SARAH SLIVIAK SABO
Women of faith want a man with a strong backbone and pure heart to love and, God willing, raise their babies with. I am blessed enough to have won the love of a sacrificial, patient, and truly “good” man.
Although it's hard to believe now, I didn't instantly feel attracted to my husband. When I saw the way he treated every single person with genuine kindness though, I knew I wanted to be his friend and be more like him. I could write for hours about the way I fell in love with my sweet husband Robert, or for hours about the things he does that annoy me or make me want to scream (just being real here). At the end of the day though, his integrity will help me get to heaven. Although there is always room for improvement, we are both helping each other strive toward Christ in our daily actions. My point, friends, is to communicate that sometimes there is a danger or a lurking little pocket of resentfulness for those of us blessed with incredibly moral husbands.
I recently vacationed with my husband and our two young daughters in Chincoteague, Virginia. This particular area is small community famous for its secluded beaches and wild ponies. It was our first “real” family vacation and meant a lot to us. There were lovely, idyllic snapshots I will treasure forever: my 16-month-old squealing in delight each time she saw a glistening clam dig its way back into the sand; my oldest daughter’s courage after getting knocked down by a wave; the way my father and husband’s eyes grew big and childlike looking at their handmade ice cream sundaes; my mother’s compliment that my patience with my children amazed her. All of these are like treasures to me.
Yet the mosquito bites between my baby’s fingers, the oozing welts on my back, the biting flies that were so tremendously persistent at the beach, and the broken air conditioner at our house were some other snapshots I’d rather forget. One particular day as we biked through a wildlife refuge, I had a bit of an epiphany.
My husband was about fifty yards ahead of me on his bike, even while pulling both of our girls and a load of beach supplies in a trailer. I looked down at my feet, scarred from reconstructive surgeries, my leaking nursing breasts, and I felt so defeated. Here I was, riding through a beautiful part of the marsh, and I was so focused on the heat and how slow my body was. I recognized that I was defaulting in too self-deprecating a manner and realized I could take a life lesson from this bike ride.
I was bitter that my husband was so far ahead of me on the path even with the extra weight. I was jealous that there was probably a big smile on his face and that the combination of physical exertion, high heat, and sleep deprivation seemed enjoyable to him. Bam. It hit me right between the eyes in that moment: I sometimes feel this same way about my husband when he shows optimism or patience in the face of my own negativity or impatience. I grumble inwardly to God about how he is just more patient, more loving than I, and how it seems to be so easy and natural for him. I see him as a mirror, instead of a helper, for my own faults.
From now on I want to look at my scars and think what I’ve overcome. I want to look at my chest and see the nurturing I do. I will focus on beauty and rejoice in the small victories of character in my own soul rather than comparing myself to someone else. I will remember that Jesus died for me as I am, and that my husband chose me for a reason. I refuse to stare at my handlebars and the mosquitoes landing on my arms instead of noticing the wild ponies grazing in the distance.
About the Author: Sarah Sliviak Sabo is a wife to her college sweetheart and a mother of two daughters. She teaches online classes for Mother of Divine Grace School and is the owner of Be Not Afraid Learning LLC, a tutoring business. Her life's goal is to make everyone she meets feel loved.