When I got married, I didn’t really know the type of man I had married. Sure, I was smitten with his good looks, his amazing singing voice, his sense of humor, and was impressed by his cooking skills, but I didn’t see him tested in all aspects of life to know how he would respond to various stimuli.
We had only been dating/engaged for about nine months before we said I do at the altar. I mean, I thought he was a great guy who treated others well, but people are always on their best behavior when they are dating and trying to impress someone enough to marry them. It’s what “being in love” does to people.
But after 9.5 years of marriage, it’s pretty clear to me the type of man I really married. We’ve been through several different trials and testing periods and multiple children. And I want you to see for yourself what type of man he has proven to be, and I feel the best way to do so is by sharing some stories about him.
The Man I Married
Once as we were out on a date to the movies, just the two of us, we stood in line at the concessions counter to pick up some popcorn and soda. We were chatting a bit, and, as we were, my husband noticed a guy in front of us in line grab three boxes of candy from the racks next to him in line, and then proceed to the exit of the theater. When my husband and I got to the concessions counter and ordered the items we wanted, my husband then insisted on paying for the 3 boxes of candy the man stole on top of our order. The man behind the counter said we didn’t have to do that, but my husband insisted. We lost out on $12 simply because my husband wanted to reimburse the theater for another man’s theft.
One 4th of July we hung out with friends, lighting off fireworks and having a blast. But, then my husband got a phone call. At about 10pm at night. His friend, who was going through a rough time, experiencing some suicidal thoughts and depression, called my husband, drunk and in tears, asking him to come get him and give him a change of scenes. My husband packed up our family and we left our fun holiday party as fast as we could in order to pick up a friend we didn’t know all that well so he could have a safe place to sleep for the night, on a couch in our small apartment.
When Hurricane Harvey ravished Houston and the coastal parts of Texas, we were thankfully unaffected. My husband was super busy at the time working on his dissertation proposal presentation and defense, putting in crazy long hours and stressing about meeting deadlines and getting all his stuff done on time so he could graduate as planned. And despite being busy and gone so much already around this time, he still volunteered to help muck out people’s homes on multiple weekends, sweating in the hot, humid weather of September in Texas, all so he could help strangers he didn’t know who were currently in one of the hardest moments of their lives.
While visiting the Omaha Zoo with family, one of our daughters accidentally stole a piece of candy. It was in a little container by the cash register in the gift shop and she thought it was free because many establishments (our rental office, doctor’s offices, etc) often have free candy jars at the registers and counters. But, it wasn’t free. My husband didn’t blow it off, though it was unintentional. He went back into the gift shop with her, paid for the candy she stole, made her apologize, and explained to her why it wasn’t okay and gave her a little punishment as well. All because of a little piece of candy accidentally taken.
On Saturday mornings, my husband often grabs one or more kids and runs out the door with them so that he can pick up some donuts, as a sort of special treat and to spoil the family a bit, even though we don’t really need a dozen donuts. But, he knows that I often sleep in while he gets the donuts, and knows that I will appreciate both the sleep and the donuts.
My husband cooks dinner most of the time in our home and often makes us eat our vegetables and fruits so we have a more balanced diet. Sometimes he even makes us food even though he won’t be eating it himself because he is on a diet or fasting.
My husband has pushed for us to homeschool since the beginning, even though it means one more thing to add to my plate, which is why he takes it upon himself to teach the girls math when he can. He also likes to take one or more of the children with him to campus for the day, even when he may have a lot of work to do, or will be teaching a class that day. He wants them to understand his love of learning and that learning is a lifelong pursuit.
My husband gets stressed out by cluttered and messy homes. While I do my best to take care of this along with the kiddos, he is more than willing to help out around the home, loading the dishwasher, washing dishes, sweeping floors, doing laundry, cleaning bathrooms, and taking out the trash.
On several occasions, my husband has been late coming home from work/campus because he was busy helping someone move an item across campus, or because a friend needed to talk to him, or he stopped by the grocery store to pick up that needed gallon of milk.
Even when it’s well past bedtime, my husband will still read several pages of a larger children’s book (like Chronicles of Narnia, Harry Potter, and The Hobbit) to my oldest children, complete with character voices and inflection.
After one particularly heavy snowfall in Indiana, my husband pulled our SUV over to the side of the road, with our family inside, so that he could help push a man’s truck out of a snowbank.
Once, as I was talking away to my husband as we drove in the car, heading to the store or somewhere, he suddenly did a U-turn, and then another, and then pulled behind a man walking down the road from his vehicle with a gas can in his hand. He asked if he would like a lift to and from the gas station. The man did, so he quickly hopped in our vehicle with our family down to the next gas station where my husband paid for his gas and then drove him back to his vehicle.
As we leave parking lots, my husband will ask me if I have any cash on me. If I do, he asks to have it, and then promptly gives it to the homeless man begging on the street corner, or if I don’t have any money, may drive through a nearby fast food restaurant and pick the man up something to eat instead.
When I am having a particularly hard time at home with the kids, or stressed about something, or on my period, my husband has on many occasions surprised me by coming home with a hug, a kiss, and flowers and chocolates, simply because he loves me and knows I could use the pick-me-up.
Despite living in a small apartment the vast majority of our marriage and often not having enough full-sized chairs to seat everyone properly, one person to a chair, my husband loves to invite people over to our house – professors, classmates, people from church, and others. Some have been struggling with addictions, another a married same-sex couple, some lonely newlyweds, some single, some married with multiple kids, some around our parents’ ages or even older.
My husband will call my children into the kitchen and ask if they’d like to make cookies. They of course gleefully respond in the affirmative and he tells them he wants to make the cookies in order to give them to friends instead of to eat them all for ourselves.
Around holidays, he is always brainstorming different ways to secretly help others in need. He plans out ways to do anonymous gift giving, begs friends to join us to go caroling to the elderly in nursing homes, and donates to various charities. He wants to pay it forward for all the years we received needed gifts during the holidays.
Whenever there is a service project requested by our church, my husband takes the whole family with him (if he can) to do the service. Often this service is helping someone move. Our family helps move boxes and furniture for hours alongside others from our church, even though our children are still very young, or I have to wear a baby in a carrier.
In the mornings, the first thing my husband does is spend 20-30 minutes reading his scriptures and saying his personal prayers. He has also been encouraging our children, and myself, to read scriptures and say prayers first thing in the morning too. He always makes sure we read at least one verse as a family before bed, even if it means I read a few verses as we drive home late from a friend’s house, and we always say a family prayer together too, no matter how late it may be.
When disciplining or correcting the children in private, he will often make a point to pray with them, talk with them about the importance of the matter, and express his love and support to them over and over again.
When the children are sick, he will pray with them for their comfort, and offer and give them priesthood blessings of healing and peace. He teaches them what the Holy Spirit feels like so they can identify it when they feel it. Before we have to do something painful to the children (like take care of warts, fingernails, or molluscum “zits”) that they really don’t want to do, he prays with our children and works to help them stay calm.
When my husband is struggling in an area, or when he feels our family could improve at something, he makes goals. As a couple, we make goals together, for ourselves, for our children, and for our marriage. We reevaluate them over time, and my husband encourages me to meet mine while working on his own, doing what he needs to do to help me be successful to meet them.
A few times my husband has seen something he shouldn’t have seen, and whether intentional or not, he will come to me, repentant about it, and let me know. If he has done something he knows I won’t like, he will come to me repentant and apologize. If he ever finds himself in a less than ideal situation, he will let me know about it. He shares all his passwords with me so there are no secrets. He keeps his door open during office hours and avoids any appearance of impropriety that he can.
Whenever money is likely to be tight due to recent expenses, or upcoming expenses, the first thing my husband desires to do is pay more in our tithes and offerings to our church. Based upon the testimony of my parents who did similar things during times of their financial difficulty, he desires to do the same, and it has yet to fail us.
On the rather rare occasions that he gets to hang out with “just the men,” he refrains from speaking poorly of his wife, even when other men around him may be doing so. He chooses to only sing my praises in private and public company, even if he may tease me when in my presence about something. He has no qualms about giving me hugs and kisses in public or telling me that I am beautiful and that he is so lucky to have me. He holds the door for me still, and respects me and supports me in countless ways.
I hope you can see from these stories and examples the type of man I married:
I married a man of integrity, a man of charity, a man of morals, a man of action, an upright man who loves God and family above anything else in the world.
And while that is the type of man I hoped I had married, I truly had no idea how amazing he really was. And honestly, I don’t know that he understands how amazing he truly is, because he will be the last to brag about his awesomeness, as he refers to himself mostly as “just okay” or the “reason we don’t have more friends.”
He’s far from perfect and sometimes says things the wrong way, makes me angry, is too rough on the kids, gets in a bad mood, spends more money than I’d like, or drops the ball on something. But, that’s called being human. Those little imperfections and mistakes are not who he really is. Far from it. They are just his bad days.
Because, who he really is, is a righteous leader, a devoted husband and father, a lover, a peacemaker, a go-getter, and a humble servant of God.
I know I am lucky in love. I know that he deserves someone far more awesome than myself! The way he has grown into his priesthood, into his fatherhood, into his role as husband over the last few years is humbling and magnificent to behold. He is one of the most amazing men I have ever met.
He is everything I ever wanted in a future spouse. He is definitely the type of man I wanted to marry.
Good men are out there. I know because I married one.
Read more great posts:
- 14 Amazing Family Traditions that Are Happening Everyday
- How to Do Some Anonymous Gifting to Help Those In Need
- Family Service Ideas to Give Back and Pay It Forward
- 35 Family Mottos and How to Create the Perfect One for Your Family
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