101 Ways to Love
August 28, 2014
Filed In: Marriage
We all want to be someone great. But do we have the courage to be more than average?
When I turned 14, my parents gave me the gift of flight. My dad has been involved in aviation since 1980. Early in their marriage, my parents discussed how they wanted to give each of their children the ability to learn how to fly, if we wanted to. We were living in Oklahoma at the time, and my dad and I joined a glider club. I studied hard, practiced a lot, and two weeks after my 16th birthday, I earned my pilot’s license.
One of the great things about learning to fly in an environment of military aviators is that safety is in it’s proper place, first! I learned early on that in order to be a good pilot I’d have to be a constant learner. I needed to be honing my skills so that I was always getting better. Complacency kills in aviation, literally.
There’s a real sickness in our society. We have moved from reliance on husbands and fathers for leadership to an insistence that they live a life of complacency. We don’t want their opinions, we don’t want their input, we really just want them to bring home a paycheck and then get out of our way.
I believe that there are three different kinds of husbands. The great thing about these categories is that you as a husband have the ability to choose what kind of man you’re going to be. At any time you can shift into gear and kick butt. You can also slip into compliancy and revert to being a lame husband. Here’s a closer look at these categories;
- Dead weight. This dude, I don’t even understand him. He’s operating under the assumption that his paycheck is his contribution to the household. He doesn’t do work around the house unless it’s something he wants to do. He moans when he has to take out the trash. He grumbles when he has to mow the lawn. He doesn’t make any meaningful gestures of affection towards his wife. What a loser.
- Average. Most husbands are going to be in this category. Sure, you make an effort, but not as much as you could. You do your share of the chores, you tell your wife that you love her, and you keep the lawn mowed. But, you do things out of duty, not devotion. This husband has a checklist and is marking things off. It’s kind of like going to confession because you did something really wrong, not because you want to grow in your relationship with God.
- Saint. This is the guy. It’s all about the family, it’s all about love. He has hobbies, but none of them interfere with his family life. He has goals, but he crafts his schedule so that he spends the maximum time with his wife and kids. His ideal vacation includes his family. He’s in sync with his wife because he’s serving her well. He knows who he is, he knows he was called to this, and he’s all in.
From time to time, we’re all dead weight. There’s plenty of reasons why: stress, lousy day at work, and truthfully, the married life isn’t always easy. Most of the time, we’re average. And if we’re really dedicated, then we might reach up into the saint level.
Being a husband who’s a saint really isn’t that difficult physically. It’s a mental game. You have to have the courage to do the things necessary to love that well. You have to believe that you can.