Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Reason #Ten: He Provides Domestic Support!

Because my DH is a pastor, we have had numerous occasions to provide teaching and counseling on relationships. We dove right in to team-teaching a marriage class on the Song of Solomon, almost as soon as we got back from our honeymoon. Talk about a blushing bride! Only the ignorance of youth could have set us up for such awkward class material; but we bravely addressed issues of marriage, sex, parenting, money-management, and more, with couples that had been married longer than we'd been alive!

Through the years, we learned along with those we taught, life-lessons on relationships from a vast array of resources. One of our favorite authors is Dr. Willard F. Harley, Jr.. He has a huge web site called MarriageBuilders.Com that offers over thirty years of books, articles, and other resources he has written. Harley has put together a questionnaire of the ten most important emotional needs of spouses. As in any family relationship, there is a need for the provision of domestic support.

Domestic Support is not exactly up there in my list of most important emotional needs. It is much more important to my DH that the bed is made and the dishes done, etc.. He is the kind of guy that makes the bed in his hotel room, just so he can enjoy an orderly environment. When he comes home after a long day of work and starts to straighten and clean the house, I often feel guilty and resentful. (I must confess I usually have a guilty conscience, because I don't get very much accomplished on my "To Do" list!) I have learned that DH feels resentful when he has to come home and clean the house, because he thinks (or knows) I have been home all day doing nothing. He has a strong emotional need for a clean, orderly, clutter-free environment. It just helps him to feel more relaxed... less stressed. I guess maybe there is something to that "Feng Shui" after all!

Things changed dramatically around here a month or so ago, when I went back to work. I had to find employment, due to financial hardship. Life in Alaska can get quite expensive! I was only able to find a part-time job, but the hours are pretty easy to handle. I work only Monday through Friday, (even though it's a retail position!), and start at 9:00am, which is ideal for me. I usually work until 3:00pm, and some days until 5:00pm, and that is fine for the kids and for me as well. (My kids are older, and can handle getting home before me; they get themselves a snack and start on their homework.)

Let me tell you, DH has really stepped up to the plate, to support me through this time of adjustment. My job requires standing on my feet all day, reaching up and bending down, and pushing a cart around (I pretend I'm shopping, so it doesn't even seem like work!). It took my feet a solid week to stop hurting. When I got home from work, exhausted and sore, DH was already home, playing "Mr. Mom" for several days.

What a blessing it was to come home to a clean kitchen, and kids who finished their homework, and a husband who provided domestic support for me. (Even if he was doing it mostly for himself!) Lord, let me not take the little things for granted. I do appreciate him very much.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Reason #Nine: He's Hefty, Not Wimpy!

Years ago, there was a television commercial about garbage bags. The advertisement was about bags that would not break or tear; bags that could withstand overstuffing and rough handling. The slogan encouraged buyers to purchase "Hefty" bags, by comparing scenes with "hefty, hefty, hefty" bags versus "wimpy, wimpy, wimpy" bags. My DH is definitely hefty.
  • brawny: (of a person) possessing physical strength and weight; rugged and powerful; "a hefty athlete"; "a muscular boxer"; "powerful arms"
  • of considerable weight and size; "a hefty dictionary"
  • goodly: large in amount or extent or degree; "a hefty bonus"; "a sizable fortune"
I've already alluded to DH's physical strength in his showdown with the Power Team. He is a big, strong man. He played football, lifted weights, and tossed hay bales all through high school. His big-boned, broad-shouldered body has always carried his weight well, even when it once rose above 315 pounds for a short time. He's the kind of guy that always wins a prize at the fair, when they try to guess his weight. (I'm not going to share his weight, but I will say that people are always surprised when he tells them how much he weighs.)

There's something just so comforting about walking along a dark country road or a busy city sidewalk with a big "hefty" man! There's nothing better than a big, cuddly hug from a hairy, hefty "Teddy Bear". It's the sweetest thing to see a baby or a puppy in the hands of a brawny man. And it's always handy to have a big guy around on moving day, or when a piano needs moved.

I love the fact that my DH is a 2X! The feelings of security and protection that come with his size offset the costs of little mishaps that have occurred because of his size. Yes, he is dangerous in stores with fragile, breakable items. Yes, he has stepped on the puppy a time or two. Yes, he has had back trouble and some physical ailments related to his weight. (He needs to stay physically active to be healthy, and that can be tough in our climate, with his desk job.) But, I like the fact that he can command respect in a crowd of strangers, and even have an intimidating presence among smaller men.

DH often uses the word "glorious" in his sermons, to describe an attribute of God. He tells the congregation that in the Old Testament, the Hebrew word for “glory” (kavod) comes from the word for “heavy” (kaved). The word was first used to describe things that were heavy in the literal, physical sense. So, for example, the Bible describes Eli as “heavy,” which is a polite way of saying that he was fat (1 Sam. 4:18). So, DH alludes to himself as "glorious" whenever he tells the definition of glory.

Besides being gloriously hefty, DH is absolutely not wimpy! [The definition of "wimpy" is wimpish: weak and ineffectual]. He can go on for days with a fever and a sinus headache before I even find out he is sick! He is strong in character as well as in body. He commands respect as a strong, effectual leader. People are either drawn to him, and look up to him as a mentor, or they feel insecure and intimidated by him, but they can't really put a finger on why he threatens them, because he is so nice!

The reason I wrote this post is to say that I not only respect the way DH acts, but even after 20 years, I still like the way DH physically looks. Sure, he's a little more flabby, a lot more bald and gray, and he's growing a big inner tube around the middle: but my DH is one handsome stud! I'm proud to introduce him to people (though almost everybody knows him) as my dear husband!

Lord, help me to tell my DH the things that I like and respect about him; not just to tell the whole worldwide web about him. May I learn more and more how to show my love for my husband, in ways that mean the most to him.