Chapter #3 Admire Him
I love flowers.....I'm not the best gardener, but I enjoy the beauty of those who are. In my limited experience I do know a few things though. A flower needs three things : Water, Sunlight, and Dirt with nutrients in it. If my flower bed could talk mabey it would say things like. " You watered me yesterday, what I really need from you is to be put in the sun." Or "compost, compost, compost...PLEASE I'm dying over here!" Wouldn't it be nice if all the things in our life could just tell us what they need. I think I would bend over backwards to give others the things they asked for.
I love my husband...I'm not the best wife, but I enjoy the friendship of a great man. And in my recent limited experience with being a wife I've learned a few things. There are a few things a man needs (acceptance, appreciation) but the greatest thing he needs from me is Admiration. The need to be admired for his manliness. Is that even a word? It feels like a silly word no matter how I say it or how I spell it. And why does it make me feel silly? Because it makes me feel like a little girl. It makes me feel like a child who is looking up to someone bigger and stronger and taller and grown up and saying WOW, you are a man.
This is admiration ladies.....and we resist it! (We) I resist it because it makes me feel like a little girl...helpless, small, insignificant, out of control, young, becoming. But if I'm honest I am small and weak and helpless and insignificant, out of control, and becoming. I am still a little girl. And my husband is a big, strong, fearless, brave, true MAN. He is a man. And sometimes I am a little girl...and it is okay.
I watch my daughter with her grandpa and she is already showing signs of resisting her girlishness (my fault, I know) My core daughter just gigles and smiles at grandpa when she passes by and he tries to tickle her to say I love you. My older daughter wants to fight and rage and win. She wants the struggle. Because somewhere inside her she is fighting to become a grown up and not a little girl anymoe. I think this change is good...it is necessary. We cannot always be little girls...that would not be fulfilling our purpose. And yet.....and yet, we can be a little girl in our admiration towards our husbands and even in some ways our fathers. In our admiration of all the traits that we are not. In his strength...of body, mind and character. In his dreams for himself, for our family. In his manhood, in his protection, providing and passions.
Helen Andelin in her book Fascinating Womanhood says that admiration is not something a man can get for himself...admiration must be given. I am reminded of the commitment I made when I married this man of mine....to give myself unto him. I think of my friends and all that I would do for them...or for that flower I wish to grow so badly and I think...am I doing the same for my husband? Am I giving him the thing he needs...even if he doesn't ask for it? He needs that little girl who lives inside me to say. I love you big strong man. I love that I feel safe in your arms. I love that you make me feel calm just by holding my hand (this is a proven fact by the way). I love that you think of me and try so hard to help me solve all my problems. I love that you do all those hard things that I cannot do because I am weak and simple.
Part of us is to be a silly little girl. Have awe in the greatness of the things he creates..in the home he helps to build, in the grass he keeps neat and tidy, in the pinewood derby car he worked so hard on. Have awe in his plans...in the grandeos ideas, and the silly ones, in his dreams and in his failures. Have awe in his character...his boldness, his gentlness, his courage, his humility. Have awe in the gifts he bestows upon me...his small acts of kindness that show me each day that he thought of me, that he wanted to ease my burden, that he wanted to be a better husband just to make me happy.
Part of us is to stay like a little child. God's child. Have awe in of the beauty that He created...this beautiful world he built, the mountains he keeps neat and tidy, other flawed people just like me that He is working so hard on. Have awe in His perfect Plan...in his plan for me for ALL His precious children...even those of us who fail, and fail miserably He has a plan for Me. Have awe in His perfect character....His justice, His mercy, His unfailing ways, His charity. Have awe in His magnificent gifts which He bestows upon us as His children...his small acts of love that show me each day He is still there, that He eases my burdens, that He wants me to find joy and happiness in this life and in the next.
The Lord teaches us to become as a little child. "Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 18:4
Just like I desire that flower to grow to start from the seed and become what it is meant to be. I want my husband to grow. I want him to become that man that he wants to be, and the man that God wants him to be. Sometimes that means I must giggle and smile and snuggle up next to my big strong manly man and say I love that you are so big and strong and handsome and I love your beard for the play, and I love that you picked that big goat up and slapped it down on the stand for me to milk, and that you gave me a heart attack by pretending the last goat had disappeared. I love that you want to tease and poke and say I love you to me in your own special way. I want to be humble as a little child and give you ALL the admiration that you need because I want to give myself unto you, because I want you to grow...Grow...GROW and I want to enjoy the greatness and beauty that is inside of you.
#3 Admire him....be sincere....be specific....give him what he needs to grow
(disclaimer....I am not a great gardener or wife...anything I say should be planted at the readers own discretion )
This is completely unrelated....and not written well, but I thought that I should mention here something that happened the other day. I was reading this chapter and my youngest brother had been over a lot that week and I realized something about him. He is always working out and taking his shirt off (which I hate) and talking about his muscles and on and on and on...and I discovered something about this young man who is desperately trying to become a man. He wants someone to admire him. He wants to hear: Wow! Look at your muscles. Look at the man you are becoming. You look really good. Geesh your shoulders are so broad ( I feel silly just typing this, by the way ). He NEEDs someone to tell him this. So I did. And, I felt silly. And, my other brothers all teased me and him. And, it is weird to say things like that to your brother. BUT. He loved it. He had a big beaming smile on his face. He felt loved. He felt in that minute like a man. He knew that someone else saw him as the man he is and the man he is trying to become. This is so simple....and yet so hard. Be silly! Be a little girl who loves muscles, and cute bums, and plays with his hair, and snuggle next to him...you know like you used to when you were dating...be that little girl. Be that girl in whose eyes he couldn't do anything wrong. And while your at it....maybe you have a brother or a father or a son who is screaming...PLEASE ADMIRE ME. And mabey you think...but I hate that he spends so much time working out, or so much time in front of the mirror, or so much time without his shirt on (UGH), so I don't want to encourage him. But maybe, just maybe if you give him the admiration he needs he will have his plant food and he can grow some more in other ways...and even if he doesn't... that huge grin, or smirk, on their face is worth it...trust me.