My husband, Jim, loves to tinker with vintage automobiles. In fact, he’s restoring an old car right now. It just so happens that it’s the very year and model of his parents’ first automobile!
For Jim, the make and model of a car is a big deal. For me, who cares about make and model—it’s all about color. When Jim talks about something being a 350 or 427 or something like that it means absolutely nothing to me. To my hubby, that means a lot—I think it has something to do with the engine.
And until recently I didn’t care whether his car was a Chevrolet or a Buick. But that all changed after a colleague recently asked about the progress on Jim’s old automobile and then added, “Now what make of car is it?” My answer: “I don’t know. I think it’s a Buick.”
My friend (I’ll call him Pete) seemed stunned by my answer. A car buff himself, he replied, “You should know things like that.”
Later that day Pete sent me an e-mail: “Mary, here’s a topic to write on: Knowing and understanding your spouse’s interests and how it makes them feel important, valued and special.”
Things that matter to my husband
My initial feeling after receiving Pete’s e-mail was slight offense. After all, hadn’t I volunteered countless hours in Jim’s car club—just so I could support my hubby? Wasn’t I the one who had spotted his old car sitting in a field, even suggesting that we buy it? And who knows how many car shows I’ve gone to with Jim, just so we could be together? Why would little details like the type of car he’s rebuilding matter?
Despite my internal rebuttal, deep down inside, I knew Pete’s insight was right. I should make the effort to
know about things that matter to my husband—after all, he’s my very best friend in life.
If Jim and I were dating, I would be able to recite the make and model of his old car—not just the color. And I would also know what a 350 or 427 or whatever that is really means. Why? Because I would be trying toshow him that I cared about what he cared about. And, if I did that, he’d know he was important to me.
Philippians 2:3-4 (NIV 1984) says: “… in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.”
Whmmm … consider others as more important than myself. Can’t be any plainer than that. Especially when we understand that consider means to see, to regard, to view.
What friends said
I admit, I need to not only observe my husband’s interests—whether that’s football, or golf, or old cars—but inwardly understand what is important to him. Seems like when I do this, I am actually saying, “I care about you more than myself.”
I asked some friends, “How does knowing and understanding your husband’s interests help him feel important, valued, and special?” Here’s what a few of them said:
When I simply take the time to study and know my husband’s interests, I show him that I care.
It’s easy for women to consider the needs of their children, and seemingly put hubby on the
back burner. But when a wife invests her time and energy to validate her husband it shows that
she has not allowed her children to take the number one priority in her life.
One of my husband’s favorite interests is football. … I don’t like football but since it is important
to him I do keep up with his favorite teams. He is always impressed when I spout off something
about his team (who is winning, coach’s name, etc). I think this makes him feel special and
Ruby Maroon Metallic
Pete was right. Knowing and understanding my hubby’s interests would help him feel valued.
A few days ago I asked Jim all about the old car he’s restoring, and I did my best to remember what he said. And then, when we parked next to an orange Dodge Ram truck (are you impressed!), I made a comment that I really didn’t like the truck’s color but was going to like the Ruby Maroon Metallic color of Jim’s 1941 Master Deluxe Chevy. Then I added something about its 350 cubic inch V8 engine and 270 horsepower. Jim looked at me in total disbelief.
I later asked him, “How did it make you feel when I knew those details?”
“Very proud,” he said. “I know that you really don’t care about motors, and knowing that took extra effort for you. It said you love me.”
“Love me … love my car!”
© 2013 by Mary May Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.