I’ve had a fascinating experience in the last few weeks. Nothing profound, really. Just something that proves some things I’ve read to be very true. In an earlier post, I mentioned the CHAIRS acrostic. I’ve been living the reality of just how much men LOVE that relational thing -the shoulder-to-shoulder bonding time.

Just before we went on our vacation earlier this summer, I asked hubby if he would be willing to show me some exercises I could do using his weights. Mind you, I was looking for some simple tips that I could then put into practice on my own – since my track record for exercising alone is soo stellar (hope you caught that sarcasm)! He took my simple request and put together a three-day-a-week workout routine for the two of us to do together. Mind you, the weight bench he has is set up to be used if you don’t have a spotter. It has all sorts of safety mechanisms in place that allow you to work out alone if you so choose. Hubby wouldn’t have it! When we got back from vacation, we got to work.

To me the workout nights are a means to an end. Believe me, I don’t enjoy the sweating and achy muscles that go along with it! If you want to know for sure if your husband loves you for who you are or for what you look like, work out with him. If he can still find you attractive after a work out, it’s the real thing. My husband, on the other hand, is postively energized by the fact that we work out together. He’s never let us miss a night – and believe me, there have been a couple of times that I would have blown off the exercise if it wasn’t for him telling me it was time to work out! – and he confided to me the other day that he can’t think of anyone he’d rather work out with than me.

Mind you, I’m not athletic. I was a performing arts geek in high school – band, choir, drama – and he was a year-round athlete. I bring no competitive or athletic skill to our workout time. The weights I lift are laughably small compared to what he’s able to do. So why does he enjoy our time together so much? The answer, provided by him, is simple. He’s doing it with me. We’re sharing time together doing something that is much more his “thing” than mine and it thrills him. The workouts never take terribly long. And, as I said, I’m sticking in there because there I’ve seen some glimpses of an improved physique. But I do love the fact that something as simple as working out with the man makes my husband feel great!

He drove this point home in another way just this past weekend. He’s playing on a softball team that is participating in two concurrent softball leagues. They had a double header this weekend with the co-ed league they are in. Hubby must have asked me five or six times if I was going to his games. I finally asked him why it was such a big deal if I was there or not. He’d be in the dugout, I’d be on the bleachers . . . I didn’t get it. His answer was a little surprising – “I’ll know you’re there and it will mean a lot to me. Besides (insert boyish grin) – I kind of like showing off for my girl.” (Did I mention he’s a really GOOD softball player? Might have something to do with the fact that he played baseball in college!) Can you guess where I was Sunday afternoon and evening? That’s right – sitting in the bleachers, cheering on my hubby! Were there things I could have done with that time that I might have enjoyed more? Probably. Would it have been a more efficient use of my time to stay home and do laundry or scrubbing my kitchen counters? Some might say so. But it was worth it to me to sit on those bleachers watching him play a game he really enjoys just because I knew it would let him know that he matters to me more than any other human being.

Loving others – truly meeting their needs – is never easy and rarely convenient. Will you look for opportunities to meet the needs of those around you in a way that means something to them rather than meeting their needs in a way that would mean something to you?

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