I've rolled my eyes more than once as my husband has launched into telling me the intricacies of Defensive Tactics in Hockey. Or Why Girls Should Not Play Hockey On Boys Teams. Oh boy. Here we go.
Tempted as I am to hold up the palm and say "Heard it already," something from our recent conversation about Refuge prevents me. Hey, (slap, slap) my guy is talking to me about something that's important to him!
I lean in and try to think of an intelligent question to ask. Caught completely off-guard by my interest, the spark in his answer is unmistakable. I watch his animation as he talks about his passion. He's pretty cute when he's all fired up!
Yeah, that's better than the silence that would have followed the outstretched palm, that's for sure.
Being Tom's refuge means remembering what's important to him, and showing an interest.
Extra Credit is given for actually encouraging him in his interest. I can imagine you saying, "Now why would I want to encourage my husband in something that takes him away from what he REALLY needs to be doing around here?" (i.e. helping out more around the house, fixing the leaky faucet.) I hear ya. Boy, do I hear ya.
But I pose the question back to you. Why NOT encourage him? My guy doesn't want me to just see him as a beast of burden, good for bringing home a paycheck and then working on the chores. He needs me to see him as the man who's Got Something Goin' ON, who's good at stuff besides drudgery, who has an important opinion (even if it's about who should be the starting quarterback in Sunday's big game.)
Let's face it. What guy doesn't want his girl to say, "Tell me more?"
Suppress the urge to roll your eyes and listen with your heart. When your man is telling you about the latest tool at Home Depot, or how he shaved a stroke off his golf game, you are being his refuge.
When he is beaten down by the dog-eat-dog world at work and you don't criticize him for what he coulda shoulda done, you are being his refuge.
Refuge is what happens when I willingly become the place my husband turns TO, not FROM..... to let off steam, to express his thoughts, to find his way. It happens when I let go of my expectations of him, and give him the space and freedom to be himself. It gives him mental sanctuary to know that I'm not policing the stuff he finds interesting, and better yet, I'm making an effort to understand his personal pursuits.
And that leaky faucet? It might get fixed even faster by the guy who knows his girl finds him fascinating! If not, hire a plumber.
P.S. Next post: The Frog Inside My Prince - more on Refuge