There’s a small pile of clothes on my dresser right now, awaiting the judgment of my stylist, who has been away on business for a couple days.
I ordered a few fall items last week, and I won’t rip the tags off without consulting my husband first. Not because I’m looking for his permission (gosh no!), but simply because he has a better eye than me, and I appreciate his input.
I first realized this when we were dating, and he convinced me to a buy a classic navy sundress from Ann Taylor that I wore for 5 years. It was flattering. It hugged my curves in all the best places and skimmed over the less-than-perfect parts, and the color made my blue eyes pop. But I wouldn’t have picked it on my own because it was, at the time, more than I would typically spend.
My husband’s fashion sense was confirmed during our engagement as I chose a color for the bridesmaids dresses. He actually knew (and could spot) the difference between cornflower and periwinkle blue.
Have I told you that I hate to shop?
Really. Hate. To. Shop.
Years later, I complained one June about needing to buy a couple new dresses, as we had a slew of Christenings, weddings, and sundry parties to attend in the following months.
That afternoon, he waltzed into our kitchen with two new shifts that he had bought straight off the Lord & Taylor racks in under 15 minutes. One fit me perfectly. The other needed minor alterations at the shoulders.
I told him other women would laugh at me if they knew, because they’d think I have no ability to dress myself.
He shrugged. Then added, “I appreciate your body more than you do,” and smiled in a come-hither kind of way.
It has taken some time, but I have accepted that my husband has a legitimate point. He values me (and my body, I guess) in ways that I don’t. And he is looking out for me and the image I put forward in the world.
So – I wonder – am I doing the same for him?
I might not have his same ability to find a garment that is both “on trend” and “spot on” for someone, but am I helping to create a positive impression of him for others?
I hope so.
Do I know his faults?
Should I tell you about them?
In the last week, I’ve heard a few women speak poorly of their husbands or other men in their lives. Often, it’s just venting – relieving frustration that builds up in hectic times when we aren’t leaving enough space for deep connection with one another.
But we have to be careful.
There is a fine line between venting, complaining, and disparaging – a downward cut that slices into the bonds of love between us.
We are called to build one another up, to clothe one another with affection and caring. This process happens face-to-face, and when we speak of one another while apart.
Beautifully woven life stories are created when we consistently choose to celebrate our strengths, rather than focus on our flaws.
Be hospitable to one another without complaining. – 1 Peter 5:10