Little feet ran to the door to greet their hero with open arms, but they were met with a pencil thin smile and a halfhearted hug.
Daddy had had another long week and looked discouraged by the weight of the world. The twinkle had vanished from his eyes and his smile seemed forced and weak.
Usually vibrant and joyful, my husband looked worn and weary. Mumbling something about another bad day at the office, he retreated upstairs for a few minutes of solitude.
The problem solver in me immediately went into crisis mode as I wracked my brain for solutions to his lofty problems. Suddenly, I had an epiphany. While I wanted to be the one to dry his tears, erase his hurts and be a soft place for him to land, men process problems way differently than women.
My gut instinct was to help him the way I would want to be helped after a rough day. I would want to talk it through, have a good cry and dive into a bowl of chocolate ice cream, but that’s not the way men handle life when it’s hard.
I simply couldn’t help him the way I would counsel a female friend. I needed to help my struggling husband the way he processes conflict, not the way that I do.
Immediately I realized I’d been counseling him wrong our 13 years of marriage. While he was too kind to mention that my tactics were off base, I felt sad that I’d missed the mark after all of these years.
I began praying for wisdom and that God would lead me to practical ways to help my husband in his time of need. After talking with him and getting his input on how to encourage him, here’s the new ways I’m helping him when life is hard. (And it’s working, too!)
Read the full story at The Intentional Mom, where I am sharing my heart with her readers.