A quick pit stop on a family road trip found me face-to-face with disrespect and the world’s view of men. And boy did it get under my skin.
As I sat staring at the shirt (hung just outside the Dairy Queen we were munching our lunch at) I began to wonder who on earth would wear this? What is her husband like? What is she saying to her children? The world? And then, as though hit by a truck I began to wonder if I wear it…or what the t-shirt of my life reads.
In my head, my t-shirt would read — I love my sexy, quirky hubby and am blessed by our incredible lil peanuts (oh, and please excuse my attitude and pjs today…life got in the way). But, if I stop to really examine my life….how does it read?
Why is the world so quick to say men (particularly husbands) are dumb? Watch commercials – you’ll find husbands who are inept, fathers who are clueless and men who can’t function without the help of the poor put-upon woman he is married to. Watch sit coms or movies – the married guy is miserable, whipped or stupid (maybe all of the above) while the single guy usually manages to be clean and fed before he pursues his conquests and enjoys his life. Look at magazines, websites, t-shirts and more. The world does not respect an honest, hardworking family man.
And God knew it wouldn’t….
In Ephesians (chapter 5) when God unfolds His plan for marriage He says husbands are to love their wives and wives are to RESPECT their husbands. Why? Because men need to know their efforts are acknowledged, that their talents are useful, that their committment to family and friends is of eternal consequence. And the world will not do that. There is no pat on the back from society for a man who packs lunches; reads the Bible; works longs hours only to come how and rock a crying child; or who teaches his sons to revere their mother and women.
Staring down this t-shirt miles from home I began to look at the snippets of my life. Like pieces of a movie rescued from the cutting room floor I saw myself roll my eyes, speak down to my husband and fail to appreciate his efforts. Some days I wear that shirt.
I like to focus on the days I don’t. On the days I have taught our children the concept of “daddy is our hero” providing, protecting, and loving us. I easily recall the days I made his favorite dinner just because or sang his praises publicly. I’m even quick to tell others, sometimes, about the things I’ve done for him.
Amazingly, I can easily respect, love and honor my husband when it makes me look and feel good. But what about the days it doesn’t? When we don’t agree and my answers become laced with venom. When I treat him like the commercials portray him, instead of the college-educated, driven man that he is. When I let the sun go down on a day where I haven’t said thank you when he has worked to provide, played with our children, done the laundry and never complained that he didn’t have time to himself.
Perhaps the t-shirt got under my skin because it speaks a bit of truth. Or perhaps it got under my skin because our daughter read it. Out loud. And in those moments I cringed. Not that she could read it but that the world’s “joke” could be construed as a truth to her soft heart.
I watched her wrestle with the concept. Her mouth still moving over the words as she read them again and again. “Mom, I don’t think the shirt is true. Jesus wasn’t an idiot.” After I suppressed the urge to laugh. I had to nod…well, at least she was on the right track. “And Daddy’s not an idiot. He’s our hero.”
“Yes, he is baby girl. Yes he is.” Was all I could mumble. Tears in my eyes. And truth clanging like a gong in my ears.
I want my life to read like a Jesus t-shirt. One that points to Him. One that speaks love over my children. Honors my marriage. Respects my man.
The how of that is a little tougher for me. Oh sure, while I’m writing to you it sounds easy. Pop out of bed and greet the day — put on my ‘I’m a Jesus-girl, See me rock it’ t-shirt and off we go. Whew…if only it were that easy.
Well, maybe it is…once you get the learning curve. I’ve been counting these gifts of grace, gifts of God (you all know that!!). In looking for those gifts I am learning to look for God, find Him in the everydayness of my life. Well, what if we applied the same concept to marriage, to husbands. In every moment of marriage, the large and the small what if we look for God’s details…in our husbands.
If I begin to look at my hunky hubby as a reflection of my Jesus, even in the midst of an argument, what will change? Could I roll my eyes at Jesus? Or would I?? Could I look at the man who just worked 9 hours, drove 2 hours in traffic, and brought us dinner and see him as anything less than a provider. When I’m angry or hormonal and I look into his eyes will I see the pools of green that reflect a Savior’s adoration?
Do you see it? Do you see how those moments when we are willing to see Jesus in our husbands can change everything? It is not a stretch or some hokie tactic…it is the truth. Jesus is there. If I can treat my husband as the godly vessel that he is it will transform our marriage, our love, our family.
And my t-shirt will read Jesus lives here.
Father, thank you for my husband. Thank you for the privilege of being a wife. Please help me to treat my husband with the respect he deserves and the love that you have given me for him. The everydayness of life can rob us of so much, Father, help me to live beyond that. Help me to model respect and submission for our children. Help me to be the wife you want my hubby to have. Amen.