Inspired by the movie, Courageous, I’ve been making some personal observation about the women behind Courageous men whom I personally know.
In the words of the producers, “Hollywood produces movies to entertain and make money at the box office. Courageous was made to change lives.” The movie has the potential to change the family climate and it is certainly changing the lives of not only the men but the wives as well.
It takes a Courageous man to answer the call and fully resolve to stay committed to a standard above mediocrity and be more than just a “good enough” father and/or husband.
I realized that he can’t do it alone. The Courageous man is not immune to the challenges, discouragement and temptations that abound when he devotes himself to making and keeping commitments that will bring him and his family all the blessings and joy.
Author Kay Arthur puts it so aptly – that one of the greatest fears that dominate husbands in particular, is the fear of being found inadequate.
After being married for almost 20 years and learning from many other marriages, I’ve ascertained that a wife is the best person to help alleviate this fear. It comes down to my three “As” – my Attention, my Admiration and my Affirmation.
It is not often articulated, but my husband desires to know more than anything that I trust him and that I believe in him. He is fulfilled when he senses that despite his inadequacies, I see the possibilities and potential God has given him; I recognize and support his divinely wired role as the leader and provider of our family.
Being that voice of support, confidence and encouragement is a morale booster to him. It quells the continual struggle against any sense of inadequacy that smolders inside of him.
The truth is that I’ve not always been that voice. I recall the earlier years of our marriage – I was so naturally quick to criticize and correct my husband’s actions. There were times when I felt justified in what I said because I think that’s the way he ought to feel about himself after what he’s done or not done! Nothing can be more damaging and destructive to him and to me and the entire family. It took me quite a while though to realize what was happening.
Our men aren’t perfect. Neither are they delusional, they know it too even if they are not quick to admit it. But just like you and me, he is not to be defined by his imperfections. Sure there are times for talking plainly and honestly about things he needs to improve and watch out for. But I’ve learned my lesson that it will go a long way for me to choose wisely what I say, how I say and when to say.
Our cutting, nagging comments can wound him deeply, especially when any disapproval and resentment are unresolved and accumulated over time. It makes him feel belittled and insignificant, beaten down and discouraged. What we think of as no more than a little jab about a specific incident becomes a stabbing wound that can leave a hole in his heart.
Yet equally powerful are our simple, honest, even casual compliments. When we make it our resolution to remind them of the potential and possibility that lies within them – not because we are patronizing or manipulating them but because we truly believe it – they feel on top of the world. This is one sure way to care for the Courageous.
I trust that the unwavering assurance of my support and devotion will inspire him to greater things than he’s proven capable of before, breakthroughs that would bring forth a richer blessing and depth of relationships to our family.
Indeed I can say that “My husband is a rich man because he has a strong faith, children who love him and a wife who adores him.”
“To my husband, Ben – my resolution is to be faithful to you and honor you in my conduct and conversation, help you reach your God-given potential and to serve you well as a wife and to be the kind of woman who truly blesses her man. I pray that when the curtain closes on my time here on earth, you will be able to confidently say that I was a woman of resolution.”