It was raining cats and dogs when I left the office the other day…
As I stepped out of the elevator into the foyer of our building, I noticed the “bike guy” standing there, staring out the window. The rain was coming down in sheets – a precursor rain band to an incoming hurricane/tropical storm about to pass through in a day or two. It was 515pm, on a Friday–I’d be home in 10-15 minutes.
As my hand touched the handle of the big, glass doors, steeling myself for the cold rain (umbrella was in the Excursion, of course) , my heart stopped me.
Give him a ride home, my heart whispered.
Immediately, I turned to him and asked. “Do you need a ride?
“No, I’ll be fine”, he said.
We discussed the direction he would be heading and I said, “Well, I live at least part of the way, let me give you a lift that far.”
He thought for a second and then agreed. So I headed to my truck and he headed to his bike to unlock it from the light pole to which it was chained. I started up my truck and pulled out of the parking space and drove over to where he was…already soaked to the bone.I got out and opened up the rear door and awkwardly, we two strangers lifted the bike together into the SUV. He seemed nervous. So did I. Weird. But, then again, we had never spoken, even in passing, until this moment.
Now both of us soaking wet, we took off, headed out of the parking lot, and onto the street. The rain was unrelenting. There’s no way I would be out riding a bike in this.
We started talking… Puerto Rico had just been hit by Hurricane Irma and there wasn’t much information coming out of the island yet. He talked about his relatives there, I talked about my friends and acquaintances I had there. It was small, but we were connecting.
The closer I got to home, the harder it seemed to be raining. Finally, I just asked him, “How far away do you live?” It was 20 minutes away from where we were… BY CAR. And he was biking this route every day, rain or shine.
This will not do, my heart said.
“I’m in no big hurry,” I said. “Let me just drop you off at your house.” He agreed.
With the heavy rain, traffic was bad. It took us 40 minutes to get to his house. During the drive, I asked him if he was married.
This skinny, bike-ridin’ dude was a hard-core family man. After talking a bit more, I got the story. He liked his job, but they only had one car. In his opinion, he thought his wife should have the car so she could take care of the kids, run the errands that needed to be run, and, you know, take care of the family.
I agreed with him, but inwardly, I marveled. A question bounced around in my head…
“How many husbands would sacrifice like this for their wife?”
Here’s a guy getting it done. No second car. At work at 730 am, riding bike 55 minutes to get there on time.
Leaving the car for his wife, a stay-at-home mom, to take care of family business while he brought home the bacon. And he was happy.
How politically incorrect in this day and age!
How proud I was of a guy I didn’t even know until a half hour before.
What a man this guy was!
After digesting what he was telling me, I told him he was was a rich man… a king. He probably didn’t think of himself in this way, but I felt he needed to hear it. I mean, how would you view yourself, slogging it to work every day on a bike, 55 minutes each way, rain or shine?
I told him he was a king. I told him a king would lay down everything to fight the battles-whatever they may be-to ensure that his queen was secure and that his children were provided for. I praised him for putting his wife first.
“If you take care of your wife… If you make your bride number one… If you study her, protect her, give her everything you possess, fight battles for her, and give her the quality time she desires, your children will be well taken care for.”
“I’ve always thought that my wife came first”, he replied, “but everyone always tells me the kids are number one. Thanks for telling me like it really is.”
Readers. Beloved people. Hear me.
A man’s wife should always be his number one concern. If he is taking care of her needs, he WILL AUTOMATICALLY be taking care of his kids. Furthermore, they will learn from his example. They will learn how to be faithful and love someone for life. In turn, they will do the same as they mature into adults. Men, love your kids and be a dad, but focus on your wife.
By the time we reached his apartment, he was relaxed, talkative, and was thinking aloud of ways to love his wife. I gave him some of my best ideas, and he gave me some of his… as brothers with the same mission. We parted ways with an understanding that we were kings in our homes… not because we deserved or demanded to be treated as such, but because we knew that serving our beloved with unconditional love was our greatest role.
I can’t stress enough how important it is for a man to understand how to be attentive and supporting to his wife. We aren’t perfect, but with the help of the Bridegroom himself, Jesus Christ, we can get close enough to be pretty good husbands.
Keep stepping it up and have a terrific day!