Today is my 9th wedding anniversary! Jamie and I have been through a lot of joy and a lot of heartache together, but I would do it all over again if it meant that I could be with him! He is a kind, compassionate, thoughtful, sensitive, gentle man who adores me and loves our children. He lets me sleep in whenever I want to and takes care of the kids in the morning (because I am just NOT a morning person!). He takes Hannah on Daddy/Daughter dates at least once a week. He gets down on the floor to get on Ephraim’s eye level and plays blocks with him or rolls the ball back and forth with him. He is a hard worker, a passionate family man, and a loyal friend. But most of all, he loves God and is doing his best to learn how to serve Him and raise a godly family.
With the divorce rate up among Christian couples, I feel so blessed that God has given me a man who has stuck with me through the hard times (and there have been some really tough times for us!) and rejoiced with me in the good times! I know that so many couples struggle every day to try to make their marriage work. They just can’t see a future in the person they chose for a spouse. Christian men and women alike are abandoning their marriage in hopes of something “better” and getting disappointed when they find their hopes unfulfilled.
Some of my friends gave me the book Created to Be His Help Meet by Debi Pearl for my birthday a few years ago. (Just so you know, I do not support the Pearls’ beliefs and do not even agree with all of the points made in this book.) There were, however, some suggestions that I thought were very good ideas for creating a lasting marriage. One of them was to make the effort to at least have the house picked up and your hair brushed so that your husband does not come home from work to a big mess.
As the mother of two and nanny to many, I have given up on trying to keep the house “picked up” during the day! I used to pick up all the toys at nap time and then again at bedtime, but my efforts seemed futile once I started adding more kids to my home! Plus, I would rather take the time to play with the kids than constantly clean up after them. But I do try to have everything picked up before Jamie arrives home, and I do try my best to at least have myself somewhat put together! It’s just a small gesture that I can make to show Jamie that I am thinking about him despite the chaos of my day.
I was talking to a group of moms at Bouncin’ Babies (a program for infants at my local library), and I was shocked to hear how many of these moms were of the mindset that they no longer needed to make a good impression on their husbands because they had already given birth to their children! So they were done! In fact, several moms didn’t see a reason to tidy up the house at the end of the day either. I held my tongue, but my first thought was that these women were in danger of their husband seeking those efforts from someone else.
I think we moms sometimes get so lost in our identity as moms that we forget that we are first and foremost a wife. Before the kids, we were our husband’s lover, best friend, confidante, and partner – basically, his help meet. But when we have children, our lives are filled with wiping bottoms, drying tears, kissing boo-boos, preparing for school, healing heartbreak, and sending them off to college. But once they are grown and gone, we will turn around and (hopefully) find that man who has stood by us as we neglected him. I certainly don’t want to turn around one day and see that Jamie is no longer the man I know! If we can just take a step back every day and remember the man who stands beside us, then our marriages will grow stronger, and we will be closer as husband and wife!
The Bible says, “And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him” (Gen. 2:18). But in today’s society, we women don’t want to be anyone’s helper! We want to be in control! We want to run the world! But that’s not what God instructed us to do. He created us to be man’s helper – to walk alongside him and to help him make godly choices, raise godly children, and cultivate a godly marriage.
I’m not saying that we have to be stay-at-home moms in order to be our husband’s helper. I don’t think it’s wrong for a woman to work. After all, the Proverbs 31 woman was a diligent worker, seeking different ways to bring money into the home. But in Prov. 31:27, God describes a wife as someone who “watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.” This does not sound like someone who leaves the dishes in the sink or the bed unmade!
I admit that I am still struggling to be a godly wife. Jamie annoys me just about every day! I am tired at the end of the day, and I don’t want to have dinner made or the living room in order. But every day I make a choice to be married to this man. I make a choice to love him. And when I make that choice, I am glorifying God, who gave this amazing man to me, so I wouldn’t be alone and so I will have someone to go through the tough times and the easy times with me.
Happy Anniversary, Jamie! I love you so much!