He was here first.
You know, the one who I met 8 1/2 years ago; the one who befriended me for a whole year after meeting him; the one who captured my heart the day he shared his feelings; the one who I got engaged to less than a year later; the one I married 5 months after our engagement.
Yes, my husband and best friend. He was here first.
This is something I quite often forget when I start my days rolling up my sleeves, diving into taking care of 2 children. The days without a doubt always consist of meals, wiping faces, changing diapers, playtime, more meals, naps, playtime, discipline, discipleship, laundering the kid’s clothes, laundering diapers, discipline, discipline, discipline…..
Then before you know it, there comes an evening you all are getting ready to go somewhere and you look at your husband who is wearing a long-sleeve shirt…in the middle of summer. And you turn your head to the side and say, “Babe, why the long sleeves? It’s warm outside.” He quietly responds with, “I didn’t see any others clean.”
Oh, man. HIS regular laundry.
I kept pushing it aside for later, never making it a priority. His work clothes always can be laundered quickly, so that task is not forgotten. But I usually take a good amount of time separating his regular laundry loads, knowing I need extra time for the nice and casual shirts to get a 10 minute dryer trip then move to hangers to prevent shrinking and wrinkles. I don’t know, I guess I’m OCD about that. I want to get it done without interruptions. This is why this task easily gets pushed to the side with a mental note of “I’ll get to it later” attached.
After this particular evening I kept hearing God remind me, “He was here first.”
I was reminded that he actually takes priority over the children. Yes, even during one of the busiest seasons of our lives. I was reminded that I am still his help-meet and not any less of a help-meet because we have littles.
That week, one morning, I told my son it’s his lucky morning because he got to choose a movie to watch while I worked on laundry. The Lord blessed my efforts that morning and the kiddos behaved very nicely! The morning ended with lots of shirts hanging outside from my handy dandy “clothesline”. The day ended with a super appreciative and grateful husband.
So now, usually at least once a day, I am reminded that he was here first. I look around and see what I can do for my husband that day that will show I am making him priority.
Can I throw in a couple loads of his laundry and get them folded AND put away?
Can I gather all the trash and take it out to the curb?
Can I have a towel and wash cloth ready in the bathroom for his shower?
Can I correct my toddler when he interrupts a story my husband is trying to tell me, instead of instantly tending to my toddler and brushing off my husband?
These are some little things that I can do to show my husband he is my priority. It really is a hard balance for me in this season and the Lord is still working on me. But I am very thankful for His conviction in this area.
Some day (yes, it is hard to believe this day will come) our children will be grown and moved out, making families of their own, leaving my husband and I to stay here. I don’t want to have a to wait until that season to remember what being a help-meet is.
If there is any piece of marriage advice I would want to be reminded of, it’s this: He was here first.