"Husbands love your wives just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her"
I was dumbstruck as I read it...a father waited impatiently on the doorstep of his home for his visitation time with his two young sons. When the caseworker arrived with the children, he took them inside quickly, shut and locked the door, and as the caseworker called 911, the house exploded.
What causes a man, a father, to do such a thing? What turns a man from a loving husband into a murderer? What selfishness entered his heart and caused him to turn back on God and his family?
I have been twice blessed. I had Layne, a man of sterling character, who loved us so very much. As my eldest son intoned just this week in a family meeting "My father literally laid his life down for his family."
Then, this weekend, we had a bit of a scare, when I began to have chest pains. Now, everyone who knows me will understand that I don't do doctors or hospitals--I think I have seen my share in the last years, and I really don't care to spend my free time being poked, prodded or investigated physically.
But, it was bad enough that when David asked, "Do we call 911" I nodded affirmatively.
So I found myself in Layne's world. A world where your lines get stuck over and over with stuff that burns like acid and tastes like window cleaner. I found myself tearing up as I thought of the man whose lines I had to clean daily--and how he bravely winced and kidded "Are you going to hurt me again?"
Over and over I hurt him, in order to try to save him. Multiple times, the nurses caused him to cry out, the doctors gave him instructions and prescribed medicines that would make him incredibly ill. Yet he did all this, not for himself, but for us.
Then, as I lay in the bed, in his position, this weekend--I watched David trying to sleep with his head on the bars of the bed. I watched him endure all I endured for Layne--sleeplessness, feelings of inadequacy, and well, sheer terror that no matter what you do, you might be losing the person you love most.
It was then I realized just how blessed I am. To have been provided two husbands who are good men, and caring men. Who put their families before themselves. In today's "It's All About Me" world, that is beyond unusual.
Yet, not all women are so blessed. The Powell family met a violent end because of a breakdown in the leadership of the home. The father sought to take their lives in place of laying his down for them. My heart and prayers go out to the extended family who have to deal with the aftermath.
As I peruse emails and my Facebook page, I realize that so many of my friends are blessed. Their spouses love them, and together, they lead homes and raise children to be honorable, loving, and kind. Sometimes, I think Christians take for granted that this is how life "is". We don't truly count our blessings when our spouse goes to work instead of off to take care of his or her own selfish needs. We don't whisper a prayer up when things go wrong, hoping our spouse will have our back--because we just know they will. We really need to appreciate our spouses though, and we need to show them that we honor and appreciate them.
Valentine's Day will come and go, but truly...does it need to be a certain day to do something small to let your spouse know that you don't take that calm assurance of acceptance and care for granted? Why not let them know TODAY that consistency and reliability is noticed and life giving, and as important as any gift of flowers, candy, and dinners out. Sometimes, a simple kiss and an "I notice" can mean the world.
This morning, I am back at home, with a list of doctors to visit. I'm blessed that my hospital stay was covered by some amazing insurance, provided by my husband. I'm blessed that if I need to be driven to tests, my sons and my husband will provide transportation and support. I blessed because of the godly and honorable men in my life. I want them to know that quiet, strong support is important to me. It is life giving. Thank you.