I was brushing my teeth one night in my pyjamas, mulling over the day, when I had one of those moments–you know, where God tugs my chin upward and lets me peek in a bit to what He’s doing in these mundane days that slip by.
I walked to the bed, sat down next to my husband, suddenly overcome with emotion. It was late; we’d just had a struggling friend over, and my husband had spent hours in conversation seeking out practical solutions with her.
Our day had begun with bad news: A close Ugandan friend had lost a family member the night before—one of three family members he’d paid for to go to the hospital this week. I spotted him the loan for transportation to his village, for the goat he was expected by tradition to provide. My husband later texted him to say it wasn’t a loan, but a gift.
My husband went to work, faithful to his role as a human resources manager in our missions organisation—supporting people in their needs, training our managers to lead in sustainable ways, coaching through conflicts. Then, he came home and loved on his kids, tickling my son before all of us sat down to dinner with our guest.
That night, as I sat on the bed next to him, I remembered the kind of guy I thought I would marry—maybe some worship leader with a beat-up guitar who led all the Bible studies; exuberant and even prominent.
More than a decade later, I’m increasingly thankful God didn’t succumb to my rather arrogant vision of a Christian power couple. My husband is decidedly unflashy. Even as a missionary, it’s hard to make “human resources” or “management” sound sexy; good managers and infrastructure and internal “shepherds” are the kind of thing that’s hard to appreciate until it’s not there.
But there is something deeply good, even awe-inspiring, and yes, downright appealing about a man who is simply faithful. A guy who chooses to turn down showier opportunities—that paid position at the church, the opportunity to train under that person with a big name—so he can do an excellent job on the everyday ones that matter. As I type this post, he’s at a friend’s house that was robbed just a few hours ago (you could say it’s shaping up to be a rough week).
My husband’s not usually Mr. Romance. Yet he loves me by paying attention to me, asking me questions about things that are on my mind, and listening to what I have to say.
You’d also find him sitting in our living room with a friend, listening to them with tissues on hand, and praying with them. He’s not preaching every Sunday; but he consistently spends time with God, and shows his kids how, too. I guess you could say he does a kind of quiet leadership with his life.
Considering Jesus was quite literally born in a barn, I would say God has a flair for sidling the heroic up alongside the mundane.
That day, my husband went to work to serve people, loved his family, loved his friends, and bought a man in poverty a goat. Not a bad day at all, I told him. I may have been a little misty over the whole thing, because dang, I have it good.
I love how blogger Melissa Edgington puts it in her excellent post, Do You Really Have a Good Man?
We have let silly movies and fantasies lead us to believe that the REALLY good men are different. That they spend their entire daydreaming up ways to pamper us…leave love notes and plan elaborate trips and show up with diamonds they can’t afford…
You want to know if you have a REALLY good man? Here’s a test for you. Does he love God? Does he love you? Does he work hard? Does he come home? Does he love your children? If so, then you’ve got a good one.
The really good men deserve better than our constant criticism and dissatisfaction. The grass isn’t greener in chick flick land. It’s astroturf.
Stick to your own yard, where your really good man is probably mowing. That’s true romance.
Maybe you’re still in the dreaming phase about your Mr. Romance. My advice? Go for less rose petals, and more for the guy who offers to buy groceries for his elderly neighbour and is polite to waitstaff.
Because more than being spoiled, I like the kind of guy who says in essence: “Let’s make God more famous together. Let’s serve our socks off and be a ‘home’ for each other.”
Here’s to the men who spend their days doing what isn’t decidedly sexy but spend it loving God and people instead.
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on the writer’s blog here. This version has been edited by YMI.