I don't feel like I really started concentrating on my walk with God until I got married, at least not in the same way. I don't really feel like I concentrated on my wife role until after I stopped working outside the home. Incidentally, that was the same time I became a mother, so that kinda rolled into one HUGE learning curve. God is good though, as He didn't throw me into cooking meals until almost exactly a year after working on the combined wife/mother role. I could only take a little at a time.
Unfortunately, I've kicked and screamed through almost all of it. Except getting married and awaiting my babies, that is.
Not that I have a handle on it by any means, it is just habit now to work on those areas. God has given me so many areas of healing. I'm getting better at my day not going my way. Isn't that a funny thing to think might happen?! I manage to get food on the table at every meal without too much stress. I almost welcome washing dishes, its just part of my day. I am in the trenches still on how I respond to my children.
All this to say, the husband factor is what God is putting before me these days. I've been working on me, and what a wife does. Sure, you can't do that without concentrating on what a husband is, to some extent. Yet, everywhere I turn these days, I find myself learning more about how to care for him specifically, or growing in a desire to understand what he deals with on a day to day basis.
Husband's and fathers, men in general, are not held in high regard in this country. Most of the older women I am around, believers or not, don't treat their husbands with a whole lot of respect and/or submission. I see a lot more "i'm right" and fear of not being cared for the way they want to be. I find myself responding to situations with my husband with a contempt or disgust I don't actually feel. That I never agree with. I think it is learned. He is amazing and deserves better!
Here are some answers and blessings God has given me lately. I am hungry for more. I love this man and I want to support him and love him and uphold him as a man. As a man defined by God, not as my upbringing or culture defines him.
The Power of a Praying Wife, Stormy Omartin: I'm reading through this book. I feel like I need to mention that I have this nagging feeling as I read it, that I can't put my finger on. But I'm praying for my husband specifically more often, and actually considering what he is dealing with each day, so I am thankful. I appreciate the different topics to consider while praying. For example: His fatherhood, His integrity, His faith, His wife. Yeah, that last one is a tough one!
"My husband hunted, so I hunted. My husband listened to Country music, so I listened to Country music." - An amazingly Godly woman from our congregation. She carried her husband through cancer into the arms of God before I knew her. The honor and respect she still exudes for him is contagious and something I desire to learn from. She did start listening to different music after he passed, but there is no disgust in her tone as she speaks of doing what he loved rather then what she did.
"Don't point out his mistakes, just fill in the gap" - This was quoted on Fearlessly Feminine from a list in another resource. I love the perspective this gave me. How can I fill in the gap, whether or not there is an actual mistake in that area? How can I support my husband better each day? I think this applies to many relationships actually. Less complaining, more helpful action.
"If it would help your husband for you to fix the screen door or the faucet because he is busy doing something else, that is feminine... you were created to be your husbands helper so doing things to help him is feminine." - Victoria Botkin. This is in the context of masculine/feminine roles. This is from the first session in her Evenings with Victoria Botkin mentoring sessions, that started last Monday. If you haven't signed up, go do it and get in on the next 8 weeks. Here is a small quote from the description: "How does a wife help her husband be the man Christ wants him to be? How can she inspire him to love her? How can she discover the forgotten joys of being the helper God designed her to be?"