There are times when my husband sends me off with girlfriends just so I can get away. Times he shoos me out the door to go to the mall or get coffee or anything away from people calling me “mommy” for just a while.
Some days he pampers me. He rubs my feet and brushes my hair and just listens as I talk.
I’m not going to tell you about one of those days.
Nope. I want to tell you about the day he came home late – 7: 30 p.m. He collapsed on the couch. And when I returned from the grocery store at 10 p.m. he didn’t even raise his head. But when he finally did raise his head, it wasn’t to help me unload groceries; it was to scrounge through the bags for a Star Crunch and return to his spot in the den.
As he headed back to the couch, I said, “Hey! I thought you were coming to help me unload the groceries. You were just getting a snack?”
He mumbled, “Yep,” and collapsed again, quickly falling back asleep.
I stood for a second, watching him, wondering if he knew how frustrated I was with the kids that day, how tired I was from running errands, doing homework and going to Kroger at 9 p.m.
But the longer I looked at him the more I thought, “I couldn’t love you more.”
You see, while watching him on the couch, I started asking myself, “Why is my husband lying there? He normally is so helpful. Why is he so tired tonight?”
And then I remembered hearing his alarm that morning in the early dark– 4:30 a.m. to be exact. I knew he drove downtown a little before six to get to a convention for work. I recalled the stress in his voice days before as he told me his concerns and responsibilities for the event.
The man who usually calls me during the day to see how I’m doing never once checked in that day. He was too busy to do so. He didn’t make dinner with the family. He arrived late and headed straight to the couch to lie down.
I peered over the sink, eyes brimming and realized my husband loved me just like Christ loved the church.
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her. Ephesians 5:25
The Message says it like this:
Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church—a love marked by giving, not getting. Christ’s love makes the church whole. His words evoke her beauty. Everything he does and says is designed to bring the best out of her, dressing her in dazzling white silk, radiant with holiness. And that is how husbands ought to love their wives. Ephesians 5:25-28
Alan had been broken and poured out for me – for our family. He worked hard to provide for us, and the man was completely spent. I couldn’t have asked for more – for a man to love me more than that. He had given himself up for me. The knowledge of it was overwhelming.
Watching him go out the door each morning for work, I thank God for a man who loves me so.
That night, I walked close to the couch, leaned over to kiss his head and whispered, “I love you.”
“I love you, too,” he mumbled never opening his eyes.
I know you do, Alan. Oh, how I know.