Sunday, our pastor preached a sermon on what real men should be like. In true Pastor Ritchie style, it was not exactly what you might have thought it would be.
Pastor Ritchie is irreverent and sarcastic and one amazing preacher. And Sunday he called for the men in our church to stand up as men, not some kind of castrated version of a man that a lot of churches are asking men to be. A lot of men clapped and whooped it up for him. They were very into what he was saying.
I have to say, I was too.
One thing that struck me was his comment about how he'd rather his wife tell him she respects him than that she loves him. I asked Shooter over lunch if this was true of him. He said that he actually needs to hear both things but knowing I respect him ranks higher.
Shooter and I have had our rough patches in our almost 9 years of marriage. What's awesome is that we've grown through it and become a better husband and wife to each other. I realized that during one of the roughest patches, the respect issue is where things started to come apart for us. I didn't trust that he had the ability to lead our household and therefore didn't respect him very much either. All I wanted was for someone to provide for me and to protect me. He wasn't living up to his end of the bargain. Granted, I wasn't living up to my end of the bargain either, I was nagging and fussing and whining and complaining and not really doing much to lift him up. That was a period where poor Shooter was getting griped at from every possible direction. Honestly, he came out of that a much, much stronger man.
I look at Shooter now and I recognize part of him, and then there are parts I don't recognize well. He's grown, matured and discovered who he is. He's a stronger man, husband and hopfully will soon be the father I always knew he could be. Better yet, I have discovered that nagging and griping don't get me anywhere. Now....I'm not saying that I don't ever nag...cause I do...it's just part of my DNA. I have just seen him grown into my protector, my rock, my provider, my husband, my friend.
I just hope that as women we realize that having men who are so in touch with their feelings and all sensitive and soft means we have men who are fulfilling what they were called to be. Once we accept that our men were created to be warriors and providers - then I think we're well on our way to really having the kind of relationship we crave.