I’m married to a real man.

November 26th, 2012


When I was a young wife with three small boys, I came across a little book of poetry written by a woman with many years of wifely experience.  The poetry was mediocre, and the book didn’t survive the many moves of our earlier married life, but one word picture stood out to me from my first reading, and still comes back to me today.

The author described her years of marriage as “watching her husband grow up into his halo.”

Now I know what she meant.


A real man believes and acts on God’s opinion over man’s opinion.  This presupposes that he is familiar with God’s opinion, and that he is absolutely unconcerned about the opinions of man.

A real man not only takes responsibility for himself and his family, he also does not shy away from God’s commands to take personal, non-optional, sacrificial responsibility for the voiceless and helpless.

A real man doesn’t just set a godly vision for his family, he recognizes that he himself bears the weight of responsibility for the success or failure of that vision.

A real man doesn’t just work hard.  Any machine can work hard.  A real man works hard for what is eternally lasting, out of his desire to bring glory to his God.  A real man works hard to care for those who are weaker and more needy than himself and not to ensure his own comfort or entertainment.

A real man doesn’t whine and complain about difficulties in his life.  He accepts them as tools in God’s hand.  He understands that no discipline seems pleasant at the time but painful, but that later it yields a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

A real man loves and welcomes children and does not resent them as impediments to securing his own best interests.  His children are not an interruption to his work, his children are his work.

A real man has eyes to see what is most worth seeing, and does not waste his God-given energy on worthlessness, or worse.

A real man never looks down on weakness, need, or unloveliness.  He recognizes that God has given him an extra measure of strength in order to fill in the gap for those who have an extra measure of need.

A real man does not seek to be served, but to serve, and to give his life in place of those God has called him to serve.

A real man’s courage rises with danger.  He does not allow fear to stop him from following Jesus into places where he cannot see far down the path.

A real man has learned that his greatest strength lies in releasing the illusion that he has final control over his own life, and in remaining open to God’s guidance, no matter what.

A real man has first-hand experience of the faithfulness of God to His beloved children when we obey His call to us to step out of the boat and walk on the water.

Because he is a real man, my husband will read this and be aware of his areas of weakness and failure.  A real man does not think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but thinks of himself with sober judgment.


Dear, you and I are both keenly aware that our job is far from over, and that we cannot take the credit for any success that comes forth from this family.  Together, we are profoundly grateful for God’s mercy on us and on our children.  He and He alone is the One who brings forth life and fruitfulness.

That doesn’t change the fact that I am grateful He has allowed me to be the companion of a man who lives with courageous faith and sacrificial love.  A real man who is growing up into his halo. 





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9 Responses to “I’m married to a real man.”

  1. Lydia says:

    I am posting this to my husband’s timeline on facebook, Susanna.  I want all his friends to see how much I appreciate him.  He is a real man and is definitely growing into his halo.

  2. Astra says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this, Susanna! It is so hard to find a real man and I am so blessed I did! :)

  3. Missy says:

    Yep, I think you got a good one there. And there’s that sweet Verity too. Good post!

  4. kt says:

    Susanna, I’ve been reading through your blog archives for a couple of months now, slowly but surely catching up on the journey God’s taken your family on since you found out about Verity’s extra chromosome. I’m not married and not even sure that God is calling me to motherhood, but reading your blog has made such an impact on me and I wanted you to know it. I’ve been talking about things you’ve shared here with friends and family and thinking and praying about my own response to the needs of children with developmental disabilities in our world. I currently work with adults living with developmental disabilities, and so this topic is not entirely new to my heart and mind. Still, to see the difference that your family has made for Katie (and soon for Tommy) has given me so much cause to praise God. I want to thank you for sharing so candidly and frequently on this site as I can only imagine all the demands on your time!

    From what you have shared in the past about Joe and his role as a husband and father, I’m so glad that you have him as a partner through life. This post is beautiful and I love that you’ve called out things that our world might not recognize as masculine. At the same time, as I read it I was struck by how many of these qualities should describe Godly women as well as Godly men. I just wanted to add that thought to this post. I know that there are so many different views on the role of men and women in the church and in marriage, and many essays and sermons and arguments have been written on all these perspectives. But when it comes to the attributes on this list I see them in you and I hope they will manifest in both your sons and your daughters as they grow into adulthood. Beyond that, I hope to grow in these attributes myself as God breaks and remakes my heart.

  5. Rita from Spain says:

    THAT was lovely, Susanna….

  6. Katie says:

    Hey, I know I have your email but I figure you have a lot of those to wade through and you might see this first, and it’s urgent…. would you consider sharing this little girl on your blog?  She’s in Katie’s former country, although not in Pleven… and she needs out, like yesterday.  http://crazy-arewethereyet.blogspot.com/2012/11/look-see-do-not-turn-away.html.  Thanks.

  7. Susanna says:

    Katie, yes, that blog post is in the works. There’s a whole lot underneath that story. I’m so glad other people are helping to advocate for this precious girl as well! Anyone who sees this comment, please help to share the need of this little girl!

  8. Tracy says:

    Absolutely love this and thanking God every day for blessing me with a real man.

  9. Katie says:

    Bless you Susanna, thank you.  

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