“Stand by your man.” Tomorrow it will be thirty-eight years since I vowed to stand by my man. Happy Anniversary to us!
The board members and their wives ended the meeting in the restaurant, and we headed towards the door. I was new to the area, new to folks in the community, and new to my role as the manager’s wife. We’d been married less than a year and my only “job” was wife of the cooperative manager. I supported in secretarial needs, hosting needs, and welcoming new folks to the community and the Co-op.
One of the board members (many years my senior) held the door open for me as exited the restaurant. I thanked him, and he spoke four words to me – words I have never forgotten.
“Stand by your man!”
He smiled when he spoke, and his eyes held a twinkle. Yet, he was serious. The agricultural season we were heading into was going to be rocky. The cooperative was a new beginning and only speculation predicted its future. That’s because farming is as unpredictable as the weather. The end results would show months down the road. Would this ship sink or sail? We didn’t know.
This I knew. I had my marching orders and I intended to follow them.
What it means to stand by your man.
Standing by your man does not mean you defend him when he’s wrong. Standing by your man means you are his staunchest supporter, his bravest critic, and his firmest pillar. When the storm rages, you become the calm in the middle of the storm. Standing by your man means you applaud his strengths and admit his weaknesses. You speak truth even when he does not want to hear it, because truth must prevail over loyalty. That’s what it means to stand by your man.
Thirty-eight years later, I have not forgotten. There are days I hear those words again, whispered in my mind. I remember and I stand by my man.
When the chips are down, do you choose truth over loyalty? That is standing by your man. And when he needs to hear what he needs to know, are you his bravest critic? That is standing by your man. When he needs your support, do you give it or throw in the towel? Do you stand by your man? When he needs your affirmation for his strengths, are you there, giving him your best as you stand by him?
How well are you doing in standing by your man?