My husband is gone for a couple of days on National Guard duty. He's off in a helicopter or shooting something. And I'm at home realizing, not only how much I miss him, but how much I really, really like him.
I read Love and Respect like all Christian newlywed girls do these days. And there was a lot in there about how men often feel loved but not "liked," not appreciated or noticed. I probably don't tell Andy often enough that I do respect him, like him and appreciate him. But when he's gone, I certainly do have time to think about it!
I woke up in the middle of the night doing that reach over to the other side of the bed thing you see in movies- no Andy, just a Gatsby leg hanging off a pillow. (Gats is enjoying the extra bed space while Andy is out of town!) I guess when someone is absent, you become aware of how content you are in their presence. Contentment. Is there a better place to live? I don't think so.
When Andy was in the course, I wrote him some encouraging notes for his last phase of training. One of the notes was about the meaning of his name. Andrew means "strong" and his middle name, Mark, is derived from the name "Mars" the war god. It means "warrior." They're both Biblical names, and I don't know why specifically they were chosen for him, but I love that Andy, my soldier, is so appropriately named for who God has called him to be. A strong warrior. He is indeed that. :)
It's funny that someone with a name like "strong warrior" would get this kind of rep though- when my friends first met Andy and I was after their seal of approval, Rosemary said, "He's a teddy bear." Probably not Andy's favorite title, but one that won my heart. Andy is not only a "strong warrior," he is the kind of man that Stu Weber calls a "Tender Warrior."Why? Because Andy is learning to refuse the temptation to look strong in his own eyes or the eyes of man, and completely accept the Lord's strength- no matter the cost. That's the sort of thing that makes a girl's heart go pitter-pat. ;)
Real strength comes in weakness alone- when we see who we have been and reject it because God has given us a better identity. Real love comes when we die to ourselves. Real freedom comes when we pursue truth, no matter how scary that seems. And real men are made when they pour contempt on all their pride and humbly lift their eyes to the cross. I'm married to a man who is becoming all of those things. And, oh my, do I ever adore him!
My sweet husband, my tender warrior, I love you. And I like you. You are my friend and my hero. I love seeing you grow in wisdom, freedom, truth and devotion to our King. See you soon, sweet friend.