I couldn’t write about this last year around this time, it was a bit too fresh. But as I anticipate Father’s Day again and think about ways to honor my husband for his commitment to our family I can’t help but remember.
Last year was the first year he didn’t have a dad to call or hang out with on Father’s Day. Though no words had been spoken I knew that must hurt and that the pain ran deep. So I intentionally, thoughtfully planned out ways we could show him how much he meant to us. The kids and I spent a whole day working on an 8 foot drawing of an oak tree. We cut out tiny paper acorns and wrote on each one different things we loved about him. I printed out a poem about oak trees and how strong they are and why they can weather great storms.
You get the idea…we worked hard. We invested a lot in making him feel blessed. But that’s not my point. The same day, in the afternoon, I checked our bank account and he had made a very significant purchase that day. One that we had not entirely talked through or agreed about. My cheeks burned red and I had a lot of things I wanted to say. I was tempted to throw the giant tree in the trash because I was so mad.
This is the juncture that every person has found themselves in one time or another. This is the point where a critical choice has to be made. More often than not, its me on the other side and I’m the one in desperate need of grace. But this time it was him.
Give grace or seek vindication?
Let love win or let anger spill?
I felt more than justified to burn with my words and trash my whole “you’re an awesome dad” night. But God’s way won out, for once I simply bowed to what I knew was right and chose to give honor regardless of the day’s circumstances. His choice bore no impact on if he was worthy of our special night. I get to choose to respect who he is regardless of if I feel like he’s earned it that day or not (thank you Love and Respect book, for that wisdom!).
The way he flourishes and smiles when I opt for holding my tongue or choose to offer an affirming word never ceases to amaze me. I really should have it down pat by now but somehow its still hard sometimes. The patience and grace to keep learning are certainly still critical to marriage survival. I’m fairly certain my long-time-married-incredible parents would even agree, it is a never ending process.
Like most things in life, I may not have a choice in just what happens but I get to choose how I respond.
I can choose forgiveness.
I can choose honor.
I can choose to hope.
I can choose love.