In my last post “I Didn’t Know What I Needed,” someone asked if I could get my husband, Kevin, to weigh in. I’m guessing the person who asked was female. Because when I asked Kevin if there was anything he thought he needed that I didn’t fulfill, he seemed baffled by the question. “What do you mean?”
So I tried to explain it, and finally he thought of something. Kevin knew as a teen that he wanted to be a pastor, so this “need” is a bit specific to ministry life:
I thought I needed someone who was super-supportive. Suzanne is super-supportive, but not in the way I expected. To me “super-supportive” meant a stay-at-home wife who would take care of the kids, host dinner parties, show up at meetings. As I grew up spending time with different pastors, that’s what I saw. To be effective, I thought I had to have a wife whose job was to be my right-hand man.
I thought I needed someone who was immersed in my calling. What I didn’t realize was that my wife could be immersed in her calling and still supportive of mine. Growing up in a Christian home, you’re told a wife should be submissive and she needs to be supportive. That’s why career women can be scary, because they have their own agenda and own thing going on.
But we use Suzanne’s talents and abilities in what I do, and we use my talents and abilities in what she does. It makes us more dynamic as a couple because we utilize each other’s skills. We’re like a dynamic duo — like Batman and Robin rather than Batman with Alfred back at home (I think guys will get that analogy).
When I asked him if there was anything that he didn’t know he needed that I brought to the table, he talked about encouragement:
Encourager was never on my top 10 list. I’m someone who when I get into a project I’ll go full force, but sometimes I need someone to help me get started. I need someone to say “You can do it,” to get going. Suzanne has that quality.
And I wouldn’t have said I needed someone who was willing to point things out — the good the bad and the ugly. That’s something most people say they appreciate in their spouse after marriage, but it’s not something they think about needing prior to marriage. But it really helps you grow as a person.
So there you have it. A guy’s perspective. It seems in Kevin’s case, he didn’t ever think in terms of, “I need someone who … ” The things he believed he needed arose more in the form of expectations (maybe that he didn’t even know existed) of what his future wife would be like. Because his mom is a gifted homemaker, he pictured being married to that kind of woman. Because many pastors’ wives function in behind-the-scenes support roles, he imagined his wife would probably be this way. Clearly, we are thankful that God had something else in mind. As Kevin said, we are a dynamic couple, and it’s exciting to see the things the Lord has planned for us to do together.
So guys … any thoughts on expectations? The Batman and Robin analogy? Career women being scary because they have their own thing going? The floor is yours. (Comments from women welcome, also.)