I remember when I first realized that Dennis was not like my father.

My dad was an all-American “Mr. Fix-it.” He was vice president in charge of maintenance at a large steel plant, and at home he could do anything. He loved working around the house and the yard—making repairs, painting, tinkering on the car.

Dennis, on the other hand, had the motto that “if you can’t fix something with baling wire and duct tape, you should throw it away and get a new one.” He disliked working around the house, preferring to spend his spare time watching sports on television.

I remember those early days in our marriage. Dennis would be plopped in his easy chair in front of the television, and I would circle him like a vulture, trying to give him a gentle hint of how I felt he could better use his time.

Dennis and I have come a long way in our years of marriage. He’s still not Mr. Fix-it, but he tries. And somewhere along the way he developed an enjoyment of gardening so he could spend time with me.

Meanwhile, I’ve learned an crucial lesson—the importance of loving my husband unconditionally. I need to receive Dennis as a gift from God, in spite of any weaknesses and flaws. And I need to remember that God is working in his life.

In our first month of marriage, Dennis took the initiative to make a small financial investment, and we ended up losing money. As we talked it over, and I shared my disappointment, it was obvious Dennis knew he had made a poor choice.

At that point I faced a choice of my own: Would I accept him as my husband, or would I nag him and make him feel like a further failure?

I realized that God had a plan for Dennis. He wanted to use this mistake to teach Dennis how to become dependent on Christ and be a better husband. I needed to get out of God’s way and let Him work in my husband’s life.

At times like this, a wife learns that love is not all feelings. This is where you honor your wedding vows and say, “I’m committed to you, no matter what.”

That’s what real love is. And that’s what a husband needs!

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