I have a pair of shoes I really like. More than that ... they're "cool." The bad thing is they don't fit me. Never really did. They still look brand new, and if I wear them you might never know the discomfort my toes are in, except for the wince you might see in the edges of my mouth every time I take a step.
This weekend I had the joy of attending the She Speaks Conference (more on that later) with Proverbs 31. As I drove home Sunday evening I reflected on how thankful I was for my husband's support to attend the conference and his support of open doors God gives me to use my abilities. He showed it in so many ways, demonstrating his "endorsement" of my weekend away and the chance to grow in ministry. Let me share a few ways he actively supported: He went and filled the car with gas for me (not that I can't do that ;), but HE wanted to), he tried to help pick out my outfits to take ;), he made sure I had what I needed financially, he put my suitcase in the car for me, when I said "Oh, I can't forget the camera" he went and go it, he prayed WITH me, he prayed FOR me, he sent me texts to see how things were going, he took care of things at home while I was gone, and he listened to all the details when I got home. :)
Call it what you will: permission, support, encouragement, endorsement, approval .... the stamp of agreement from a spouse gives us CONFIDENCE and FREEDOM in marriage to follow God individually and as a couple. My hubby's support drew me closer to him, but it also allowed me to be closer to God. Now in case you're thinking, "Yeah, well, my husband wouldn't do that," let me encourage you to think about something:
- You go first. Support his dream and let him experience the joy of being cheered on.
- Not getting the response you hope for? Pray, wait, pray, trust (in the Lord & hubby).
Even the husband of the year may not jump up and down with every idea we have, but isn't it good to know the Holy Spirit is using our husband to help shape our life, either to give us direction or help us learn to wait and trust in our Lord and our husband? It's one of those verses we use as a tent peg in marriage, but the truth can transform our marriages:
Prov. 31:11a "The heart of her husband trusts in her."
Caring about having our husband's support helps him trust us. When we wait and pray, it helps him trust us. It might be starting an in home business, doing daycare in your home, getting a gym membership, teaching children's church, repainting your kitchen, being the team soccer mom, or writing a book ... the "it" doesn't really matter. What matters is that our husband is up front waving the "all clear" flag.
Sometimes our ideas, like my shoes, may look cool to others. We may REALLY want them to fit and convince ourselves we'll get used to them and love them. But we aren't meant to wear every option that calls our name. The support of our husband is crucial in making sure our choices and pursuits really "fit" well for us and our families. There's little joy or success or unity in doing something our husband was reluctant to embrace.
Last week we took some time to consider confidence crushers; later this week I want to put the spotlight on some of the secrets to REAL confidence. In marriage, I think this is one of those secrets. God builds confidence between us when we go about marriage His way, instead of trying to force our agenda without or in spite of God's plan.We have the confidence OF our spouse when we wait on and value his support, and we have confidence IN our spouse when we wait on and pray for his support.
And those awesome shoes that I'm not meant to wear? Ebay? Yard sale? Goodwill? No ... they fit my daughter just fine. :)