We sat down to wait for our plane to board at the Istanbul Airport. I debated going to the nearby restroom to freshen up, but I knew there was little hope in covering up the bags under my eyes. I didn’t even want a reality check on my hair situation, since my curling iron broke the first day. I stayed put. Jeff was intently reviewing notes for our next ministry, so I resorted to people watching.
Two red shirted men with Adidas soccer shoes and duffel bags swaggered to the seats beside us and sat down. As time passed, more athletes gathered around, until we were in the middle of what I surmised to be a national soccer team. I couldn’t understand their language or the writing on their uniforms, but all signs (gear, jerseys, coaches, egos) indicated a national team. Jeff kept his nose in his Bible; I tried to resist taking selfies with foreign athletes.
As if suddenly awakening from a travel trance, Jeff shut his notes and announced he was going to find a restroom. He still hadn’t noticed that we sat in the middle of a red shirted mass of buff soccer players.
“What? You’ve got to be kidding. You’re leaving me here? With them?” I asked in jet lagged disbelief.
He assured me he would be right back and darted off with his “I’m in another country and I love it” pace. I stayed with the team and wished I knew whatever language they were speaking.
To trust or not to trust
When Jeff came back, the boarding call sounded, and the team and I stood up to gather our bags. They moved to the front like guys used to taking the field while waving to crowds and blowing kisses to feminine fans. They were definitely not a study tour.
- Left behind, I turned to Jeff and asked, “So did it concern you AT ALL that you were leaving me with a group of 25 hunky soccer players?”
- “Nope,” he said. “I am totally confident you’re not going to run off with a soccer player.”
- “Oh, yeah?” I blurted out.
A moment to choose my response
And for a moment, I was frozen in Istanbul.
I thought, “I know I have bags under my eyes and airplane coffee breath. I know my clothes look like they’ve been crammed in a suitcase for 7 days and like my hair hasn’t been fixed in 6, but am I really SO yucky there’s NO RISK in leaving me with a bunch of soccer stallions?”
“Is my husband so confident in my fidelity that he can really leave me with a world champion soccer team (At this point, I was totally building it up in my imagination … can you relate?) and not even worry?”
In that frozen moment, I had to choose to be offended that he doesn’t worry about me or choose to be grateful that he doesn’t worry about me. Being a wife who is a follower of Christ impacts my choice of how I respond to my husband. What impacts you when you have a “frozen moment” to choose a response to your husband?
Truth impacts our choices
Especially when we’re tired, it’s good to have simple truths imprinted on our hearts. Familiar ones. Obvious ones. “The heart of her husband trusts in her,” (Prov. 31:11a) the Holy Spirit reminded me. And that truth steered my choosing.
I decided I was thankful my husband is so confident in me. Grateful that he puts trust in me. I decided that if he loves me when I have bags under my eyes, coffee breath, undone hair, and rumpled clothes, that’s quite a gift. To have my husband’s heart trust in my fidelity is a worthy aim, a God-inspired aim, and better than the attention of a European soccer star.
And as for the flight … we drank airplane coffee, I rubbed off my mascara, smashed my jacket into a pillow and took a nap on Jeff. I don’t know what happen to the stallions.
Are you grateful for your husband just the way he is?
Could he say of you he has total trust in you?