In a world where on average, men don't know how to voice their emotions, this was really nice to hear. Of course I'll never know if they're secretly beating their wives or if they're faithful, but still, I liked what they said.
The words of affirmation continued at my small group. I've been going for 3 weeks now and last night the theme was on relationships. One of the discussion questions was what relationships we needed to initiate, nurture, or repair. One husband said he needed to nurture the relationship he has with his wife. He seems like a sweet man so I'm sure he is good to his wife, but hearing him say he could always do better was huge to me. Anyone can say they want to be a certain way but following through is another thing. Acknowledgment is the first step and that's all I'll get to witness, but even that was cool to hear.
Another question we discussed was who in our lives have loved us like Ruth or Jesus. I was a smart-a$$ and said no one, um nobody has followed me and taken on my religion and come on, can I compare anyone's love to Jesus'? Please. But then I said that my mom and sister probably have loved me the best. But to the point: this time a woman was shown to be amazing and I felt deeply convicted. One husband said his wife accepts him exactly the way he is, when he said this, he looked extremely humbled. And this made me think, have I ever accepted anyone exactly the way they are out of love? Would anyone in my life be able to humble themselves by saying they are accepted by me? I'd love for my husband to say this about me one day, if I ever get married. It made me realize that the purest love doesn't require change from the other person but to love them where they're at. It means love looks differently at different stages, and it means loving them without getting anything in return sometimes. My problem is I don't know when that's appropriate to do.
I'm kind of famous for going along with the other persons plans while getting little to nothing in return, so I'm learning this kind of love can only been given when wanted and the person is able to accept it. So maybe one day I can love this way, and I hope that I do, because watching that man talk about his wife that way made me want it, I'd love to be known as the wife that accepts her husband for who he is.*
Our small group gets together on Sunday evenings to discuss what was taught in church earlier that day. That day's message was about worshiping God through our relationships. One point the pastor made was that we have to not treat desires like goals. It was amazing! An example he gave was that your desire may be to have a close friendship with someone but we turn it into a goal. The problem with that is it is out of our control how someone feels about us so it CAN'T be a goal. It is a desire. A goal would be to pray that the friendship would develop and be faithful to that person in prayer while still desiring something more will come of it.
Another example is when a man wants to be respected by his spouse or family. He turns it into a goal but how a family responds to him is out of his control. Therefore it is a desire to be respected. The goal would be to become a man worth respecting.
My desire may be to be in a good relationship, but that is out of my control. My goal is to be a woman worthy of attracting a good man. It was such a revelation. So if I want, someday to be talked about by my husband the way the man in my small group talked about his wife, I have to make choices that make me that kind of woman.
*disclaimer, of course this can only be true in a healthy relationship