I got a Mother’s Day card from my husband (my son is two, so the gifts are still from Daddy!) this year that brought tears to my eyes and delighted my heart. It wasn’t your typical Mother’s Day card. It ended with Happy Mother’s Day, but it was more an ode to the wife in me than the mother. But it was perfect, and it meant the world to me.
What did it say and why did it hold such meaning? It was a poem about being a wonderful wife and a best friend, but it placed extra significance on the particular virtue of dependability. The poem opens with the line,
“Because you know she’ll be there
when you need her by your side,
Because she’s someone you can trust, in whom you can confide.”
And later says,
“Because she’s always someone on whom you can depend –“
That might seem like a strange thing to get all mushy about, but if you knew how long and how hard I’ve worked on being someone that Levon can count on, you would know exactly why it brought me to tears.
My Journey to Becoming a Dependable Wife
Like the majority of Christian women, I’ve read about the Proverbs 31 woman. At one point in time I did several in-depth studies of the passage. One of the descriptions that stood out to me the most was this:
“Her husband can trust her,
and she will greatly enrich his life.
She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.” (v. 11-12)
At the time, I knew I could not honestly claim that description as a wife. I was not dependable, I couldn’t be trusted to follow through with things I said I would do (mostly because I just forgot, but sometimes because I tended to procrastinate), I sat when I should have been working, and more often than not I created more work for him rather than less. When I started studying these verses, I asked myself whether I “greatly enriched my husband’s life,” and other than cooking for him and providing *ahem* the obvious husband/wife interactions, I was not sure that I could answer affirmatively.
That concerned me greatly, and it lit a fire under me to develop my discipline and character so that I could grow into the kind of wife that brings my husband good and not harm. I disciplined myself to be more productive. I studied and experimented with ways to be more organized so I wouldn’t forget important tasks and deadlines. And I forced myself out of my comfort zones to take care of issues that I previously would have shied away from in order to ease Levon’s load of responsibilities.
The thing I should note about all this is that I did it without ever once mentioning it or discussing it with Levon. He knew I was studying Proverbs 31, but I didn’t talk to him about the particulars. As I worked and made changes to my lifestyle and habits, I never told him my motivations for it.
That’s why my Mother’s Day card this year was so special and meaningful. To read that one of the things he loves most about me is my dependability, when that used to be the thing that lacked most in our relationship was … amazing. It meant more to me than almost anything else he’s ever said to me. (To be fair, that’s a small pool to choose from – my husband is a man of few words! ;))
So what, you may be asking. “Good for you, but what does this mean for me?”
Here are 5 lessons I learned from my Mother’s Day card that you can apply to your own life and marriage:
Lessons About Marriage From a Mother’s Day Card
- He values your support.
I can’t speak for all husbands, but from what I’ve read and experienced in my own marriage, your support and help means the world to him. He wants you by his side, he values your help, and he appreciates it when you ease his load, even if he doesn’t show it. This card showed me just how high a premium my husband places on my dependability.
- He notices more than you think.
Like I said, I never once mentioned to Levon that I had been working on being more dependable. It wasn’t something he had asked from me, and it wasn’t something that he ever commented on as I put my new studies into practice. It was just something that I felt convicted about and desired to do out of love for my husband. I never asked him how I was doing in that area, and he didn’t really remark on it. So I didn’t know if he was even noticing the changes, I just knew that I felt better about myself as a wife. But getting this card showed me that even though he had not been verbally expressing it, my efforts had not gone unnoticed, and he appreciated them.
- You can change, if you want to.
I’ve changed so much over the last six years we’ve been married. So much, that the wife I am now hardly even resembles the wife I was on our honeymoon. It is possible to change. Even habits and character traits that are deeply engrained are reversible with dedication and the right motivations of the heart. To be clear, I’m not talking about changing the core of who you are or little idiosyncrasies that really don’t matter. But if there is something that you feel convicted about in your spirit and know you should change out of love and for the sake of your marriage, be encouraged that the Holy Spirit will help mold you into the wife you were meant to be.
- You should celebrate your progress!
Sometimes I get really discouraged when I think about the kind of wife I’d like to be – when I focus on my mistakes that day or compare myself to the superwoman who works, keeps an immaculate home, raises a tribe of perfect children, AND manages to look like a supermodel. But getting this card reminds me that, while the desire to improve is good, I need to remember to celebrate how far I’ve come. Like when I’m walking or jogging and the destination looks so far beyond me that I think I’ll never get there, but then I sneak a peek over my shoulder and wow! I’ve actually traveled quite a distance already – I can do this! It’s the same with changes we want to make in our lives. Keep your eyes on the prize and all that – but don’t forget to sneak a peek over your shoulder every once in awhile to appreciate how far you’ve come.
- God will give you encouragement when you need it most.
This is my favorite lesson. Levon may not have known what was going on in my heart, but God did. He knew all along how much I desired to change and how hard I’d been working. Even when it seems that your husband doesn’t notice your work, rejoice in the fact that our all-seeing God does. And He has that delightful habit of sending us the encouragement we need, right when we need it most.
My Mother’s Day card may not have been conventional this year, but unlike the ones before it, it will not end up in the recycling bin. This is one I will keep and treasure forever, because it reminds me that love, dedication, and hard work bring the sweetest rewards.
Do you have any stories like this? Is there anything that you’ve been working on in your marriage that you’d like to share? Or did you get any fabulous messages in your Mother’s Day card that meant a lot to you? Share your thoughts in the comments below!