Several months ago (who know it may have even been a couple of years ago), there was an idea going around the internet of writing a letter to a younger version of yourself. What would you say? Would you answer life’s biggest question? I didn’t give it a lot of thought at the time, but the other day I was just thinking, and it hit me exactly what I would say to my younger, teenage self. Here it is…
The adults often don’t know the answers either!!!
I don’t know about you, but when I was a kid, and a teen, I thought that, at some point, all the questions I had would have answers, if I would just finally be an adult. I would know how to handle every situation. When life happened, I would have the answer. I even thought I would know how to love a wife and be a good dad, because I was an adult. Funny thing is, it didn’t change, and hasn’t changed.
Here’s what I mean. I thought that when I became an adult, I would know how to be a good husband. Well, it didn’t take long of being married to learn that I didn’t have the answers. “But, that’s ok”, I thought, “after we have been married 5 years, then I will know how to be a good husband”. Well, five years came and passed, then 10, we are now on our 23rd year of marriage and I still don’t know as much about being a good husband as I wish I did. Situations come up and I don’t know whether to try to solve the problem, or just listen. Is it time for a hug, or time to give distance? Should I say something, or should I just let this situation pass? If I say something, is now a good time, or should I wait a while? How do I show love? What if she doesn’t act very “loving” back to me? How do I best serve her? How I say hard things without hurting her feelings, or is this a hard thing that even needs to be said? And that’s just the beginning.
I actually think I would have one other thing to say to my younger self.
Searching for the answers IS the adventure.
It’s not about having the right answers, but it is about finding the right answers together. I have learned that marriage books have a LOT of great info in them, but the approaches aren’t cookie cutter. I have to take the principles and use them to best serve and honor my wife. What speaks to her, what pleases her, what can I do, or stop doing, that will delight her? I can read a book, and get an idea, but she is my wife, and finding the answer is the joy and adventure of living with her.
I guess the truth is, in many ways, I may never be all that great of a husband. Based on the track record of always thinking I will someday find the answer, but it never being quite there, maybe I will never find the answer to being a great husband. But, maybe I can learn to be a better husband by loving and serving my wife, and seeking to know her better. And that is a great adventure!!!