Every Christ-like husband (or wife for that matter) begins as a diamond in the rough – a very carefully chosen one, at that. If you were like me, you were intent to marry a person of integrity whose compass was firmly set on a lifetime of seeking God. Naturally, the time it took to complete such a rigorous assessment, brought into the light for both of us, that areas of refinement were still underway, in each of our lives.
Some marriage seasons have more “diamond” and other seasons more “rough.”
The close quarters of married life reveal everyone’s weakness. The more a man tries to always appear strong is like the toddler playing hide and seek with their parent, who really thinks that mom can’t see them, though some part of their body is clearly exposed.
Truth be told, my wife has played a major role in my being the man I am today. The secure wall that I have built and seek to maintain around her life, consists of many bricks that we placed in together over the years, and some that she herself interceded into reality on my behalf.
Shared ownership of these times, mutual investment in the process, builds marital equity.
What should every husband aspire to be for his wife and family? Here’s a no frills description: servant-leader, protector, and provider, in both a physical and spiritual capacity. How much simpler can it be guys? At least on paper.
Our wives desire us to be sturdy and durable (tough) in this role, while also being men who take time to connect with them in a warmhearted (tender) way.
Most men that I’ve known over the years, heartily embrace the physical component. They work hard to provide, and would give their life to protect, but when it comes time to transition into the spiritual and relational aspects, they struggle.
Outside looking in, is seldom a wife’s preference when she knows there is tumult within her man. In the midst of the wrestle, my wife greatly appreciates it when I am vulnerable with her, for it’s not an appearance of strength she craves but the authentic appropriation on my part of a character quality that she knows I cannot produce on my own.
It is an oft quoted Bible verse, “For when I am weak, then I am strong.” It was written by an apostle in the early church who experienced heavenly revelations. To keep him humble, God allowed affliction to curb his natural inclination towards conceit.
There’s been no modification to this perfectly divine insurance policy that heaven has taken out on humanity. It exists in your life, to protect you from you, and enable you to lead your wife and family in the aftermath of your humbly acquiring God’s strength.
Being tempered on heaven’s anvil insulates a man’s tough, with tender.