I was listening to a sermon by Dr. Tony Evans on marriage a little while back. (Available here, it was part of his Winning Back Your Mate series – good stuff!) The quote that got stuck in my head and gave me plenty of food for thought was:
Many men would rather go out to eat with somebody who is encouraging him than stay at home and eat from a good cook who has no respect for him.
I think it’s true for most people, maybe especially husbands. Imagine that you had to eat lunch with a certain co-worker everyday. Someone that you didn’t really like. Someone who really just got on your nerves. Someone who knows how to push all the wrong buttons. It’s just a hardship to spend that lunch hour with them.
Some people live like that. Their spouses don’t really respect them and know how to push all the wrong buttons, but golly gee, since they’re married, they have to go home to them. They have to eat with them. They have to be there with them. They have to endure that. What kind of life is that? No fun!
Dr. Evans exhorted wives to be their husband’s chief fan, support system and encourager. They can get a maid to do the cleaning. They can get a chef to do the cooking. They can get a nanny to do the child raising. But they can’t hire a number one fan. They can’t hire someone to encourage them.
So I took this quote to heart in two ways:
- As important as the ‘tasks’ of the house are, they are just tasks. Not people.
- One of the most important things that I do is be a good wife to Jeff. Not a good wife to Bob. Not a good wife to Billy. Not a good wife to Larry. Not a good wife as defined by “cooking, cleaning and procreating”. But a good wife as defined by “Cheering him on. Encouraging him. Supporting him. Not tearing him down. Not undermining him.” No one else but me gets to do that!
Anyway, it was a good reminder of what’s really important. My relationships are more important than my tasks!