Oh snap! Have I really managed to hold back my knight in shining armor? Have I subconsciously demeaned my champion by undermining his protection? OK, so it was recommended to me to read ‘Wild At Heart’ by John Eldredge. Now, I have to admit, the relationship books that I have read over the last few years were recommended a number of times. Sometimes I am a bit hard headed, and while I know that the person suggesting I read it has good intentions, let’s just say I was good at procrastination. Finally, I read it, and it is a really great book. I’m serious, it really is good; he talks all about how men need to be the victor and the champion and how women have this desire to have their knight in shining armor to rescue them. Also, how men have to have a dragon to slay and the woman needs to have a hero to believe in. I got to tell y’all. I read it and it was a great book. I definitely got some good nuggets out of it. But seriously? I am woman, hear me roar! I got this. I’m not so independent that I want to be alone, but I can take care of me. I don’t like the poor tale of the helpless female. I don’t like to be someone that can’t take care of myself. I like to work together, you know, kind of pull my own weight.
Then the other night… I stopped at a gas station and apparently, they were really busy with shift change or something. And no one came to the register. I’m learning patience, so I just stood and waited for a bit. Suddenly I feel the presence of someone behind me. I turn and there’s a man standing right behind me. I say hi and turn back to the register. Thinking nothing of it. A moment later he asked me if I’m waiting for them to serve me. I said yes. Well, he calls out in a loud voice catching the attendant’s attention and said this lady is waiting to be served up here. He didn’t sound impatient, he was very respectful and considerate. She came and apologized and took care of me, and then she apologized to him as well. I completed my transaction and I walked out the door.
I walked out with this feeling. This wow, how awesome it was that he stepped up and did that. I know it doesn’t sound like it from what I described here but for real it was almost like a gift. It was as if I was somebody special to be treated with care. I began to think to myself how often is it that my husband goes to do something like that for me and I discourage him? I feel annoyed because he steps up and he goes to take care of it, wanting to treat me special; whereas I feel like he’s treating me as if I couldn’t do it on my own. When was the last time that I looked at him with the eyes of him being my hero?
Now it’s not to say that our relationship isn’t doing good. It is. But it’s just at that moment the realization of how much better our relationship could be if I looked at him sometimes like that knight in shining armor that really does want to slay dragons for me.
In retrospect, I realized that the gentleman that spoke up for me, gave me more than just the respect of helping me being seen, he also gave me an insight into my relationship with my husband.
See, I was not anticipating what happened that evening. I was tired from working, I was ready to go home. I was thinking through what I needed to do before I could get to bed. My guard was completely down. The polite stranger was able to treat me with kindness without making me feel inferior. There weren’t any barriers because I had no time to set any up. There was no preconceived notion that he would get points for taking care of me, and I would lose value for not taking care of myself.
I realize that may sound a bit like I have my guard up around my husband. Honestly, upon reflection, I would say that sometimes I probably do, not just around him, but also around friends and family, and those within my circle of influence. It is that pesky low self-esteem that rears its ugly head from time to time.
But focusing on how great it felt that evening, for a stranger to slay that dragon of invisibility and time; made me consider that perhaps if I let myself, I may enjoy that feeling more frequently from the man that God gave to protect and cherish me. And that perhaps, instead of allowing the feeling of inferiority to overcome me, I should recognize that I am of value and accept the special treatment.
This, in and of itself gave me pause. Could it be that I have grown and matured enough to cast the spotlight upon myself to change? And, if that is the case, how do I then humbly go to my husband to explain that I really would like him to come charging to my rescue sometimes?
Well, luckily for me, I also was encouraged to read ‘Love and Respect’ by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs, in which he explains that men seek respect while women seek love. So, I decided honesty and respect were the direction for me to go. I just needed to approach Ken while he was not too hungry, not too tired and not extremely focused on something, and respectfully be honest and share truthfully what I had learned and how it made me feel.
Which then lead to my next revelation.
See, this got me thinking a little bit about my marriage and about relationships as a whole. I see people out there that are so lonely. I hear negative comments about spouses and significant others and I realize we can make anything negative. It takes a lot to make a marriage work, it takes a lot of effort and takes a lot of focus. But at the end of the day going home to the same person and adding one more kiss to the thousands of kisses, there’s something just comforting about that. There is something victorious about surviving all that life throws at you, with the one that has faced those battles with you.
Ken and I have worked on our relationship. We both have been into personal and self-help information which I know has tremendously helped our marriage. Continuing to read and work on our marriage is a priority for us. We have learned that there is the ‘art of intentionality’ and to ‘act as if’ even if we don’t always feel it. This being said, it isn’t about being fake. It is about giving a kiss hello or goodbye, even if I don’t feel drawn to him at that very moment.
Which got me thinking, oh my lands! Just how many times have we have kissed?
I would imagine at least 24,820 kisses!
I bet you are wondering how I came up with the figure 24,820? Well, honestly, that number is probably low, but I multiplied 2 kisses per day times 25 years, and 4 kisses a day extra for the first 3 years, since as newlyweds, I know that kissing is more frequent! Wow! That’s a lot of kissing. I mean really, exactly how many kisses can one’s lips do?
One would think that I would be about kissed out! But nope, even as I sit here tonight typing, I anticipate seeing my husband again this evening and getting another kiss. Which I believe is exactly how God intended it, and I believe is very healthy for a marriage.
Being intentional in our marriage for Ken and I means that we take the time to look each other in the eye. We listen to each other talk about our day. We pay attention to each other’s moods, feelings and concerns. If I can be honest here, that doesn’t just mean in the bedroom. A marriage is an all day, every day existence. All too often, I notice others showing more respect and attention to others than to their spouse. That is a recipe for disaster.
Treat your husband like a knight in shining armor and then enjoy when he treats you like a princess!
Royally yours, Amy