Challenges, For Women, Love

Conquering Mountains: For Her or For Nothing

Wives, encouraging your husband helps him more than you know. If other men are like me, we live to impress and inspire our wives. Your meaningful, intentional affirmation is like a shot of adrenaline straight to the heart!

Last week I summited Mt. Rainier for the second time. At the peak, there’s a steel box with a log book inside. Summiteers can proudly sign their name and add any comments they desire. Without even thinking, I signed my name and wrote:

“For my sweet Selena and our unborn daughter. I love you both more than you know!”

Encouraging your spouse

In hindsight I wondered why I wrote that so instinctively in lieu of some inspirational phrase, Bible verse, or epic literary quote…? Why did I write to my wife and unborn daughter who, in all likelihood, would never read it themselves?

I think I figured out why, but first let me explain the climb a bit…

A challenge to overcome

Honestly, this climb was much more challenging than last year’s effort. The extra difficulty was probably due to less rest time (36 hours up/down vs. 72 last year) and poor food planning on my part – I have no idea what I was thinking when I packed.

Climbing

I felt weak and tired, I was hungry, my feet throbbed, and at times I was mentally defeated – especially on summit day.

There were three of us: me, my best bud Jeff, and Ben. Jeff experienced a pretty harsh case of altitude sickness starting 2K feet shy of the summit. As a team we were all feeling it; at least Jeff and I were (we’re the old guys apparently)!

Throughout the climb I had three distinct thought patterns going through my head to help motivate me:

  1. Prayer – thanking God for his creation and my freedom to explore it
  2. Verses – “The sovereign Lord is my strength, he makes my feet like the feet of a deer. He enables me to go on the heights.” – Hab 3:19
  3. Selena – I wouldn’t let myself quit because I wanted to show her I could summit again.

A light goes on

viewsThis morning as I sat down to write this, it hit me – I realized the reason why I dedicated my climb to Selena so instinctively. I was tired, battered, and the altitude was making me nauseous. In that weak moment there was only one person on the planet I cared to include and impress: Selena.

She is my princess, I am her knight; and I wanted to slay this dragon for her.

I desire to hear her proud exhortations of my strength and endurance. I relish her loving adoration of my feat. In the coming years, I want to feel her admiration as I recant the glorious “second summit” of Mt Rainier to our daughter.

For her or for nothing

Wives, your husband doesn’t need to be the strongest, smartest, or most handsome man to the entire world – just to you.

Your loving adoration and affectionate kisses are a “shot to the arm” to fight off all kinds of disease and infuse him with strength. When Selena simply says “I’m proud of you” or “thank you”, my day gets 10 times better.

Her adoring actions are even more potent. When she stops me, stares into my eyes, and kisses me, I swell up like Superman in direct sunlight. On a personal note, when our intimacy proves she is actively interested in me, it’s the best sex I can ask for.

Stand by your man

As the old country song says, “Stand by your man, and show the world you love him.” By standing by and behind your man in life, you show him and the world that you are one – wholly unified and wholly complete. He is every bit the man you desire.

The coolest thing is that as Selena shows me that she’s proud, I want more. Her adoration compels me to be a better man all around. I want to know God more, I want to work harder, and I want to love her better.

crossing

For you, I’d carry that and more

As we finished the last steps of our descent and I approached Selena waiting for us, I set my 60 lb pack down against a rock pillar and gave her a hug. In another instinctive moment, I asked her to lift the pack briefly so she could feel the weight I had been carrying. She obliged, picking it up a few inches and quickly dropping it, “There’s no way I could carry that up there!”.

It’s fine.

I would never ask her to carry that much weight anyway. In fact, I’d carry that and more up 10 mountains so long as I know she’s behind me, loving me, and encouraging me along the way.

Wives, your encouragement can help your husband scale any mountain – literally or figuratively. What mountains is your husband facing, and how can you encourage him to overcome them?

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