Sunday, May 3, 2009

The Final Test of True Manhood

“When one puts business or pleasure above his home, he that moment starts on the downgrade to soul-weakness. When the club becomes more attractive to any man than his home, it is time for him to confess in bitter shame that he has failed to measure up to the supreme opportunity of his life and flunked in the final test of true manhood. ... The poorest shack in which love prevails over a united family is of greater value to God and future humanity than any other riches. In such a home God can work miracles and will work miracles.” (Pres. David O. McKay, 2005 PH/RS Manual, 148-149)

There! I thought with satisfaction, surveying the clean garage. Winter has a way of piling up stuff, but at last it is spring and time to liberate the cement floor and fling open the cabinets busting with Miracle Grow, slug bait, and gardening gloves. Spring is also the time to celebrate my honey’s birthday, so this year I decided to combine a clean garage with a happy birthday, since it was all I could think to give him.

Now, that last statement is a true one and a significant one. It means we have passed through the “accumulation stage” and have embarked on the “give-it-to-the-kids” stage. I honestly could not think of a single meaningful “thing” to give my honey this week. He has books and music and electronics and ties coming out of his ears. His sock drawer is bulging and we just beefed up his shirt collection.

‘Twas not always thus. We have done our time crawling like beggars through the muddy trenches of unemployment, the battlefield of under-employment, and the mine-field called corporate America. At this time, we are balanced on a tight-rope of uncertainty (like everyone today), but at least we have a rope.

My heart filled with charity last night as I listened to a very dear friend who lost his job recently. Hearing his fears and frustrations awoke poignant memories, one in particular…

It was a season of unemployment for us (not the first time), the result of corporate down-sizing, and after many, many weeks, we had exhausted our resources, our list of contacts, and our initiative. Like mountaineers gasping for air with the summit just behind the clouds, we had no idea how close we were to being delivered.

Then it came, the last proverbial straw; a certified “threat” from the electric company, delivered by a guy with a logo on his shirt, wearing a tool belt. With deep foreboding, I handed it to Dale at his desk. He slit open the envelope and starred at the contents. The red print bled through so that I could make out the numbers, even from the other side of the desk. I knew they could not be matched by what remained in our bank account. Our eyes met, searching for some inkling of hope and faith in the other, but instead, a terrifying realization overcame us both; we had nothing left. We were paupers, temporally and emotionally.

Then, the strangest thing happened. My husband fell forward, his forehead to his arms, and he wept. He wept and wept and wept. The Spirit waved over me, followed by a tidal wave of compassion. All of a sudden I comprehended, like I never had before, the immense burden my husband carried being wholly responsible for the lives of six people.

That eye-opener established a new empathetic undergirding in my relationships with men; husband, adult male family, and Priesthood brothers. My claims upon their time, or evaluation of their performance in familiar roles or church callings became much more liberal. I took great care, ever after, to express my sincere appreciation for what they do for me, for my family, and for others. Particularly in the church, as I served with Bishoprics, High Council and Stake Presidencies, I made a concerted effort to respect their many obligations and lighten their load whenever possible.

The birthday wish I gave Dale yesterday reflected the understanding I gained all those years ago:

“…you provided beautifully and at great strain and sacrifice through the decades,” I wrote, “…so that our children are raised and providing essentially for themselves now. You did it. They never went cold or hungry or felt deprived in any way; quite the opposite. And our sweet Ashley has had an amazing life for an individual with her severity of disability. She has been well fed, well loved, well dressed, and well serviced in the schools and community. Last night, you credited me for that, but the truth is that you always did whatever it took so that we could keep her close to us and expose her to every advantage.

"As for the future, it doesn’t really matter. I believe the Lord will prepare the way and orchestrate our lives so that our remaining time on earth will be productive and safe. Our union is so complete we can weather anything and live anywhere and in any situation together. This is perhaps the most important outcome of your 32 years of devotion.

"So on your birthday, I want you to know that our family’s success, even existence, has been entirely dependent on you for a very long time, and you have not failed us. You have blessed us, like a true Father in every way. I pray that God will bless you with continued joy and progress in your career at this point, for your OWN sake, as you so richly deserve.”

He was touched by that of course. I got a doozy of a hug and kiss for it. And the surprise party I threw later than night didn't hurt.

But the tidy garage comforted him most.

“After all,” he said, “if worse comes to worse, at least we’ve got the space now to hold a moving sale!”

Related Musings: What You Don't Have or Have Lost
and Belonging

Muse with me SISTERS:
How does your husband or the men in your life contribute to your family in a positive way?
(And send your husbands to comment too please -- we would LOVE a man's point of view on this...)
Muse with me BROTHERS:
How does your wife or the other women in your life (daughters, mothers, sisters in the church) sustain you? What does that mean to you?


John and Laura said...

I'm spoiled with a man whose favorite thing is to be at home with his family. He leads family scripture study, and initiates family prayer. He wakes up at 5 am every day and works hard so that his bosses can see the valuable employee that he is. He helps clean our house. He wakes up at night with kids. Wow--it doesn't sound like I do much around here! ha ha. I wish!

As always, thanks for the timely reminder to show gratitude to the men in my life.

Sharon said...

What a fitting tribute to that wonderful brother of mine! But I must interject here, dear, that he is correct also in his observations, you are both gems. Truly worthy souls to be called husband, wife, father, mother and of course brother;-) and those of us lucky enough to be near you are blessed by your righteous examples. I should also add here, Mona, that I really feel your effort to be sensitive regarding brethren’s time constraints and many responsibilities is another important and inspired message from you for all of us. Thank you Mona!

Evan said...

Your use of images of hands is what struck me as I read this. About the only thing I remember from the day I got married was holding Sue's hand as we sat in the sealing room while the sealer spoke. I felt like that connection to her was the only thing keeping me from either running away screaming or losing consciousness. Her hand was a lifeline that kept me calm and grounded. In the years since it has been my honor and pleasure to get my hands dirty, figuratively and literally, while working at my job, in the yard, around the house and even with a few dirty diapers, to support and help my sweet wife and our children. I still know that when I feel the familiar touch of her hand in mine that she is expressing her support for me and that still keeps me grounded. Whatever I as a man and a Priesthood holder may accomplish, it is only because of a wife who unfailingly and cheerfully supports me with her hands, literally by cleaning, cooking, changing way more than her share of those diapers, and especially by figuratively rasing her hand to support me in my role as father and priesthood holder.

Evan said...

ps. Laura: stop bragging on John, you're making the rest of us look bad. Sue thinks that all husbands sleep through the sound of crying babies.

Sherry said...

I'm so greatful to have read this tonight. It touched me enough to finally get a google account so that I can comment.
My husband is wonderful. He is my bestfriend and he lets me know I'm his best friend as well. I know (mostly because he's told me time and again) that he loves nothing more then to spend time with me and to be with me. I've never met anyone else who can make me smile as much,(even when I'm sad or frustrated he can make me just grin from ear to ear). I love it. I love him.
We are at the begining of our lives together and are looking forward to the great adventures ahead of us. Already we've been through so much & he has been a gem and a gentleman in every way.
My husband, David (Bloomy) and I have been married since Nov. of last year. A month after our sealing we lost his mother unexpectedly. Two day's after her funeral he had to start his final semester of his Bachleor's degree.
It wasn't what you would call fair, but he hasn't complained, he mourned, by he never complained. Now we are days from his graduation and now we have lost our first child to a miscarriage.
I've been amazed with him all week. He has been there in every way imaginable. He has prayed with me and read with me and held my hand and brushed my hair and has absolutely been the utmost image of a true man.
Tonight we just sat and talked after our scripture study. It wasn't about what we read... it was about the future.
I know without a doubt that he takes his responsablity to provide for me very serously. He's shown it already in the care he's already given. And I can tell he loves me in everything he does.
I don't write this for sympathy, because there's not need, we understand the gospel.
I write this to allow the world a glimpse of what an amazing man my husband is and how much I love and honor him.
As I've been dealing with this he's even done the laundry and taken care of the dogs and made me breakfast. I don't know how I got so very lucky.I thank the Lord everyday that I get to have this wonderful man in my life.)

Melwel said...

That was just beautiful....I totally agree. It is an amazing responsibility we heap on the men in our lives.
You said it so beautifully. I hope the party was a blast!

Grant said...

Amen Amen Amen Mommio! Thank you for that wonderful post. Our daddy is the greatest man on the earth!

My wife has become my greatest support and whats so funny is that I really think she is what keeps the house running and keeps us happy and well, but when I tell her that she disagrees and says that it's me who does it. I guess we work together. That's why it's so nice to have two of us.

Heidi said...

Thank you for this post. And Sherry, thank you so much for your comment. Such a wonderful topic. I had a wonderful example of true manhood in my father. He's just...indescribable. It has been hard trying to find any man who could measure up to that, yet that's what I would like. I would like a great man as my mother had.

I also have loved watching my brothers grow into manhood. Growing up, they were the "cool kind" who I often wondered if they had tender feelings, a sense of duty/honor/respect, and any other thing that I thought represented true manhood. Once in a while, in my times of great need, I did see it reflected in them. Yet even more do I see it now that 5 of them are husbands, and 4 of them are fathers. Watching them unashamed as they fulfill their roles as Priesthood leaders, husbands, and fathers in their homes is awe-inspiring. I also watch in greatest joy and wonder to see my baby brother with so much promise near the end of his YM days, preparing to embark on his way to manhood. He, too, is remarkable and the things to come from him will be truly amazing.

Add to that some shining, magnificent examples of true manhood that I see in my male friends, and I am overwhelmed by the greatness that has surrounded me in my life.

All of it combined makes me grateful they are in my life as I continue to prepare for a wonderful man who will want to share our lives together.

DeNae said...

I love men. I really do. For years now I've had no problem calling women, especially women of the church, to repentance for the disrespect that is so prevalent, so accepted in the world we live in. As the wife of one wonderful man and the mother of two sons, I feel very protective of the men in my life. Thank you for this post, Mona. Our men don't hear these things nearly often enough.

2busy said...

Thank you for your thoughtful musings. It was a good eye opener and reminder. In times of economic uncertainty, my husband is under a lot of pressure. I certainly don't need to be the one adding to it, but the one trying to lighten his load.

Rob said...

This past week I've had the sublime privilege of taking care of my 5 boys while Jacki went to Women's Conference at BYU from Wednesday to Monday. Every year that we do this, I come away with a renewed love for our great kids and the wonderful joy it is to watch over and care for them. But, I also always come away with a renewed appreciation for the hard work it is.

It's interesting to me... God, in His infinite wisdom didn't just ask us to take whichever responsibility we like best. If he would've, I'm sure we'd all fight over each other's jobs both ways. Ideally, it takes a team with dedicated and supportive husband and wife to raise a family, each doing their God-given responsibilities. As the one tasked with making sure the family always has food to eat and clothes to wear, I'm infinitely greatful for my wife's encouragement and support in my primary duties and I'm sure she's grateful for my support in hers. As Paul said to the Corinthians, "Neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man in the Lord".

It's a great adventure working together as husband and wife and it works best when they're united as one. Thanks for your great example and encouragement to that all important union. Maybe as we figure out our own unity in marriage we'll come to understand better how the Father, Son and Holy Ghost are similarly united as one. How's that for a challenge for unity?

Larsen's said...

How beautiful! You almost made me cry thinking of your husband weeping.

I think I have the most amazing husband ever. He does so much for me. He serves so diligently in the church, he works really hard to support us and his parents, he is wonderful with the kids. He helps me so much, sometimes I feel guilty. He shops, cleans, and takes the kids whenever he can to run errands. He has an amazing imagination and just the other night he turned the house into a movie theater and the kids made fake money. The kitchen turned into a concession stand, with popcorn, candy, drinks, all to purchase with their fake money. He made the living room look like a theater and placed chairs in rows. Then he had the kids go onto the porch and come in and pay for their movie and welcomed them to the Larsen's theater. It was too fun.
Jon, my hubby is truly amazing to me. Everyday I wonder how I got to be so lucky.
Even as he has served in two bishoprics he has made a point to take time with me and the children!! He is truly amazing!!

Thank you for your touching post!!

Shady Creek Lane said...

As always you have a way of making me reflect more deeply about my life. I am blessed with an honorable husband and pristhood holder and am guilty of not recognizing his contributions to our family like I should. I think he will be quite surprised when for fathers day he gets a note telling him how much he has contributed to the betterment of our family all these years. You have certainly inspired me, thank you.


Bri... only she said...

Oh momsie.

This post reminds me so much of the feeling I had last night, as Grant immediately hopped up after dinner to do the dishes so Hannah R. and I could visit. I'm so amazed at his honor and respect for my divine role.

I feel like I couldn't possibly have understood how infinite and wonderful love within marriage was on the day Grant and I entered the temple to be sealed. My respect, trust, appreciation, and love for my sweet husband have grown so much in the 8 short months we have been married.

Thank you for sharing such a wonderful message. Today's men face too much criticism and sarcasm inspite of their incredible work and devotion. We hear messages all the time about men needing to better cling to their wives and support their families. It is so refreshing to hear you singing their praise! We have a responsibility to honor and sustain the wonderful men in our lives. Thank you again for the reminder.

Love you!

Bri Z.

Olivia said...

Wow Mona. How is it that you always know what to write about? It's baffling.

Tim was really moved by the comments made by Pres. Barrus. It made him change the way he was thinking about a particular subject. The subject being job related.

It made me really proud to hear him talk about it and tell me what the spirit told him. It's so comforting to know that I have a husband who listens to the spirit and thinks outside the box when it comes to providing for us!

Mona said...

From Mattye by email:

A few years ago when Troy and I hadn’t been married for very long he amazed me by taking great care of me. My son had just joined the army. He was in South Carolina for basic training. I wanted more than anything to go see him graduate. I got online and started looking at prices to go to South Carolina. When I saw what it would cost, I was devastated. I knew we couldn’t afford to do it. Troy told me that this was a once in a lifetime opportunity for me to have a special bonding time with my son and he wanted me to go. He said that I didn’t need to worry about it. He would work overtime a few weekends and I needed to go be with my son. He also suggested that I ask my dad to come along. My dad and I went together and got to enjoy family day with my son and we got to see him graduate. It was a great trip for my dad and I and a special time for my son and I. It actually ended up being the last nice thing I got to do with my dad before he got sick with cancer and died.

Another time a little bit later my husband volunteered to drive to Utah in the middle of a snow storm and bring home my daughter and my new grandson. He took the time off and brought them back. He stopped at rest stops so she could nurse her new baby and my hubby would play in the snow while waiting for her to finish. He truly is a selfless person. I love him very much.

Elisabeth said...

It is nice to read so many comments from men on this blog. And to read the comments from other women about their admiration for their husbands. Society seams to think it is woman’s responsibility to put men in their place and point out as often as possible how stupid and oppressing they are, as if this somehow makes us their equal. I can’t help but think about what a different world we would live in if women praised the men in their lives more than criticized them. I have noticed that some friends I am around bring out negative thoughts about my spouse and some friends bring out positive thoughts about my husband. Becoming more aware of this has made me think about being more selective of the influences in my life. It is so refreshing and uplifting to hear other women comment about their love and admiration for their husbands. It always makes me remember the things I love about my husband and want to go home and treat him better. Thanks for sharing!

McAuliffe Bunch said...

I need to be reminded all of the time to express my thanks for such a wonderful husband. He does so much for me and I probably don't do so much for him. He is so thoughtful. A couple of weeks ago I was feeling overwhelmed with a lot of stuff and it was his late night at school. On the way home he picked up a movie. Even though he was exhausted, he stayed up to watch that movie with me that night! It meant the world to me to have such a thoughtful husband. He is always doing little things like that. I know I complain a lot, but I really do love him!

Mona said...

Laura: HE wakes up nights? Wow. Dale and I had an agreement...he waited up for the teenagers and I got up to get them to Seminary... You are blessed!

Sharon: So sweet of you - very generous.

Evan: Wow. What a beautiful story that I never would have eeked out of you if it weren't for this Musing. THANK YOU.

Sherry: My heart sings knowing you are so happily married. Not only are YOU blessed but he is as well by such an adoring wife. God bless you! Please stay in touch and comment often.

Melwel: I am struck by your use of the word "heap" -- the image it conjures up really illustrates what many of us do to our men...

Grant: TWO TWO TWO Cuddlers in ONE!

Heidi: You have lent new nobility to sisterhood by your sentiments and I'm sure there is many a mom who will read them and hope to have adult daughters like YOU someday!!!

DeNae: I agree that we do not hear them often enough... "I love men" reminds me of the Kiss Me Kate song: "I HATE men! I can't abide them even now and then..." Of course, by the end of the play, she's singing a different tune...

2busy: AMEN! More than ever, our Providers are under such a strain and frightened of forces beyond their control. As the Lord told Emma: "And the office of thy calling shall be for a comfort unto my servant..." (D&C 25:5)

Rob: You are always on some "great adventure" or another, so to hear you describe marriage that way delighted me! So many pearls in your thoughts: "God, in His infinite wisdom didn't just ask us to take whichever responsibility we like best..." So much of the discord and tension in society today is over the "fight" for who does what! Father KNOWS the natural man and woman!

Larsen's: Can I have a $1.00 for every time you said "AMAZING"? I LOVE IT! I gotta MEET this guy! His playful nature is SWEET icing on the cake! Have you noticed that the new church ads about "family" are all about DAD's playing with their kids?

Shady Creek: I hope you are voicing for many a wife who has read this Musing and comments. Mark the calender and get ready for the yummiest kisses of your life!

Bri: I LOVE your use of the word "honor". Beautiful. Yes dear, times your 8 months by 8 years and then 48 years and then 8 million years. Can hearts grow that big?!

Olivia: It IS comforting. ANd we all need to "think outside the box" in these latter-days of uncertainty when it comes to providing for our families. THANK YOU for making that important point.

Mattye: Your husband's actions ARE double-wonderful because the service he volunteered was for his STEP-children. I've said it before, and I know that YOU know - but MAN! What a catch!

Elisabeth: I remember being disturbed by the same trend in my friends which I observed at about your age/stage as well! Inside, I was aghast at the way they talked about their husbands so critically and candidly to other women. A rule I was taught as a newly wed and have held to religiously ever since is that I NEVER NEVER NEVER say anything ill of my husband or share our intimate experiences or conversations with ANYONE, and I mean ANYONE. I'm am so glad you have figured that out! It will enhance your marriage a thousand times over.

McAufflie: Wow. Extraordinarily thoughtful. It is SO true that we ALL (me included) need to be reminded of our marriage blessings -- we loose perspective when life crowds out the reality of a lovely and blessed life.

Mona said...

Elisabeth: I just thought of I say "never share with ANYONE" outside your marriage and several Musings include Dale's and my conversations and experiences. I just want YOU and EVERYONE to know that I ALWAYS discuss my writings with him in advance and receive his permission about everything I write. He understands WHY and has been incredibly generous about it -- ESPECIALLY this post. From the contents of the comments, he knows sharing this story was worth it. THANK YOU EVERYONE!

Larsen's said...


Yes, I love the church ads. The other day the kids wanted Dad to chase them and he was, YES, Finishing up the dishes. I said I would take over and he said, " I had a church commercial go through my head, Isn't it about time!" It was cute!!

Terresa said...

Great post. One of my friends recently lost her house, car, etc. but she still has her health & 4 kids & husband. It's all just stuff anyways, that we can't take with us when we leave this green earth.

thanks for the reminder.

Sylvia0037 said...

I so loved this entry!!! I forwarded it to my husband and my kids...The thing I love so much about your writing is that in sharing your heart you so beautifully express what many of us feel but may not be able to put into words.

I love your heart!!!

I love Evan's comment too - What a sweet tribute to his sweetheart!!!

Serene is my name, not my life! said...

I believe you are right. I think we often take for granted the pressure our men must feel in providing for the lives of others.
We have been so blessed to have kept our job while people around Luke have been laid off in droves. I don't know why we are being so blessed, but we are grateful.
Luke and I were just discussing how scary it is for him that he has to, not only provide for our family, but he is responsible for finding enough work to keep the men who work for him busy enough to keep employed. And they all have families as well.
Support and gratitude for our husbands goes a long long way.

Grandma Holt said...

I so related to EVERYTHING in your post! We have been through it all and then some, even the loss of our oldest son, and my husband is amazing. Whatever comes, we are some of the most blessed women on earth, are we not? Thank you for sharing!

Happy Mom said...

I loved this post! I know that I have never understood the responsibility that my husband feels to provide for us all. Whenever things are financially difficult (and we've had many and varied difficulties) I never worry because I know two things: 1. That God is over all and as long as we are faithful, he will help us (with the understanding, of course that helping us, never meant taking away our trials) and 2. that my husband will do whatever he can to provide in whatever legal means he can. But my attitude has been stressful to him. That I never worry and just assume that it will work out makes him feel an extra burden somehow. So I've tried to change the way I react when we have difficulties. I still haven't got it quite right, but he at least knows that I empathize with his burden and am trying to be helpful. He tends to take my lame attempts as well as my good ones, bless his heart!!!

Your post gave me some more to think about. Eventually, I'm going to get this part of my sweet husband down! In the meantime, thanks for the thoughts!

Melanie said...

It is hard to imagine what a husband and wife go through during unemployment unless you've been there. It is good to take a look at both sides of emotion. Men and women are so different in how they handle any crisis. Sometimes we don't think our husbands are worried or troubled because they don't show it or react the same way we do. And it's hard being supportive and positive when consumed with worry ourselves. It's during times like these that husband and wife do well to turn to the Lord together.
I appreciate my husband and how he has always supported our family. It hasn't been easy, but he's made many sacrifices for us.
Let's make sure we tell our husbands and fathers how much we appreciate them - not just on Father's Day!

Mona said...

Terresa: Tooooo true. We know that in our head, but in dire straits, it comes home. BTW, Isn't it interesting that both the earth and money are "green"?

Syliva: Spoken with all the bias of a a true friend. Thank you for mentioning Evan's post - praise to the men who are brave enough to comment like that!

Serene: What an interesting and profound point! Men who are responsible for other men's jobs carry an additional weight that must be VERY heavy!

Grandma: Latter-day Saint women ARE the "most blessed" on earth! You're right! Happily married or not, we ALL have access to the inspiration and miracles of the Priesthood.

Happy Mom (good name for you!): It sounds like the reason you don't worry is because of the sense of protection and care your hubby provides you. Ironically, it sounds like that, instead of comforting or flattering him, your confidence actually makes him more lonely.

Part of the reason may be that men need be their woman's Hero, to rescue and save their damsel in distress. Since you show no distress, he doesn't have the chance to play the part. There has to be some uncertainty and peril in order for him to save the day. Hmmmmm.....musing on it.

Melanie: Continuing on Happy Mom's dilemma, you're right, it is hard to support your husband when you are CONSUMED with worry yourself. And the differences in handling crisis between men and women are too obvious. The answer lies in the equilibrium that can only be achieved through reliance on the Lord from both ends. THANK YOU for making that point!

Stephanie said...

Jake is always telling me that he's providing for our family, and I laugh and tell him that he's just putting us deeper in debt! :) But after 3 years of being either the top or 2nd student in his class, I find myself thanking him all the time for the hard work he puts into his schooling so that he can provide for our family. I feel so blessed.

Matt said...

First I would like to tell you Mona,that I personally appreciate your insight and understanding of men's roles, responsibilities, and the demands on our time. I felt that empathy during our time working on what I now lovingly call "the play". (I often forget that there are people who did not ever hear of it, and am shocked when they don't know what "play" I am referring other play is there?)

I am blessed with a wonderful companion who has always been supportive of me. We have had our share of struggles and challenges, but my Wendy has always been there to strengthen me and keep me going when I did not think I had it in me. She is behind me even when I get crazy ideas (like performing in a play 2 years in a row, or starting a choral ensemble) she helps me to keep it all in perspective. I only hope that I am as much a strength to her as she is to me.

I know what she has to deal with on a daily basis, and I'm often content to work the hours I do if for no other reason than not have to what she does. :0) Seriously though I know that the key in our relationship is that we compliment each other. Where one of us is weak, the other is strong and we balance each other out. There is no such thing as a "more important" role as both roles are equally necessary and important. Evidence of this fact is clear in that we cannot recieve the fullness of Heavenly Fathers Glory and kingdom whithout being sealed to our spouse. I'm grateful that these roles are clearly defined and ordined by heaven. Thank you for this wonderful post as it has caused me to reflect on this very important and vital subject.

Mona said...

Stephanie: Your Jake is AMAZING. How COOl is that to be married to such an accomplished, intelligent (but humble) guy. You are blessed!

Laman, Oops! I mean Matt: WOW. What a tribute to Wendy. I love how you say "when one of us is weak, the other is strong".

I don't know ladies...but all the men who have commented this week blow away society's stereotype of the ego-driven, controlling male, wouldn't you say??? We ARE ALL so blessed!


Lois Brown said...

My husband is amazing and I am very grateful that he is a man in all the most important ways. I, like Mona have an adult disabled child that is still like an infant in many ways and people always say things like "I don't know how you do it, I could never do it" OR "You must be so strong" things like this, you get the idea, well let me tell you I couldn't do it if I didn't have a husband who held the priesthood and who supported me and helped in every way necessary to be able to take care of this precious daughter of our Heavenly Father. He has been the one to be strong and in return made our whole family strong. To me what would be much worse, would be having to attend church with my children by myself, or worrying that my husband might go inactive! To me that would be a tragedy!!!! the thing I have always been able to say about my husband is that I know he would do whatever possible including working 2 jobs or whatever it takes to take care of his family and I have always been very grateful for that. We have experienced unemployment and hard times as everyone has but he is always doing everything possible. He has always been an excellent father which to me there is nothing sexier than a father who loves being a father and being with his children. Most marriages as Ramona can tell you, that have disabled children end in divorce. I won't lie the stress can be great at times. But that is when my husband has come through with flying colors, when i have been discouraged or down, he has picked up the slack with never a complaint. So I do love this man who is a great man in every sense of the word!

We have had marriage struggles as well, because when you can't fight and argue over your disabled child becuase you wouldn't dare seem ungrateful, you tend to then take it out on each other....but the one secret I have learned that has probably been the most important lesson I have learned is that if my husband can't trust me, then why would he talk, and share and care with me and then in turn be the husband I want him to be.....I learned the hard way and had to re-earn his trust so that he would trust me again.....I would sometimes talk to my friends and complain about some things that my husband did or habits that i thought drove me crazy and then I realized that I was killing my relationship with my husband,and I can tell you honestly he has never spoken ill of me or complained about me in any setting (friends, work, family) and I had to work really hard to let him know that he could trust me again and that things that happened in our marriage between us would be kept there and not talked about with my friends or family and amazingly enough I remembered why I love him and fell in love with him and then he is the perfect husband that I need and we both feel safe and loved and secure and that is the True test of Manhood that he loves me unconditionally, loves his children, will try to lighten my load whenever he can,tries (and has succeeded) in making my dreams come true, and he blesses our family with his Priesthood, and lead our family in righteousness as the Patriarch of our family. I love him and i often wonder how I got so lucky at the age of 18/19 to find such an amazing man still. He is the best thing that ever happened to me and the wisest decision I ever made and the greatest gift in my life!

The beauty of him is that he tells me he would be nothing without me! Now that's a man!

I think I rambled on too much! and maybe a little too sicky sweet! oops sorry!

marzee said...

Ohhhh - such a great post. We're dealing with unemployment right now. Yes - they do carry so much but you would never know it as they do it so valiantly. How good you are to remind us of the importance of recognizing the wonderful men in our lives. So often, we hear about how mothers sacrifice all for their children/families. Those men don't get enough recognition for slaying the dragons and bringing bread.
My Bubba has done it 100% since baby #1 - he's awesome. My life is full and richly blessed because of him. I couldn't be the person that I am without him - he buoys me up so that I can rise to become the lady that Heavenly Father wants me to be (not that I'm there yet).
Additionally, that pedestal Jon puts me on is of great help - you know, getting me closer to that lady - and that Heavenly Father of ours.
Thanks Mona!