Given that it’s Thanksgiving, I’ve decided to do a Thanksgiving post for this blog. I love you because I’m thankful for you.
When we met, my life was in a tailspin. Think about it. I’d just resigned (by request, not choice) from being a youth pastor in Destin. I was auditing claims for a crop insurance company and living with my parents. I’d just turned 30. Doesn’t that just exude ‘winner.’
We met and fell in love. Unfortunately for you, you’ve had to deal with some of the repurcussions of that resignation up to a little over a year ago. Thankfully, you’ve stuck with me and loved me. I like to think I bring you some joy and happiness, that I’m an encouragement to you. But mostly, I just am thankful that you have given me grace and kindness. You’ve been home to me for more time than we’ve been married (so I’d say around 6 to 7 years). You’ve allowed me to grow and you’ve always been a great partner.
I’m thankful that you are the mom for our kids, a daughter-in-law to my mom and dad, an aunt to the nephews, and a place where I can rest. You are my sweetheart and a courteous appreciator of my humor. My prayer is that we will just grow and grow and become a blessing to other folks out there.
I know this is somewhat of a repeat of another post. Hopefully you don’t mind. When I think about the paragraph of Scripture that commands a husband to love a wife as Christ loves the church, my initial thought is that is a cold way to love. In other words, being commanded to love like that seems very mind-centered: ‘Hi honey, I love you, but just kind of like Christ loves the church.’ That’s not all that romantic.
But…. this week I’ve been thinking of it again. And when I really put myself into that passage, I feel so much tenderness toward you. The metaphor breaks down in that I’m not perfect, so I don’t always love perfectly. And I’m not starting from a place of superiority or whatever. I’m a broken person just like you. But Christ loves His church, to me, in a way to magnify how precious His church is. He loves His bride. He wants the best for her. He desires her to grow and be all that she can be. He longs for her to realize how special she is. He called His church out to care for.
You are my bride. I don’t always speak love to you like Jesus does to us (He can be tough on us sometimes, but never critical, demeaning, or hurtful), but when I realize that have been entrusted to me, it makes me want to figure out how to best care for and love you. I want to know how to listen to you and understand where you’re coming from. I want to be a source of strength and encouragement. I want you to feel like I inspire you to achieve more, be more, to grow through any struggles you might have and still know that I’m with you and always will be.
For some reason, the idea is hard for me to put into words, but just know that I feel like the picture Paul gave us of marriage–that I should love you and give my life for you, just like Jesus did–is really guiding me. It’s really growing my affection for you.
I love you sweetie–it’s been a tough few weeks recently (this is the famous boys are no longer napping and crawling out of their cribs and yanking off their diapers time). I wish I could take all your frustrations and anxieties. I can’t, but I can pray. I can try to serve.
I had some crazy work stuff yesterday, and you’ve had some crazy home days recently. Your stuff has been a bit more trying, so I’ve attempted to be a little more available. You’ve been so good at realizing I need to spend a little extra time at work to make up for it. I feel like those first three sentences are tooting my own horn. They aren’t.
You very easily could be a selfish person and think everything revolves around you. You don’t. You notice when people help you or think of you and you try to make it up to them or give back where you can. You try not to impose on people who have a lot of stuff going on. You understand that folks are busy, have lives, etc. You understand that I have work stuff that is important. That although I have some flexibility, it’s not good for me to just hang out at our house all day to give you two extra hands. I have to serve my clients and coworkers.
You are generally understanding, also. I know you’re a great listener and easy to talk to. You allow people to speak and don’t seem to always be preparing what you’re going to say. This makes you not just a great wife, but a good friend.
I love you, sweetie.
I noticed at some point last night that I was kind of being an ass. Not an over the top butt, just a general snarky-ish jerk. Intonation, inflection, smart-alecky comments, etc. Sometimes, I just don’t watch myself and I start treating you how I might treat some guy I’ve been friends with for a long time.
While good-natured ribbing is okay, a semi-steady stream of light jabs ain’t cool. I apologize to you for when I get in that mode. You have rough enough days and perform a job (SAHM) that isn’t always thanked. You don’t need that from me in the evening. By the way, you and I just got off the phone and I apologized–you said you didn’t really notice, but I did.
Anyway, I know you’re not a fragile flower or a dainty vase or some other totally easily bruisable creature. Nonetheless, my words should lift you up and build you up. You deserve to be encourage and affirmed and even praised, even if you don’t necessarily need it from me.
For putting up w/ my moments of smart-aleckness, I love you!
It just hit me yesterday and today. Seems like you and I are talking a little better. We’re more willing to share the difficult stuff along with the good stuff. Aside: maybe it was the episode of Modern Family last night that made me notice it. The dad wasn’t sharing with the wife that his real estate business wasn’t doing so hot and wasn’t sharing with her about it (the serious point in an otherwise hilarious show–as always).
We’ve actually had a crazy year. It has been one of the toughest, yet one of my most cherished years ever. I’ve learned that I suck at communicating, so I’m learning to do it better. I’ve learned not to shove things down and deal with my stress or frustration through unhealthy means. I’ve been reminded that you’re my best friend, my confidant, my strongest supporter.
Forgive me where I’ve not listened or where I’ve not shared. I pray that we get better and better at letting each other see ourselves for who we are. That if you or I are having a bad day, that we should say something and not fear the other person will take it as judgment or accusation. I need you more and more. The more we talk, the more we realize how much we’re a resources to each other.
I’m loving you more, the more we talk. Thanks for being my wife and remaining my wife.