He’s not the man I married. And that’s okay.
We were older when we married, as things typically go. I’ve come to terms with that. There are advantages to marrying at both ends of the spectrum, young and old.
However, we married not that long ago and yet looking back it feels like we were still so young. Perhaps that’s because in the almost six years since walking down the aisle the landscape of what came before, however long that road was until now, has changed beyond recognition.
Who could have imagined six years ago he’d become a home renovator, a caretaker in many ways to his parents, a father of two, a mentor to friends, a hard-working student, and of course, a husband to me — no easy task I imagine. (And don’t forget about helping care for two quirky dogs. They have issues. Adorable, endearing issues.)
He’s changed. He’s not the same man I married… and that’s okay.
The truth is he’s become a man. I mean really a man. Not the macho, muscle-tee-wearing man who grunts and drinks beer and yells at the game on television. Not the testosterone-driven caricature painted by the marketed images in our culture.
No. He’s become a real man – the kind a woman really wants when she marries.
… A man who chose to put down video controllers to pick up tools to renovate a home.
… A man who was once a son who stumbled his way through life to a man who has provided a place for his aging parents to stay.
… A man who was once scared to death of becoming a father who is now a loving, involved dad to two young children.
… A man who didn’t really plan much in life for himself to a student pursuing a goal and a dream.
… A man who once was afraid to commit to a man who has become a stable, dependable, sacrificial husband to his wife. (And he gives way more than I ever could. Trust me. He puts me to shame some days.)
… A man who confronts his fears daily with courage and faith and comes out stronger on the other side.
Women, listen to this: they say marriage makes the man and in part I believe that’s very true. But it can also break the man if he chooses not to be shaped by this great crucible.
It comes down to choices. Ladies: here’s the most important question to ask yourself about the man you want to marry aside from his faith in Christ.
Is he willing to choose manhood?
Don’t misunderstand. YOU can’t change him. Some things about him may never change and you must come to terms with this. But ask yourself: is he willing to leave behind his boyish thoughts to become a man, the kind of man you hoped he might be?
He may not know what that looks like now. He’s not going to be all these things when you walk down the aisle. And he will fail many times. Manhood is something all boys must grow into.
But is he willing to make the effort to become the man?
It’s hard work, I know. I’m in the process of raising a little man right now. It takes sacrifice. It takes grace. It takes patience. A lot of patience.
But the day must come when the sacrifice I’m making now for my son must become his choice to make. That’s when I believe he will begin to become the man a real lady will want to marry someday.
A man I hope will become much like his dad… the man I sit next to in church on Sundays, who right now has chosen to hold his little girl because mama’s arms are too tired.
That’s the man I hoped to marry. This man… he’s changed. And that’s really okay with me.