I had a date night tonight with my beloved husband, Luke. We went out with some other friends/family to celebrate my brother-in-law John's birthday. (Happy 50th, John!) There are some people who may say this doesn't qualify as a date, but I'll take it. In our busy life, we don't get to go out much without an entourage, and it's really fun when we get the chance.
It really got me thinking about husbands, and what there job really is. He promised to love me, cherish me, and honor me, and so far he's doing pretty well. It's not an easy job. Some days I'm extremely unlovable. Some days I'm downright mean, especially if I'm hurt or scared, or unsure of what's going to happen next. I think we're all a little like that. I've been through some really trying times, and he's been right there with me, reminding me that he loves me through it all.
I'm pretty sure I'm not very "cherish-able" at times, either. When I'm complaining about this or griping about that, I'm sure he's not holding every second together dear to his heart. When my mouth gets running, I'm certain he's not looking forward to our next 30 years together...if we get so lucky.
Honor. That's a hard one. How does my husband honor me? He honors the vows we made to each other, but does he honor me? He helps me be the very best version of myself that I can be. That means that sometimes we have to have awkward conversations. Sometimes I need to be reminded to honor myself and be true to who I am made to be and called to be, and destined to be.
Love. Honor. Cherish. Joseph was a good example of all three of those. He loved Mary enough to not expose her to shame. He loved God enough to accept the message received in a dream that Mary's situation was exactly what she said it was. He honored her commitment to carry the Savior of the world. He honored and protected, and cherished who she was called to be. He helped her be the very best Mother of God possible. He cherished every moment spent with her and her son, even knowing that the child wasn't his. But he, like other husbands, never promised to make his wife happy.
It is not a husband's job to make his wife happy.
He can give her opportunities to be happy. He can provide her with a living situation that can add to her happiness and care for her, but ultimately he can NOT make her be happy. I'm not suggesting Mary was unhappy, just pointing out that her happiness or unhappiness was up to her. Luke and I have been through some really hard times together. There are times, looking back, that I was unhappy and there wasn't a thing in the world Luke could do to "fix" it. Sometimes I was legitimately sad, like after our miscarriage. It took a long time to feel happy again. Sometimes I was justifiably angry, or upset, or whatever. Sometimes I was just bored. Whatever the situation, my happiness is up to me. I have to choose to be happy and do the work to get past whatever is standing in my way.
I'm very blessed to be married to Luke. He's been right by my side through it all. He patiently told me over and over what happened to me in the hospital when I couldn't remember. The poor man. He not only had to tell his wife that her heart stopped. He had to break the news about 900 times, and see my terrified reaction each time (since I was hearing it anew.) He's held my hand through labor after labor after labor. We raise our kids together. He's the one I call when life goes to crap, or someone needs to go the ER. He's the one I trust with my innermost thoughts. He's the one I'm most honest with. My husband.
I'm gonna choose to be happy. I'm going to live up to my promises better today. Today I will love him, cherish him, and honor him. Even the hard times are better together.