I walked in my husband’s shoes today. I have been married to this man for 26 years and I have never had a “take your wife to work day” before. Now mind you this was not just any “take your wife to work” day. I actually flew half way around the world and experienced what he experiences when he travels for business. In the nature of what he does, he sends hundreds of emails each day to communicate many pieces of a puzzle that he is a part of. While in China In order to communicate effectively with the American part of his puzzle, he awakens at 3 a.m. in order to have 2 hours of time to communicate all he needs to and answer all the questions that he needs to before those in the U.S. leave at 5 p.m. (China is 12 hours ahead of the U.S.) Then he spends a few minutes on the treadmill, showers, eats breakfast, catches up on any other work he needs to before departing from his hotel at 8 a.m. He is then driven to different places in order to meet with different customers. Many times spending an hour in the car between stops. At each of these stops he is dealing with issues and problems that have arisen. Managing people and problems and language barriers effectively. Then back to the hotel for a few more hours of work before going to bed by 8 p.m. in order to get up and 3 a.m. and start all over again.
This peak into his day gave me a new level of respect for him that I quite honestly have never had before. He manages a lot of different things every day from people to problems to projects. As I sat and watched him and listened to him, I realized how much he does. He carries mountains of stress on his shoulders every day. I see why when he comes home at night, he does not need to be hit with a list of my complaints. He has been listening to complaints all day. What he needs from me is a warm smile. A word of encouragement. A listening ear about his day. My problems can wait for a while till he has time to unload his.
I saw the need that he has for me to respect him. He is with people all day that show him respect. When he comes home, he needs to also be respected. Romans 12:10 says to”…outdo one another in showing honor.” Since I love a good contest, this verse has always challenged me. As Dave’s wife, I should be seeking to honor him more than those he has been with all day. I may have been at work all day myself and be overwhelmed with my own set of circumstances, but the Scriptural challenge in Romans 12:10 is not conditional. As a matter of fact, no Scriptural mandate is conditional.
As I have been on this trip with Dave, I have tried to not be demanding of my needs. Rather, I have tried to go along with his schedule and see the world through his eyes rather than try to have him accommodate my agenda. I realize that this is not always possible in everyday life, but for these days of “take your wife to work” I can be flexible for him. This is what has given me the ability to see his life through his eyes. This has helped me to gain perspective.
I have walked a mile in his shoes, and after 26 years of marriage I respect him in a new way. I see him with different eyes. I love him more deeply. I want to outdo the honor that others have shown him. I may not have fruit waiting for him on the table when he walks in the door, but I can take care to be a better student of what he needs when he comes home and make every effort to be what he needs.