By Susan Burkepile, Contributing Writer
I told my oldest daughter, Abby, that we are fortunate that we have had animals that are patient with children. Normally, I would use the word blessed but I guess it just came out a little different today.
And now I had an eight year old staring at me wondering what the word fortunate means. According to the Mirram-Webster Online Dictionary, the words mean:
fortunate: bringing some good thing not foreseen as certain; receiving some unexpected goodblessed: of or enjoying happiness; specifically: enjoying the bliss of heaven – used as title for a beatified person
The dictionary, however, doesn’t begin to capture the connotation. In fact, they even further describe blessed as good fortune.
But I have always considered the word fortune to imply luck. And blessed to imply a God centered certainty.
And in reference to my marriage, this distinction makes all the difference.
There are days when he is tired and I have spent all day refereeing crabby children. We are both worn. Anxious. And tired.
In that moment – if I consider my husband my good fortune – then I am ready to give up. The good fortune and uncertain goodness evaporates.
But in that very same moment, I can make a different choice. I can choose to remember that God purposely chose my husband for me. That he is a blessing.
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. ~ James 1:17 NIV
My husband is a precious gift from God. I should treasure Him. Even when I don’t feel like it. Even when he doesn’t deserve it.
And in that perspective of my spouse, I quit going through the motions of marriage. I can look at him as a blessing. And I can look for new opportunities to bless him.
As I seek to bless my husband, he feels loved, appreciated, and respected. And so, for my husband, here are a few acts of love that remind him of how much of a blessing he is to his family:
- Write him a love note.
- Hug him as soon as he comes in. And get off the phone or computer to welcome him home.
- Pray for him.
- Text him a <3
- Plan a surprise date.
- Bring him coke or a coffee at work.
- Brag on him (especially if he is with me).
- Keep his ice water full when he is doing yard work.
- Throw out all his old socks and underwear. And fill the drawer with new ones.
- Let him take a short nap before dinner.
I appreciate him so much more when I am busy loving him instead of trying to satisfy my needs in our marriage.
And in that same perspective, I am much less anxious. God created me to pour out His love to others. And when I am living in His shadow, I can concentrate on
“whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy” ~ Philippians 4:8
And in that, my heart can rest.