Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The One

"How did you know Joseph was the one?"

This is the question I get from my single girlfriends. The answer is both simple and complicated. 

One simple answer is "I didn't know." Nowhere in life do we get a 100% dud-free guarantee. Especially not in marriage. No woman ever knows if her beloved is going to be a completely different man after the wedding. 

The other simple answer is "I don't believe in 'The One'." Love is a choice, and I could have chosen to spend my life with any of half a dozen great guys. 

The more complicated answer is:

1.) He loved the Lord. And not in a lip-service way. He had had an encounter with Jesus that had changed his life and he loved telling people about it. 
2.) He loved his Mama, but not in a co-dependent, mama's boy way. He spoke well about her and shared his favorite memories of her. And my Mama always says that the way a man treats his mom is the way he will treat his future wife. 
3.) He had a steady job, owned his own home, and took care of himself. Yep, he cooked and did laundry too. This may be a shallow reason to marry someone, but really it's not. I wanted to know my man could provide, even if I became a top exec and made more money than he.  
4.) He was the same person no matter who he was around--his buddies, his family, church leaders, youth group kids. He didn't try to pretend to be someone he wasn't. 
5.) His name and reputation preceded him. Everyone knew who "Joe" was and everyone knew if Joe said he'd do something, then by golly he was gonna do it! 

One or more of these was always lacking in my previous relationships, and it never quite felt right. It was in my husband that I saw all of them lived out--and in a very humble way. 

Monday, January 26, 2015

The Frog Prince

He is not your girlfriend.

He will not sit and watch girly movies with you every night.
He will not assure you that you look skinny in that dress. 
He will not notice your new hair cut, or purse, or pair of shoes.
He will not care who's dating or marrying or having who's baby.
He will not hold your purse or your shopping bags at the mall.
He will not share his food at the restaurant or the movie theater. Get your own.
He will not order a salad when there's a perfectly good steak available. 

He is a man.
He will sit on the couch and play video games for hours.
He will go out and have a beer with his buddies. 
He'll shave and leave the hair all over the bathroom sink.
He will burp, and fart, and scratch, and readjust his man parts.
He will ask you if it's "that time of month" whenever you start crying.

There comes a day when every woman realizes her Prince Charming is less charming and more frog. And we have a few choices. We can badger and nag our men to become the man we envisioned him to be. We can give up and live life in resentment toward this creature. Or we can remember what it was that drew us to him in the first place. 

He is your husband.

He will try to provide everything you need (but you need to ask for what you want).
He will try to make you happy (but you need to tell him plainly what that is).
He will try to solve all your problems (but you need to tell him you just want someone to listen).
He will protect you (but only if you'll let him).
He will think you're beautiful all the time (but you need to learn to accept it).

There are many days when my husband does something that I regard to be rude or unloving, and then the Lord reminds me, "Well, what did you expect? You married a man!" That's not to say women should put up with abusive behavior or words of any kind. Situations like that need professional help. I am saying that we need to cut our guys a little slack. Remember that his manliness may make for moments he's going to be gross or crass.  But also remember it was his sheer manliness that made him irresistible in the first place! 

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Tall, Dark, and Handsome

"What's your type?"
"Whad'ya mean 'type'?"
"You know...type. Everyone has one. Do you prefer a blonde, a brunette, a ginger? Athletic? Short or tall? Quiet or talkative? Artistic or nerdy?"

This was the conversation my husband and I had in the car a few weeks ago. Then I had it again with a couple of girlfriends later on in the week. A lot of laughter ensued each time, as well as a few new realizations.

I discovered, much to my relief and amazement, that I was indeed my husband's "type"--dark eyes, olive skin, and ahem...curves. And to his surprise and amazement, he found that physically, he's not my "type" at all. Not to say I don't find my husband physically attractive--I think he's a total hottie!--but it's just that his build and features were not what I would have looked for when I was dating. 

"So what is your type, then?"
"Honestly? Um...ok, I got it. Think Hugh Jackman in the Wolverine movies. Dark, broad-shouldered, mysterious."
"Hahaha! So what type am I then?"
"You're a Calvin Klein model.'re my Calvin Klein model!"

Yeah, my husband is not the picture I had in my mind when I used to think about my future husband. Not physically or in a lot of other ways. I used to think I would marry someone a lot like me. Instead I have someone who is in almost every way a complete opposite of me. And I love it! I love being introduced to the rugged, ever-changing, and sometimes dangerous world of my husband. 

So what makes it work? What keeps me attracted to my light-haired, athletically-built husband with all those dark, broad-shouldered guys walking around? 

1.) I talk to his mom. Learning about what Joseph was like when he was a little boy keeps me in love with the man he has become.
2.) I pray for him. Probably not as much as I'd like to, but praying for anyone really opens up the heart to the way God sees them.
3.) I watch him work. Nothing is sexier than watching my husband turn a few raw materials into a deck, a bookcase, or a completely new house. 
4.) I watch him play. Soccer. Ultimate. Football. It's his way of unwinding. It's my way of checking out his skills...and just plain checking him out!

After all this, I am convinced that physical and emotional attraction really is a choice. And I choose to adore my husband, regardless of my "type."