Sunday, April 6, 2014
Twelve Months of Loving: Becoming His Biggest Fan
That's where being intentional comes in. To keep our marriage healthy and strong I have to make a choice each day to intentionally put my spouse on my radar. It doesn't always come naturally, as much as I wish it did. I don't always get butterflies when I think of him and he doesn't always think to romance me the way he did when we were dating. But good-quality riches rarely come without sweat, blood, and plenty of personal investment, and lasting relationships are no different.
So I continue in my pursuit of learning to love my husband well and kick off April with a focus on becoming his biggest fan. (If you missed January's goal of not holding onto things, February's goal of having fun together, or March's goal of communicating to connect (not to get my way) than feel free to check them out!) This month I am adding the goal of becoming my husband's cheerleader.
When I think of cheerleaders for sports teams, there are some qualities they possess that stand out to me as ones I might think to emulate in my relationship with my spouse.
They are peppy and full of energy. I know that a positive attitude and energetic outlook are attractive to my husband. I obviously can't have boundless energy all the time (I don't know that any mother of toddlers can) but I can make an effort to give my best to my husband and reserve some energy and fun for him at the end of the day. Some days it may be a sacrifice I don't feel like making. But when I make the choice to save something of myself for my spouse, I am making the choice to show him he is important and worth my effort.
They cheer for their team whether their team is winning or losing.
Let's face it. Some days our spouses are not in for the "win". Maybe they've brought home a bad attitude or made a lousy choice and they are no fun to be around. I confess that my automatic response to my spouse in these moments is often one of sarcasm and pettiness. It is not easy to be his cheerleader when he's not "earning" my cheers. But I am humbled to realize that, if my goal is to be my husband's biggest fan, it can't just be in the good times. My faithfulness to our marriage and my choice to maintain a positive view of my spouse will have no greater impact than when he does not deserve it. It could be that in the most difficult moments it is my cheering for him and seeing the best in him that reminds him of the man he truly is. It could be that my loud and energetic "I believe in you!" from the sidelines brings him back from his defeat. Words are powerful and I have a choice to use mine to help my spouse become the winner that I know he is.
They remember that its not about them...it's about the team. I don't know about you, but even on my best days there's a hint of selfishness in me. I want my needs met, I want to be happy, and I get mad when somebody (namely, my spouse) doesn't seem to have that same end goal in mind. But good cheerleaders don't focus on themselves. They focus on the team they are rooting for...regardless of their aching muscles or hoarse voices. In order to be my spouses biggest fan, I need to lay myself aside and focus on the "us". We must choose to put aside our own expectations when they are getting in the way of the bigger picture. Self-care is important and certain needs do need to be addressed with our spouse. But in the end, if he leaves his big size-fifteen shoes in the middle of the living room floor every evening or puts his dishes on the counter instead of in the dishwasher...it's probably not worth the frustration and animosity to nag him to death about it. The bigger picture? He's home after a long day. I can rejoice that he's sitting next to me with his bare feet propped up and his tummy contentedly full. I can simply enjoy his presence.
They actually cheer. It may sound obvious (since cheering seems to be the main job description of a cheerleader) but what am I doing to show my man that I am his #1 Fan? What words am I speaking to him and about him? How am I building him up? What ways am I make him feel respected? Each of our men are different and different things may light them up. Our job is to figure out what it is that makes our man feel like a million bucks. How do we say "You are my hero" with our words and actions to our husbands?
So here we go. An ambitious goal for one who is feeling a bit lackadaisical in her resolution but that's what blogging is for...to keep me accountable! May I (and you!) use the month of April to show our husbands how much they are loved, respected, and appreciated. So grab your pompoms, put on a cute skirt, and let's start hooting and hollering about how blessed we are to have these men as our very own. They need to hear it and we need to say it! Go get em tiger! :)