The Measure of a Man

Thinking about the life I live today and realizing how blessed I am. I have two beautiful children, a patient God-loving husband, a home to call my own, food in my fridge, shoes on my feet, a warm bed to sleep in, and hot water to shower with. Now on the surface all that seems pretty ordinary. But for my life, it is spectacular in a very special way.
My children are miracles, my son especially so.
My patient God-loving husband puts up with all my special eccentricities.
My home was purchased without a dime in the bank, something that is almost unheard of these days. My home is just large enough to share with another family if the need arises.
The food in my fridge doesn’t just fill my belly, it keeps me healthy because it’s Gluten Free. Something extra hard to do on a tight budget.
The shoes on my feet are worth two weeks of gas for my husband to get to work, but the sacrifice was made because they allow me to care for my home with 1/2 the debilitating pain I would normally experience. Those are some special shoes.
My warm bed isn’t just any old mattress like we used to have. We purchased a special memory foam mattress so that I can sleep through the night without the aid of drugs that make it very difficult to rise and care for my children in the morning.
The hot water in my shower is extra special to me as well, because at the end of the day when I can barely stand any longer, the hot water penetrates deeper than my heating pad to gives me more relief.
And all of this on one small income — his.

All of these things would not be possible without the sacrifices of the man who tucks himself into bed beside me each and every night. Not only does he sacrifice so that I can have these things, he does so with joy. That is the measure of a man.
A man who is willing to set aside the things he wants so that his children can have what they need. A man who is willing to survive on one income so that the dream his wife has of staying home with the children can be a reality. These are the things that matter at the end of the day. A man who sets aside his wants and most importantly his PRIDE to support his family is worth more than all the gold in the world.
Not to long ago my husband was laid off and had no job lined up at the time. Luckily a temporary job came through in about two weeks time and my husband was able to bring in an income again. This job was a 6 month contract that was to end with the prospect of being permanent should both parties agree. This wasn’t a “maybe” permanent, it was a genuine permanent position. To top it all off, it was in a new field my husband wanted to try his hand at and it included free health insurance. It seemed like the perfect job. It was all except for one small problem that soon warped into a bigger problem….the boss.
This guy was a slime ball. He was rude, unethical and dishonest. He insulted employees and clients behind their backs, insinuating a major lack of intelligence, ran programs with illegal product codes, the works. To say the least, he was not an easy guys to work with for normal people. But my loving husband isn’t normal — he is a duck. Now most of you probably know exactly what that means the moment you read it, but for those who don’t, let me enlighten you. It means that everything rolls of his back like water off a duck. Nothing bothers him, and I mean nothing. He is so tolerant and patient that some days it drives me crazy. Which should tell you a lot about me at the same time.
So for a man like my husband to hate this job because of this man is a big deal. He could have chosen to walk away, he could have chosen to quit, to decide that he wasn’t going to be treated this way any longer, or watch this man treat anyone else this way. I know a few men who have had this mentality. They could not put their pride aside for the sake of the wife and children waiting at home and the food he would put on the table. My husband took a different stand and choose to stay and finish his 6 month commitment.
It all comes down to sacrifices. Things may look very different in your home than they do in mine. But at the end of the day, rich or poor, sick or healthy, struggling or not, it’s the sacrifices he makes that define him. The things he gives and does for others, expecting nothing in return. That is the measure of a man.

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