Not long ago, I ran across an article on LAF, which challenged us wives to write essays of tribute and gratitude for our dear husbands; below, Mrs. Chancey published a beautifully written piece about her own husband, Matt.
It was said that there will be an essay contest which will run through January 31, but regardless of the contest, I thought - I must do that!
It's easy to gain praise if you do something obviously heroic, such as for example saving a baby from a burning house or volunteering to deliver food and medication to a war zone. But most men and women have few opportunities like these, and so it might be easy to miss the nobility of their lives. My husband is a hero - of a different kind - and I'll make sure I acknowledge this, even if no one else ever does.
Every day, my husband goes out to a job that isn't particularly fascinating, rewarding or fun, and spends long hours steadily doing his work in order to provide for me and our soon-to-be-born baby. He doesn't complain about not having the job of his dreams, and instead, seeks to provide us with a sense of financial security.
His maturity, resourcefulness, and steady, reliable attitude give me confidence that no matter what, he will do everything in his power to make sure that I, and any future children we might have, are fed, clothed, sheltered and taken care of. He is a rare gem among the young men of today, who hover from one school program to another, change jobs on a whim, even during tough times, when they are "dissatisfied" - and expect to be provided for even when they undertake the duties of husband and father.
At the same time my dear husband, a man of a generous, humble heart, doesn't forget to express his gratitude about simple everyday things, and constantly tells me what a great help I am to him, gently encouraging me to improve in areas that are lacking.
A couple of weeks ago, he told me, "ours is the most special little home, because you tend to it. Thank you for not working outside the home. With all my work stresses, I can't even imagine what our life would look like if you worked too!" - this was so deeply touching, to get a confirmation that I'm definitely not wasting my time, and my efforts are appreciated by the only person whose opinion should matter - my husband. Also, it's important to know that far from adding to my husband's stress (due to "not contributing" financially by earning a second income), he feels I relieve his burden by managing our home!
By definition, human beings aren't angels, and one could always find something to complain about. But every day, I realize more and more strongly that I've been blessed by a wonderful, loving, sweet, caring, understanding, patient, generous and committed husband, who took me under his wing when I became his wife. When I'm sick, he tends to me; when I'm sad, he comforts me; when I'm insecure, he relieves my burdens by his confidence. I know God Himself brought us together in the blessed union of marriage, and thus placed me under my husband's leadership and protection - and by trusting my husband, I trust God.
We are a new couple - married less than a year - but during these short few months of our marriage, my beloved husband displayed incredible gentleness, kindness and generosity, so many times. A couple of weeks into our marriage, I became pregnant, which led to a somewhat debilitating condition throughout my first trimester. Think terrible, overpowering sickness when I saw a couple of dirty dishes in the sink. For a while, I mostly just slept, ate whatever I could keep down, and struggled to keep on top of simple tasks such as laundry and making beds. Never once, my husband complained about there being no dinner, or about dishes being unwashed, or about my mood swings. Once, he took a day off work simply because he thought it would cheer me up.
He accompanied me to all the more important check-ups I had to do throughout pregnancy. He rubbed my back when it hurt, and my feet when they were swollen. He researched important information which might concern me and the baby. Without pointing this out, it was always obvious he is more concerned about my health and well-being than his own, fulfilling the commandment given to Jewish husbands, to love their wives as themselves, and respect their wives more than themselves.
We started out with a rather limited budget, and a small loan on our house which we are determined to return as soon as possible. For the first few months of our life together, we slept on air mattresses, cooked on a tiny portable gas stove, and lived in a tiny, sweltering hot temporary building without air conditioning. Sometimes, I became discouraged, but my husband showed the most amazing skills, providing us with all the needed furniture and appliances. I have always been frugal, but my husband taught me the meaning of resourcefulness - bartering, buying second-hand, and not turning up my nose at a beautiful piece of furniture unjustly labeled as "trash" by someone else. At first I thought we'd be overwhelmed by baby expenses, but with God's help, we got everything we needed for free or nearly for free.
At the same time, my husband never showed temptation to cut back on the monthly sum of money we give to charity under the pretext of saving. On the contrary, he always keeps pointing out how we are so much better off than the widows and orphans who have no clothes on their back and no food on their table. In the most humble way, his hand is generously stretched out to those in need, from a hungry cat to organizations that support Jewish education. Equally, it's easy to see his thoughtfulness and generosity towards his family, my family, neighbours and strangers. Not only with money, but with his time, effort, and willingness to take other people's matters to heart.
As I try to write some sort of conclusion, I find myself struggling to find the proper words to express my gratitude for the husband I have been given. As I see the beauty of marriage, of family, friendship, closeness, of true, sacrificial love unfold before me, I feel I am basking in a tiny reflection of God's love towards all His children. Every day is a treasured gift and blessing bestowed upon me, and I simply thank God for giving me my husband, and thank my husband for being the man he is.