I was enjoying afternoon tea with a friend yesterday and, among other things, we were chatting about how unfortunate it is when a woman thinks it’s constructive (not to mention enjoyable for others) to constantly criticize or complain about their husband. I realize I may be touching on a hot third rail here… to be fair, there are men who do the same toward their wives.
I don’t intend to preach on how to create or sustain a healthy marriage… that’s an entirely different blog and God knows I’m not perfect at it!! (There are some very helpful books on the subject, though, based on biblical principles.) I share this initial thought regarding disgruntled spouses only as a preface to also say how annoying it can be when someone constantly brags about what an awesome marriage he or she has. Well, I fall into the latter camp of annoying people!! I try not to gloat too often, but we are truly blessed… and we give all the praise to God.
Scott’s been in Las Vegas this entire week for a national meeting, and both of us can hardly wait for him to be back home tomorrow morning (he’s taking the red eye tonight so he can make it to our weekly ultrasound appointment in the morning and then pick up the kids from school). This is the first year that we haven’t gone to this meeting together. Over the years, whenever we were both traveling to the same meeting, it made the time away from home infinitely more tolerable. I’ve always sympathized with men who had to miss out on family time because their job brought them away from home. Husbands may not say anything, because they see it as their responsibility to provide and to just suck it up, but it’s not easy to be away.
I’ve often thought, to wives who haven’t had the same professions as their husbands, travel could seem quite glamorous… but believe me, it’s anything but. God has blessed Scott and me in that, as his wife, I know this from first-hand experience. Since I’ve been retired, and I hope for the years to come, I thank Scott anytime he has to leave our home for work. I thank him for being a wonderful husband, father and provider for our family… and I tell him we’ll miss him.
Scott and I were also blessed in our marriage through gaining a deeper perspective of each other through the adoption process. We’ve both said, after completing the At-Home Study questions, that every couple should do that together… even if they are conceiving a child traditionally. It removes any assumptions we might have about what is important to the other and replaces it with a genuine understanding.
When we became married, it was pretty clear that Scott’s three children were what were most important in the world to him. Because he loved them with all his heart and was so devoted to them, as we became one I fell in love with them too. It was easy and straightforward for me to do that, and my life is infinitely more wonderful with them in it.
Figuring out the purpose for my life as I became joined in marriage, however, was not as straightforward… even for me to try and do, let alone for Scott as my husband. I had been single and building a career that mattered to me because it helped me to understand how my sister had died and to feel like I was contributing to others who were experiencing the same. Once I started living with a purpose like that, I knew I had to continue to seek God’s will for my life. I also was able to do all that in my own head and heart, without figuring it out with another person. I’ve learned how important it is for a spouse to find and share the words that express what’s important to them so their partner can understand and be a part of it too.
After we were married, I could sense that the career was dwindling in terms of God’s will for my life. It didn’t fit anymore, living in Knoxville but never really being here. That phase of my life had achieved what it was supposed to… the understanding I was seeking and to carry me to the next stage of God’s plan for my life. I just didn’t know yet what to replace it with… and I was scared to let go of what was familiar, knowing the next leap was going to be a big one. This is when Scott and I grew deeper in our faith as individuals and began searching together. This is really when we became one… we began searching for the purpose of our joined life together… there had to be a reason God brought us together besides just to keep each other company.
When we humbly seek God and His purpose for our lives, a beautiful thing happens… He places in our hearts His exact purpose and then He guides us to that fulfillment. If we let go and let God take over, everything falls into place. God so clearly led Scott and me, together, to not only add children to our family but to bring these two exact little girls into this world. From the very beginning, we have felt this so strongly and thank God for His constant reassurance.
As my husband travels home tonight, I ask God to keep him safe and comfortable… and I thank Him for the beautiful marriage and family He has given us. And to Scott… I love you sweetheart and thanks for working together to find our purpose! Psalm 20:4