When I was a young bride, I was at my grandparents' home one day. My grandmother looked me in the eyes and said something to the effect of:
Honey, always treat your husband as your number one. Always, in every situation. His wish is your command. Never take him for granted. Treat him like God's gift to you.
There will be times when you will be frustrated with him, there will be times when you quarrel. There will be times when you will feel drained or when practically speaking, you must attend to the baby. Nevertheless, even during these times, you should do at least one thing every day that tells him loud and clear: you are always my number one in the whole wide world!
At the time, my head was filled with other ideas. Ideas of female empowerment and equality. I was convinced that I would enter into a marriage of equal partnership between equal partners.
I was respectful of her because I love and respect this woman, with all my heart. But my facial expression must have given away my disagreement. She continued:
You don't agree with me now. That's okay. One day you will learn. I hope you learn the easy way and not the hard way.
I got married and everything was going well for the first year or so. After all, what's to go wrong during this time? We were both young and healthy and our needs were minimal. We were madly in love and we had sex very often.
But then, over time, life started to get in the way. The marriage wasn't so new and that special excitement wore off. We started to argue a bit more than we had previously.
Then there were some health challenges, pregnancies, births, babies, toddlers... Obligations and exhaustion dialed up to 11. I'm ashamed to say, that for many months, I almost completely neglected my husband. Even worse, I was short and demanding. I nagged him to hell and criticized his every move. I became a real bitch.
In my head, I felt justified. After all, he's a grown man and the babies are helpless little humans. I was in full mommy mode and I deserved -DESERVED - the world from him for nothing in return.
This went on for a while until I was over at my grandmother's once again. She asked me how it was going and I was about to start saying that everything was fine when she held my arm to stop me. She said:
Honey, you can't fool me. I know it isn't going well. You can speak to me if you'd like. You don't have to.
I burst out in tears. So many emotions all at once. She kept handing me tissues as she held my shoulder and arm. I realized that she had been right all along. I wanted to change but I was afraid and terribly embarrassed.
Over time, she taught me how to rebuild my marriage and regain the trust of my wonderful husband. Maybe another day, I'll write down some more of her wisdom.
What I'd like to conclude with today is the lesson that is in the title: to always treat your husband as your number one. Always always always. No matter what.
He needs to know that he is your number one. Your children need to know that he comes before they do. It's good for them to not be the center of the universe. It's good for them to see how you treat your husband like God's gift to you. It's good for your marriage too, obviously.
Yes, sometimes, you need to change a diaper or calm a crying baby, before anything else. But even during these times, try to do at least one thing every day, that tells him loud and clear: you are my man and you are my world!