Does this ever happen to you?
A somewhat minor event in my life will, for whatever reason, be repeatedly brought to my mind. I have two of these little stories floating around in my head, and lucky you, you get to hear them!
#1. This story makes me look rather dumb, but I still think it’s a good one. After church I was chatting with a friend and the topic of our conversation moved to his wife. I knew the two of them had three kids and the man’s wife was a registered nurse, but I was curious if she was currently working as an RN or was a stay at home mom. I asked, “Does your wife work?” to which he responded, without pause or hesitation, “Yes, she works at home. She works hard every day.”
In print that may read like he was shaming me for posing the question so poorly. Yeah, I felt pretty unintelligent, but his delivery was nothing but kind and sincere. Even more so than a shout out to the labor-intensive work of being a stay at home parent (whoop whoop!), what has really stuck with me is the opportunity he took to build up his wife. He jumped at the chance to praise the work she does, no matter that she wasn’t within earshot. How powerful and important–I love it.
#2. Recently a girlfriend of mine preached at our church. I had the privilege of sitting at just the right angle to see her husband’s profile as she spoke. The few times I glanced in his direction throughout the sermon, he was simply beaming at her. You could almost see rays of pride radiating from him. I had to smile–I found it so encouraging that his support was silent, yet so visible.
As a married person, I frequently pray for my single friends, wanting them to experience this nifty institution called marriage if it’s God’s plan for them. But single people, will you please pray for the married folk, too? There are attacks on marriages right and left, and we need help remembering to jump at opportunities to support each other with words (….she works hard every day….) and deed (….supportive smiles from the sidelines).
It’s hard to be married.
And please believe me, I know it’s hard to be single. I remember.
I guess it’s just hard to be alive.
So everybody just pray for everybody, ya hear? ;)