An Acquired Skill

Playing the guitar is a very satisfying experience. Playing it well is a deeply rewarding gift. Is it actually a gift, or a learned skill?

Either way, it satisfies something in your soul that only those who play instruments or sing songs truly know.

I remember well deciding I needed to learn to play the guitar back in Jr. High School (middle school these days). My primary motivation was to be cool. Every girl in school was smitten with the Beatles, the Stones and the Beach Boys. We mortal, not-fully developed, dweebsters didn’t stand a chance…..unless…..hummm.

Yes, if I could play the guitar and sing I would stand a chance. So, I bought a Mel-Bay book of guitar chords that told me which finger to put where in order to make a chord. I was on my way to stardom…. or at least cooldom.

Little did I know at the time – but learning to play that thing was really hard. My fingers got real sore and my hand got cramps. I had to press down hard on some strings and at the same time not touch the other strings. Dang. This was going to take some work. Being cool takes work. What a sad revelation at age 14.

Sometime later in my marriage (I’m sorry to admit) it also dawned on me (thank you God) that being a husband, a really good husband, is also hard – and takes work. It doesn’ t just happen.

I really wanted to play the guitar, and so I was willing to pay the price. Do I really want to be a fabulous husband? Am I willing to pay the price, and put in the work?

Each of us has to answer that one. It does not come easy. It doesn’t come naturally. Marriage is a gift – husbanding is a learned, practiced, deliberately acquired skill. It runs counter to our natural default mode of  – “me”. Selfish  by nature, we must paddle against the current of personal pronouns (I, me, my, mine) and the “I deserve its” if we are ever going to get close to what God expects and what our wife deserves.

Are we practicing? Are we deliberate? Are we actively praying about how to do this better and listening to what He says to us? Are we willing to give up our time, our rights, and our agendas to pursue our wife and become the best husband on the planet?

Let’s run the race to win, not to simply say we ran. Let’s take up the instrument of husbandship (is that a word?) and learn to play it well. It too will bless your soul like nothing else. God created it that way !

God bless us all as we paddle.



About Rob

Married to my high school sweetheart for 40 years. Blessed to be a frequent speaker at marriage and men's conferences, retreats and seminars. Author of 4 books on marriage. Check out resources at

One response to “An Acquired Skill

  1. Great post, Huz!

    As a fellow guitarist and student-teacher of husbandship, I agree 100%. We are not born knowing to be a good anything except maybe an eat-cry-pooper. Everything else takes practice and is most successful when practiced with excellent role models and/or mentors.

    I can attest to the amazing results of pursuing excellence in this area: my wife and I are both happier, and we are a stronger team on all fronts.

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