A Husband’s Love

hubbyandkis

A husband may show his love for his wife in many ways; he may buy her flowers, telling her “I love you”s, taking her out to romantic dinners, the list is non exhaustive. But it doesn’t always need a fancy expression. Sometimes, loving his wife means helping her with her chores after a long day work. Sometimes, it means accompanying her little kids up and down the slides so she can sit at the playground bench.

It may sound simple, but every love expressed is every self denied. Sacrifice and self denying are unusual and counter intuitive. To the observers, it is an anomaly, for before long they begin to ask:

“Why is your husband very different? Men don’t usually come fetching their wives and kids at the playground straight after coming back from work.”
“Oh, there’s no one else at home so…”
“Well, they’ll love it all the more when there’s no one to bug them at home. They can sit all they want in front of the screen. It’s their me time.”

Or make remarks,

“Your husband is a rare find. I seldom see man so willingly do child care. Even if they do, most do it with face glued to their phones.”

“He helps you scrub the toilets? For real?”

Surely, all husbands will love to enjoy their down time and do away with the house chores. But there are those who choose to put down their pleasure and roll up their sleeves to love their wives and children. Not because their wives and children are always lovable, no no, we wives know this better than anyone else. It’s because they have themselves been loved by the great Love. In denying themselves they say, “we love because HE first loved us.”

As husbands emulate this Love, the world will but notice and wonder:

“What prompts him to do so?”

Husbands, love your wives. For your love will tell of the greatest Love story, in which a GOD once laid down His life to love the fallen mortals.

5 Years

Honey and Spice; that was our initial expectation of how marriage life would be like. That it would have its sweet-as-honey times, and many unpredictable moments with flavors not necessarily sweet yet rich as the spices. With this idea in mind we produced our own pre-wedding photobook.

Few months into it, we discovered that marriage life was not all that flavorful. It was but mostly tasteless, to our dismay. You know, you don’t buy flowers and chocolate very often (it’s neither good for your wallet nor your waistline), your heart doesn’t always go skipping one beat and you don’t even have that much of a fight; you just go about your days living your ordinary life and not the Korean dramas.

Thankfully, the unrealized expectation led us to a more accurate way of viewing (or tasting) marriage life. It’s not that marriage is not sweet or spicy, but its sweetness and spiciness are to be savored in the consistency of its blandness.

To draw the analogy to our bodily function, what we perceived before the wedding was the adrenaline. Once married, we realized that we are still living primarily on the constant cardiac beat, made exciting by occasional adrenaline moments.

As is the case with plain water and plain rice – things which are our staple needs; it takes perseverance and gratefulness to appreciate how its blandness is what makes a marriage life bearable, and its flavorful moments memorable.

Marriage is not going to change an ordinary life into an extraordinary one. But the fact that our marriage is still intact, that we are still waking up next to our spouse, serves as evidence to how our everyday, though plain as it may be, is graced with blessings from above. Before we knew it, this marriage has become a cherished bond we cannot live without.

Celebrating anniversary while revisiting this album is definitely one of our sweet moments, one that is filled with knowing giggles too. 🙂

(Song: 最重要的決定 by Fan Wei Qi)

P.S.
We were young couple in our twenties, with limited budget, wishing to marry. A DIY pre-wedding photobook was actually a money-saving alternative because getting a professional out there to do it would have cost us a bomb. To compensate for the absence of professional photography skill and fancy gowns, we created a theme with storyline and made do with whatever props we had free access to. The intention was to shift the focus of the album from being a photography artwork to a personal and creative work.
We owed big thanks to two of our friends, Shirleen for the make-up and Michael for the photo taking, this project was made possible only with their helping hands.

That's us! Happily married for 5 years and counting. :)

That’s us! Happily married for 5 years and counting. 🙂

Body and Soul

It is a most wonderful truth that the Lord God would delight in human body as much as in the soul. So much so that He took it on purpose to create human as spiritual and material being, and as if that weren’t enough, He gave His promise that when He returns in glory, not only our soul will enter the eternal blessedness but our very flesh too, reunited with our soul, be made perfect and glorious!
Praise the Lord for His unfathomable wisdom and love! (Think: literal heavenly culinary experience guaranteed for an eternity! :D)

On the flip side of the coin, back here at home, we are routinely absorbed in the care-taking of the bodies under the roof. Winning the bread, filling the tummies, clothing the naked. The needs of the body are many, urgent, and obvious.
Let us not forget that these bodies too, are one with their souls. And while the bodies thrive, well-fed and well-sheltered, let us also see to it that the souls are well nourished. For these souls need nothing less, if not more, of such care.
May God help us!

An Alphabet of Wifely Excellence

It is that woman I am thinking about.

Yes, that one woman every woman looks up to with great admiration and a healthy dose of envy.

They call her the Virtuous Woman. You can find her at Proverbs 31 #10-31 (which, as lined out in verse 10, might send you into a further search for this lady 🙂 ). As I am one among those who are still searching, I found this commentary written by Derek Kidner in his book Proverbs throws clearer light along the path.

May I share this with the many women who share my quest for this wifely excellence.

The subject of this portrait is a lady of some position, who has servants to manage (15c) and money to invest (16). As her husband’s trusted partner (11) she has sole responsibility in her domain, which extends beyond the house to the management of her lands (16) and to dealings in the market, where she is as shrewd a seller (11, 18, 24) as a buyer (13, 14). She treats her advantages not as a means to self-indulgence but as a widening of her responsibilities (27), for she is a tireless worker (15, 18, 19): there are the poor to help (20) and the vicissitudes of life to meet forearmed (21, 25b). Yet with all her thrift, she is not austere (22), and with her business sense she is not hard, but a friend in need (20) and the delight of her children and her husband (28, 29). Her charm and her success (30, 31) owe nothing to chance, because her outlook (30) and her influence (26) have the solid foundation of the fear and wisdom of the Lord.
Except in this last respect, this lady’s standard is not implied to be within the reach of all, for it presupposes unusual gifts and material resources; nor is it much concerned with the personal relationships of marriage. Rather, it shows the fullest flowering of domesticity, which is revealed as no petty and restricted sphere, and its mistress as no cipher. Here is scope for formidable powers and great achievements – the latter partly in the realm of the housewife’s own nurture and produce (31); and partly in her unseen contribution to her husband’s good name (23).
– Proverbs, 178-179

Special Days amid the Married Days

choc

In the dating period, birthdays, Valentine’s days, anniversaries, and many other special days are really special. Once married, they become.. Monday, Tuesday – or Wednesday, depending on which day they fall on the calendar.

They say the ‘promotion period is over’, if you know what I mean ;).

My husband turns 30 today. And it is Saturday.

Well it was supposed to be just like any other Saturdays before I thought maybe, probably, something could be done to turn it into a more special Saturday. To be honest, I had already convinced myself to just leave it and let it be a Saturday. There are soooo many valid excuses for a busy mom like me not to add anything extra into my plate which already is full to the brim. And any extra expenditure on unnecessary gift would not be wise to our finance (and because he is the bread-winner, the thought of spending the money he earned on some birthday gift for him is a bit strange to me). And anyway I told him about my thought of this matter, and he said that he was fine with it, there was no need for anything fancy. And the list of defense goes on. And, perhaps, it was the lazy me..

I thought about it for some time. Very likely it was the lazy me.

The plate is not as full as I thought, if I am willing to squeeze some things surely there is still ample space. It’s not like I am throwing a grand birthday party. And about buying gift for him using the resources from him, I shall wish that my kids would do the same for me in the future (it must be sweet to see them come to you and ask money from you to buy you a present!), and for many many times hopefully. Isn’t it the same principal with our offering back ourselves, resources and soul, to our Heavenly Father? All the resources we have is given by Him, none is self-achieved. We offer them back to Him as a token of gratitude, token of love.

So we gave it a go, Baby and I sneaked out from home when Daddy is out working. Daddy loves sweets so we bought him chocolate (they did the wrapping for us too! :)). It was simple, it was possible. I hid the gift in the fridge and intended to surprise him when he opened the fridge door first thing in the morning.

Did I succeed? I think so.. the night before his birthday (of all days!), he suddenly wanted to tally our expenditure’s record with the bank’s account balance. I used NETS for the purchase and inevitably he found out about it. But he was sweet enough to let the surprise still be a surprise.

Lesson learned: secret makes good friends with cash. I will be sure to remember it for the next ones, many more special days to come apparently!

Happy birthday, Love. Indeed a happy wife I am.

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What are the special things you do for your loved ones for those special days?