I got a call from my Aunt Kathy Jo last Friday morning. She told me she was wearing her pajamas, a fur coat, and rollers; and she was standing in her daughter’s yard trying to round up the dogs.
“My daughter’s neighbor is laughing at me,” she said, laughing along with him.
“That’s awesome,” I said. “Please send me a selfie.”
Within minutes, she sent a photo of her half-made-up self; and she nonchalantly said yes when I asked if I could post it on Facebook.
My first thought when Aunt Kathy Jo let me post that somewhat-unflattering selfie was that she’s not afraid to be herself. But later that day, it dawned on me that there’s something more behind her fearlessness: Aunt Kathy Jo has Uncle Rod.
Uncle Rod is a man’s man, a middle-aged stud who’s well-respected in his family, church, and community. And Uncle Rod is very much in love with his wife. He honors her, depends on her, likes her, and – to anyone who spends time with them – it is readily apparent that he wants her. And I’m not just referring to how he verbally affirms her sexiness in ways that sometimes makes others blush; I’m talking about the way he loves her during the raw, real times in life – like when she had breast cancer.
Seven years ago, Aunt Kathy Jo was bald, struggling with depression, and had to have surgery that would scar one of her breasts. After she came out of the operation, Uncle Rod walked over to her, sat down beside her bed, and gently pulled her gown back. Then he bent over and gently kissed her scarred breast. His kiss said everything Aunt Kathy Jo needed to hear: you are beautiful, cancer cannot take that away, and surgery will not diminish it.
Folks, that’s classic Uncle Rod, and it’s just one of many examples of what a real man he is when it comes to being a husband. Whether he’s coming on to Aunt Kathy Jo when she’s wearing her ugliest pair of sweatpants, praying with her when the darkness of life closes in, or running an errand for her at an inconvenient time, he loves, he loves, how he loves his wife.
A woman who’s loved like that isn’t afraid to go out in public sporting rollers, pajamas, and a fur coat. She’s not afraid because she’s already loved so much by the man whose opinion means the most to her. He’s a man who’s confident enough to let his wife be herself. And if you ask Uncle Rod what’s behind his dedication to Kathy Jo, I know what he’ll say: every day, he does his best to take his cues from Jesus, a Savior who loves His spotless Bride as she is, rollers and all.
Uncle Rod and Aunt Kathy Jo have a wonderful ministry to married couples called Real Marriages, Real Lives, and you can check it out here. To keep up with my latest posts, you can follow me on Facebook or Twitter. And if you’d like a weekly recap of what I’ve written, click here.