He reads to me sometimes, this Man of mine. He just wanders over to where I am and shares a well-written nugget or a thought-provoking sentence with me.
Can I tell you how that makes my heart beat just a little faster?
It's worth more than a bouquet of flowers, a diamond bracelet, or a case of mango sorbet.
Do you know how easy it would be for him not to stop and to not share? Terribly easy. So simple it would be just to charge right on to the end of the chapter and close the book and continue with the day, to mark another task off of the check list. Sure, you say, it's nice of him, but it costs him nothing at all. Yes, nothing at all except for time and concentration, both pretty rare commodities these days...have you noticed?
When my Man was a seminary student he told me that one of his professors warned the students not to neglect their wives. The professor wasn't speaking of the typical dangers of not appreciating one's spouse, or of denying her enough attention. He was referring to the spiritual and mental condition of the students' mates.
It seems that there exists a danger among all types of married students for the partner gaining the education to be mentally nourished, stimulated, and excited about all that he was learning while his wife was living in a completely different existence be it a 9 to 5 job and all of its worldly challenges or a 24/7 career as a mother of small children trying to piece together a real life on a shoestring budget and a steady diet of Dora the Explorer and three-year-old chatter.
Imagine the dinner conversation:
"Honey! You should have HEARD Dr. Deepfaith's lecture today on the different theories about the intertestamental period! It was the best part of my day when he brought it all together at the end."
"That's great dear. The best part of my day was catching Max's juice spill before it ran off of the table and on to the carpet again...or was that yesterday? Oh, AND I found a new recipe this morning for hot dog casserole that I thought we'd try soon."
See the problem?
My Man took his professor's advice seriously and has, for the better part of twenty years, been including me in his education. It began with us listening to systematic theology lectures on cassette tape after work in the kitchen while I washed the dinner dishes and it continued as we attended youth leader conferences together.
As the children entered our lives, my education took on a different appearance as my very busy Man came home from work early once a week so that I could attend a Bible study with my peers during a season as a young exhausted mother when I needed to feel like my brain was still able to function. It was an hour of his week then that still pays dividends in my memory to this day a decade later. Over the following years my Man encouraged me by buying for me whatever particular how-to book I was interested in at a particular moment.
My appetite for books hasn't decreased, nor has my Man's willingness to provide them.
And while my interest in the nitty gritty points of every branch of theology has been...more piqued at some times than at others, my pastor-husband has been a quiet student and a humble teacher ready with soft answers to my let-me-poke-a-hole-in-your-theory questions.
Does he always show up just when I need to hear a fresh thought from a favorite author? No way.
Does he roll his eyes at me sometimes? Absolutely, then he huffs...a little.
Does he care a little about this mamma's brain and spiritual well being? More than a little.
Does he come home every night bubbling over with conversation to share? Not always. But he does come home every night and that's all a gal should ask for some days.
Every now and then though, when he comes through the door he carries a pair of identical books, one for himself and the other for me and every time that happens I feel like I've been invited to dine at the big kids' table where the food being served requires a sharp knife and the conversation calls for a keen mind.
That feeling is worth more than the book,
...worth more than all of the books,
...(and there have been many),
...and God willing,
...may there be many, many more.
Happy Birthday my Man.
Thanks for bringing me along with you.
Thanks for making it matter
...and then for making it happen.
All my love,