something very significant. If he will reach high and go far, it will be because you believe in him. Learn to believe in his designated place. Tell him so. Encourage him when he fails. Your house will be a place he wants to come home to because you are there; Ronnie Millsap sang, “…it’s her warm loving that keeps me returning again and again.”