"Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself." Ephesians 5:25-28
When I arrived home on Tuesday afternoon, sitting on my bed was an adorable stuffed monkey with a big red heart that says 'I Love You,' along with a welcome home greeting card from my dear husband. My husband and I have been married for over twenty-two years and he continues to be my very best friend. I praise God for him and treasure our time together.
My beloved husband knows that I enjoy getting gifts from him. He also realizes that I have a weakness for monkeys. I'm not sure why, but most of the stuffed animals (and the real ones too), just happen to have cute faces, in my opinion. Although his gift wasn't something that I needed, he chose to show his love for me, by purchasing something to welcome me back home after being away for nine days. Whenever I see that monkey now, I smile and think about my wonderful man.
As meaningful as the gift and card were to me, even more so is the support and encouragement my husband gives me each day. He willingly permitted me to take these past six weeks to take a break from a lot of the workings of our household, so that I could concentrate more on the Lord. He stepped in with taking care of homeschooling our son, while I was away visiting my friend in Georgia. He knew the importance of me having this time, and did whatever he could to make that happen.
All of these things have shown me how much he loves and cares for me. I think uppermost though, has been his continual support and encouragement in my endeavors. When I arrived back home, we spent one evening talking and reconnecting together. I shared how God spoke to me on this trip, and also throughout the month.
The direction that God is leading me to follow is one that I have felt during most of my growing up years. I also experienced it early in our marriage as well. The desire and inspiration has always been a part of who I am and how God designed me. Not many people understand it. My husband has always been my biggest cheerleader - encouraging me that I could do what God is calling me to do and to succeed. He has told me that I am talented and have a gift. My discoverings came as no surprise to him.
Today I am feeling blessed by having a husband that loves, supports and encourages me. As much as it difficult for me to imagine, my heavenly Father loves me even more. My husband's sacrificial and unconditional love is but a dim example of the outpouring of love that God has for me. How blessed we are!