To Love, Honor, and Protect

As I stood there watching my man, a can of spider-kill-juice in his hand, I was overcome by how well he takes care of me.

You see, I am an insect magnet. Lucky me! When hubby and I watch fireworks from our cozy blanket on the grass, I return with dozens of bug bites while he has none. It’s because I’m so sweet, he tells me. But I suspect they’re trying to kill me.

Likewise with spiders. They stealthily attack in the night. If it weren’t for the swollen, itchy bite marks, my people would think I’m crazy. Ahem.

So this morning as I was killing a spider in my bedroom {yes, I squish them with my fingers – don’t judge!}, my sweetie proceeded to tear apart the bedroom so he could spray the entire perimeter. My hero!

“I really appreciate how you protect me and take care of me,” I smiled.

But the words fell awkward off my tongue. Which is probably why I don’t say them often enough. I am so grateful for this and all the other efforts he makes to take care of me. Why so awkward to say it?

The message I’ve gotten my entire life – the message society pummels us with – is that women do not need (and shouldn’t want) to be protected and cared for. Especially not by men.

Now, I don’t agree with this. I think we all need to be loved and cared for, especially in marriage. But it’s such a pervasive message. And that frustrates me.

We’re told that women don’t need men. That we can do it on our own.

In many cases, that’s true. We can do it on our own. I could have easily sprayed the room myself. My husband knows it and I know it. But it was a gift.

When I take the trash can to the curb while he’s at work, it’s not because I think he can’t do it. It’s not because I want to exert power over him {Ooh! Look how powerful I am, wielding the trash can!} It’s a loving gesture. Small, yes. Inconsequential, even. It takes less than 15 seconds. But it’s 15 seconds he doesn’t have to be concerned about. And I know he will smile when he pulls into the driveway and sees that I’ve given him this meager gift.

Why would his taking care of me be any different? It’s not. I know that. Still, I am swayed – not by my feelings but by the messages that bombard my psyche. I still feel awkward saying the words out loud.

How do I deal with this? Apparently by railing against society’s messages in a blog post. But how do I get better at doing other things that feel awkward? Practice!

So I need to say it more often to this man I love. I really appreciate how you take such good care of me!

Eventually the words will sound less awkward and I will be free to express my true feelings, rather than filtering them through society’s weird messages, which have been implanted in my head.

This week, how are you going to practice overcoming the peer pressure in your head?

4 Replies

  1. From a husbands perspective, Andy Stanley taught me a little phrase that my wife truly apprediates. ‘Is there anything I can do to help.’ It works well with the children too. Come to think it works with anyone!

    1. That’s a great one! Thanks, Rod.

  2. Elisa

    I am Blessed to be married to a man who delights to take care of me. It took some doing for me to accept it though. I often felt that his offers of help meant that I wasn’t doing my job properly. It caused a lot of angst, all of it unnecessary. Finally I became so overwhelmed with tasks that I could not do them. I truly could not do my job. So, I did the logical thing. I accepted a challenge to read the entire Bible for Lent. Then I really couldn’t do “my” job. But two miracles happened. First, he just quietly picked up the slack. And I let him. We’ve never gone back. Now when I see him doing something, I see it as gift of love that it truly is.

    1. Good for you for figuring that out! And praise God for using his Word to help you. That does put it all in perspective, doesn’t it? It’s hard to justify, “I can’t spend time in Your Word today because I have vacuuming and laundry to do.” Sounds like you have a wonderful husband, too!

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