I love stories like The Taming of the Shrew, and My Fair Lady. Both of these stories are humorous and don’t completely fit my tale, but in a way they kind of do, you know the story it’s when an unlikely shrew becomes absolutely stunning and graceful through the process of learning how to be tamed. In it all she finds love. For me the beginning of my marriage I thought I was the “lady” at the end of the tale. Little did I know I was the shrew, and my process would be more about learning to trust, I was so blessed to find the man who would help me to grow into the love and acceptance he doted on me. I have a long way to go, and there isn’t an end when I become the perfectly poised princess, but there has been a change. And I welcome more with open arms.
I don’t normally speak on how to love your husband because I’m still learning a lot. I have learned and could share some of my mistakes. I can’t share how to love someone who’s difficult because I have it pretty easy. I can however share what it’s like to be loved first hand. I can’t completely empathize with the argument against submission. My husband has never demanded it, but It’s a precious gift I want to give. Jesus gave it to God the father, would I consider myself better than Jesus? That being said, I am obviously human and want my way, so it is a fight inside of me when my pride rears it’s ugly head. We are not without our arguments and my disrespect. We’ve struggled through stressful times, we’ve been hurt and misunderstood. But I’ll never be that woman fighting for her rights because, 1 it’s not my personality, and 2 I have been loved and treated like a queen, we mutually submit to each other. Who would fight for a different position when you’re a queen. I certainly don’t want the King position. That’s more responsibility than I’ll ever want. I lived long enough on my own to realize being taken care of is by far easier.
When we were married, I thought I had it all together. I thought “it will be so easy to be a great wife, I love him so much.” I was clueless. He was clueless, so as we navigated this thing called marriage we did things and shared things that weren’t helping our marriage at all. We struggled through some pretty rough days, but don’t we all. Here’s where My husband took over and changed our marriage. He started keeping things from me. I know, it sounds horrible. He started treating me like a queen and shared only the things I needed to know. He stopped sharing his burdens and stresses, He started acting like a man. Not that he wasn’t before, he was just figuring out how to navigate this relationship. At first I resented it. “am I not good enough to know these things? Why do I have to find out this stuff from other wives who know everything?” As time went on I realized for me it was much more peaceful to not have to deal with the drama and gossip of other people’s lives, or the ridiculousness of competition that so often drives ministries. So we settled into a rhythm and it has kept the peace. Now I know the things I need to and don’t get stressed about the things that don’t matter, or will blow over in a matter of days. Not every relationship works like this, but he was observant enough to see this was an issue for us.
My favorite attribute of my husband is the fact that He loves something unique. His favorite features in me are the very things I have loathed, imperfections. They make me human, they make me real. He is completely accepting in every way and I cannot drive him away. He will fight for me to the death even if it means fighting me. He makes me mad sometimes when I can’t stir him, I want to fight at times and He refuses to fight his own flesh and blood. It has softened me as a woman in so many ways. He has shown me complete acceptance. I struggle with acceptance, I think we all do. I have never felt good enough because of my own failures, I didn’t trust Him completely, it was like I was waiting for him to fail, or get tired of me once he figured me out. But he didn’t, he just accepted me. No lofty expectations, no wifely requirements, just complete love and acceptance. He has wooed me for 10 years now. Every year I love and respect him even more. I’ve seen his patience, his sacrifice, his servant’s heart, his love for people who hurt him, his priorities, his love for the broken, the forgotten, the non flashy people in his life. He has loved and cared for people because it’s right, not because they deserve it. I am number one on that list.
My husband has earned my respect by acting like a man, never demanding to be treated like one. I don’t think my normal audience is men, but if you’re a young man and you’re wanting your wife to beam in ten years about what an amazing husband she has, and you want her to flourish, soften, and become even more loving toward you (I know you think it’s impossible), if you want her commitment and trust and her respect for you to grow, then accept her. Accept her now, accept her limititations, her failures, her excess weight, her abilities, her inabilities, her face without makeup, her natural hair, her imperfections, her post baby hormone swings. Protect her, don’t make her carry your burdens, love her, even on those bad days when she hasn’t learned to trust you just yet. She will, if you are faithful and keep loving, accepting and protecting. She’ll do anything, and follow you anywhere.
I love you, Tyler, and I’ll follow you to the ends of the earth, I think I almost have.