This post was originally posted on The Rhythms of Grace in April 2013. Recently Kevin and I have been in a fairly busy season of life, and I have found myself needing to put these words into action pretty much daily. I am enjoying learning how to be the wife that he needs so that he can flourish in the roles that God has called him to.
Recently I was talking with some good friends about being wives, mothers, and how we see our roles in the family. It was wonderful to engage in such encouraging and uplifting conversation. One of the women talked about how she sees a big part of her role as making the home a haven for her children, and especially her husband. That as he works out of the home and takes part in various leadership roles, she purposes to make their home a place he can retreat to and find love, security and comfort. A haven.
A haven is a peaceful place in the midst of danger. A dry place to find cover from the pouring rain. A safe place to be vulnerable. A loving place to be truly yourself. It is where you set out from and where you return to. Where you are strengthened and embraced.
As a wife and mother, I love the idea of viewing our home as a haven, and viewing one of my roles in our family as creating and maintaining that safe environment. Our daughter is still in a stage where she does not often leave our care. I hope that at this point her entire awareness is love, comfort and being taken care of. So as I have been thinking about how I can make my home a haven, I have primarily been thinking about how to do this for my husband. Right now I am on maternity leave and Kevin is working full time.When I do go back to work, I am thankful my job is one I can easily leave at work. Kevin’s primary work is in a ministry position that requires him to invest not only his time, but his heart as well. He holds a position with more responsibility and weight to it. It is good, and it is tiring. I love the idea of being intentional about making our home a haven for him to come home to. I have spent some time thinking of a few things I can do to make our home a haven for Kevin.
First of all, I can take care of him. Do the daily life things that make him feel cared for. Make a tasty, healthy meal at the end of the day. Keep his clothes clean and dry. Take the few moments it takes to tidy the house before he gets home. Buy the groceries and bake the treats. And I have been learning more and more to do these things without asking for his opinion. He can truly feel at home and relax when these things are taken care of for him.
Next, I can share his burdens. Listen, without talking. Let him share his heart and help him figure things out. Be his sounding board. Support him through hard days and tough decisions. Recognize the responsibilities he has, the pressure he is under, and be the woman he comes home to when he needs to let it all out. Be his wife, his best friend, his confidante. Be trustworthy.
Finally, I can love him unconditionally. This includes all of the above and so much more. Make him feel noticed. Have fun and laugh. Hug and kiss. Let him be himself and make sure he knows he is accepted just as he is. Be aware of his needs and purpose to meet them out of love, not duty. Spend time with him. Make him aware of how you feel about him.
These ideas are really just an attempt to put words to a heart attitude. Is being a wife simply my half of a marriage contract that means cooking, cleaning and taking care of children? Or is being a wife a sacred privilege in which I get to uphold this man I love in both simple and significant ways? I want my husband to feel strengthened when he sets out each morning, and embraced when he returns home each day. I want him to feel our home is his haven.
I would love to hear your thoughts. If you are a wife or mother, or even if you just think about how you can make a haven for yourself, please feel free to leave a comment.