We were driving home from D.C. a few weeks ago, and I said something in passing to Casey that I appreciated about him. It wasn't anything earth shattering or amazing...just a little something small and seemingly insignificant.
I didn't even know the girls were paying attention to our conversation when, all of a sudden, Ellie says, "Mom, what other appreciations do you have for Daddy? You don't give him appreciations that much."
The worst part about it? She was right.
We fly through life, day in and day out. Casey and I both like to get things done...we like efficiency, productivity, and we genuinely enjoy working at whatever is in front of us at the time...but that doesn't leave a lot of room for noticing the small things and expressing gratitude.
It's not that it's not there...it's just that it doesn't come out enough. (Obviously...my eight year old is noticing it!)
What happened next was probably a good forty-five minutes to an hour of the four of us sharing "appreciations" with each other. I loved seeing the smiles on our daughters' faces as they heard us give our "appreciations" to each other. You could see how our love and hearts for each other were filling their own hearts. Then they wanted in on the action and had their own "appreciations" to share with us and each other.
Ladies, could we slow down enough to find some "appreciations" for the man we share our life with?
With Father's Day quickly approaching, maybe we should be asking ourselves what we see, and more importantly what God sees, in the heart of the man we're married to.
Let's see if you can relate...
Husband comes home from work and begins to talk about his day. You listen, somewhat empathetically, while internally you are rolling your eyes and thinking about the challenges your day held.
Or maybe, your wife starts going on and on about all she's had to deal with and get done that day, and all you're thinking is, "Seriously? You've got nothing on me."
One day, I walked in the door and Casey had just cleaned up the kitchen - even swept the floor. He was pleased with himself...I could tell by the goofy grin he was wearing.
Being the awesome wife that I am...I said nothing. (I know, I know...I'm horrible.) A few minutes pass and he says, "What? No 'thank you' for sweeping the floor?"
To which I replied, "Do you know how many times a week I sweep this floor without a 'thank you' or anyone even noticing?!" (Yes, I did. It was a real proud moment.)
Incase you were wondering...being slapped in the face with your own selfish nature and immaturity doesn't feel great. Can you relate?
So, what do we do?
As I sit here contemplating what it looks like to "love your husband" all I can really think about are all the times and ways I have not shown mine the kind of love the Word of God encourages a wife to give her husband. So, yeah...there's that.
Like the times he walks in the door and I'm busy with the kids or with something around the house and he gets a quick, "Oh, hey...glad your home...can you take the trash out?"
Or the times he's gone out of his way to bless and serve me in some way and it barely gets even a nod of appreciation.
Or what about the days that are challenging for him, and he does something hard? There are days he could use a boost...a little encouragement to keep going...a little cheering on, but his cheerleader is nowhere to be found. I'm too busy, caught up in my own world, to meet him where he is.
So, what does a real, true, deep down, knock-him-off-his-feet kind of love look like, and what's getting in the way of giving that?
How can we show our husbands the kind of love they were designed to need?
We often say, "All my needs are met in Christ, but my husband/wife could certainly help!" That's part of the beauty in God's design and purpose for marriage.
My husband...your husband...was designed, by God, to need a specific kind of love and you were put in his life to give it.
In Titus 2 it says, "then they can train the younger women to love their husbands..." This is a specific instruction to wives, and the word used here for "love" is philandros. Paul uses a word that comes from the root of "phileo" to describe the love of a wife to her husband.