He Gave Himself Up for Another

Before the carpenter’s sawdust brushed off, before the wood glue dried, before the grout hardened, the guy I married had to learn a new skill, the pregnant husband trade. Married four short months when the baby test promised more than a case of the flu, we looked at one another in shock. 

“How in the world did that happen?” 

Here’s to the man who manned up when a blushing young wife turned green.

While I tossed as if I rode the waves of a ship in full storm, he held my hand in his big cement crusted one, gazed full into my eyes with wonder and said, “It’s a baby,” as if the sheer magic made everything worth it, and it did. 

To the stud with the power saw and mighty with a hammer, I say thank you for using your rough hands to hold back my hair while I knelt over the toilet. I applaud the guy who quit eating bacon when the smell made me sick because “we’re pregnant.” I’m grateful for Tobasco and watermelon, lemons and ice-cream randomly binged at night.

“We may have an unplanned pregnancy, but never an unwanted child,” my husband said and stoically proved it for nine months.

Ode to the pregnant dad who brought me soda crackers in bed before he left for work because he knew morning sickness lasted an entire day every day. 

To the hero who made dinner after he came home tired from building houses, because I spent more time running to the bathroom than cooking in the kitchen. For the late night runs to the grocery store and laundry sorted; for the tears mopped and the tissues supplied. 

I raise my heart to yours and say, “Paradidomi.” 

“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up, for her…” Eph. 5:25, ESV.  

“…and gave himself up…” paradidomi, translated from the Greek means, “to give up into the hands of another.” 

To the new father who does what he never expected for his wife, Paradidomi. 

“As Christ loved…”

To the pregnant husband who takes birthing classes and rubs his tummy with one hand and his whiskers with another. For that guy armed with pillow, concentrating on breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth, who incubates alongside the woman he married, Paradidomi. 

“…and gave himself up for her…”

To the sleep deprived, weary, hard-working double duty warrior, Paradidomi. 

When the air conditioner is on the fritz and the amniotic fluid reaches boiling point, a shout out to the man who runs a cool tub and hands over an iced drink with a straw.

All hail to the man who steps out of the shower, finds a new shampoo bottle by himself and replaces the toilet paper on his own. I’m grateful for all the calm and balance restored at every hormone induced melt-down, for the arms that encircled my whale sized belly, and the ear pressed against its swollen weight to listen to our baby.

Paradidomi. You gave yourself up into the hands of another, and I thank you. You demonstrated in real life what Jesus Himself did when He gave Himself up for us. 

I know it’s hard, this role you took. I know I never thank you enough for giving yourself up for me. 

But I want you to know, when a man mans-up, it is glorious, for your giving up is a picture of Another. 

“And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” Ephesians 5:2; (ESV). 

Happy Father’s Day, Dear Husband, you were right. We had some rough pregnancy seas, but never an unwanted child. Each of our four children are priceless gifts. To each of our three sons-in-law and our son, thank you for being paradidomi fathers.   

To you the pregnant dads of another generation, may your tribe increase. 

 “…as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us. Paradidomi…”

4 Replies

  1. John Certalic Reply

    Just when I think your writing can’t get any better, you top yourself once again, Sylvia. And it’s more than the writing, for your writing is just the creative channel you use to share what’s on your heart. For what’s going on in your heart is what encourages and inspires us. Thanks for blessing all of your readers this way.

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      Thank you John. I really appreciate it coming from you, both a writer and really great pod-caster! I’m pretty sure that is a word.

  2. J.D. Wininger Reply

    I don’t think I could love this post any more than I do. Please let Mr. Schroeder know that “He’s my hero!”

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