keeping his heart safe

his heartMen are traditionally scripted as the defenders, the protectors, the warriors. Women trust them to secure our homes and squish the spiders. We want them to respond to the noises in the night. We expect them to step in harms way for us. We also expect them to defend our honor, our hearts. We girls expect to be loved, cherished and defended.

I’m blessed to know how incredible it feels to find out that my husband speaks kindly of me, that he esteems me, that he’s my biggest fan. His praise speaks volumes to how he feels about our marriage. But, do I return the favor?

Turns out, God expects us women to defend our husbands, not physically, but emotinally. We’re to love and support and encourage them. Proverbs 31 is an ode to a wife who protects her husband’s heart, his trust in her. “She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life.”

I’ve defended my husband against negative opinions. I’m a big fan of the guy. I won’t stand by and let anyone besmirch him or accuse him. I mean, Song of Songs supports this ‘I am my beloved’s and he is mine” approach, right? But what about defending him against my own attitude, my own pokes and jabs?

I have never intended to belittle or berate my husband. I wouldn’t dream of embarrassing him. I actually think he’s a pretty great guy. I’m proud to be his wife. People think highly of him…and they should. He’s a giver – of his resources, of his time, of his heart. I often have to remind him that it’s okay not to be everything to everyone.

But I don’t always speak highly of him. I don’t intend to do it, but sometimes, just like in Time-Warp Wife’s post today, the teasing can go too far. I can remember a time I picked on a quirk a little too much. There was that time that he became the joke because of something he did. I can think of more than one occasion in which I’ve sat in a group of women who were picking apart their husbands and I just laughed a little or smiled instead of saying something positive about my husband that might have changed the tone of the gathering. I’ve complained – not about anything earth-shattering, but it would hurt his feelings if he’d heard.

Today’s Vow: To speak well of you in front of others

The Challenge: Look after your husband’s heart, particularly by looking after
his honor in  public settings.

Today’s challenge is so obvious, yet so easy to forget to do. It’s one of those ‘treat others as you want to be treated’ scenarios. Since he receives love best through words of affirmation, I need to be all that more attentive and deliberate in speaking well of him in front of others and especially to others when he’s present. He needs to hear how much he means to me. And I can pass on a laugh if it’s at his expense.

He protects me from spiders, intruders and the criticism of hateful PTA moms; the least I can do is keep my sarcasm to myself and instead build him up with my words. Just like in Proverbs 31, his heart needs to trust that I will keep it safe. So, from this day forward, I vow to do just that.

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