My husband is a “tough guy”. He fixes cars for a living, expertly I might add. He has rough, hard-working hands (he actually scrubbed them with Ajax cleanser for our wedding day!). He likes to read “Guns and Ammo”. His favorite movies have to do with World War II, John Wayne, or both. He doesn’t wear pink. He won’t eat “foofie” food. He refuses to add cream and sugar, declaring that he likes his coffee “pure”. He likes beef jerky. Most onlookers would never know this guy is a softie.
My husband likes good poetry, and has even written some. He likes purple flowers. He weeps sometimes when he preaches. He likes to hold hands when we fall asleep at night. Tenderness. It can be so elusive in men. Only the privileged few usually get to see it. This entry by Elisabeth Elliot is what made me think about this topic.
Tenderness is what drew me to my husband. I was impressed with his preaching. I thought his faithfulness in Christian service was noteworthy. He has numerous talents. But the thing that made me begin to think, “Is he the one?” was his tenderness. I have had health struggles for years. Most on the college campus where we met did not know about it. I would miss work or have to decline invitations and stay home, working through the weakness. This man was different than others who would express sympathy and then cross me out of that day’s entries in their little black book. No, he insisted on spending time with me, even though I had nothing to offer. That is agape love. He wanted to be with me, to comfort me, to be “company” for me. We’d sit and look at photo albums or just talk. He was good for me. Still is.
I joke that my husband proposed to me because he felt sorry for me. 🙂 We spent a Saturday hiking, and it wound up being much more of an adventure than we’d expected. We ended up on a wrong trail that led who-knows-where, and I fell and scraped myself up. He bandaged me, gave me some water, and helped me along the rest of the way. The next day we were so stiff and sore we could barely stand up. That was the day he proposed. Without hesitation, I accepted.
I find it interesting how many times the Bible speaks of “tender mercies”. This tenderness…the potential to forget self and show such care…comes from Him. If you are married, pray that your man will walk with the tender Shepherd and learn of Him. If you are not, bask in the gentleness of your Savior and ask Him, if He so wills, that you might know a man who embodies this quality.
Happy Valentine’s day!