We spent last Thursday through Sunday in Niagara Falls, and met two newly wed Hostel owners, who had us pegged as being married for 2-3 years. This is kind of flattering. I was freshly shaven so I had my 25 year-old look on, and LeeAnn, well she always looks 25 so that's encouraging. But the cool part, was that they thought we interacted different than typical 8 year old couples. We actually enjoy being with each other! Our vacation was spent, basically just being with each other. We looked at the falls, poked around some vineyards, and ate a lot, but the thing that was most deeply rewarding was being able to sit with her and get reacquainted outside the typical distractions of work, church, class, friends, home owning etc. We had nearly 4 full days of almost exclusively married couple time. Here's what I relearned about my wife and why I love her.
Scripture is rather clear about marriage and its significance in the life of a Christian. Unlike non-believers, we have the additional weight of our marriages being metaphors/illustrations of what right relationship between Christ and the Church look like. In the Old Testament, the Prophets blast Israel for their whorish, adulterous ways of relating to Yahweh as their relationship erodes further and further from what the liberating God puts in place at the beginning.
Regardless of whether you're a headship guy, or complementarian gal, scripture is clear about what men and women are supposed to look like in this relationship. How you put it into play is up to you. But here's the rub, and the thing that I most want to celebrate about LeeAnn as my wife, is her unrelenting desire to serve me. Scripture's system breeds happiness and is right relationship.
She dreams of making me happy! She literally asks me what she can do to make me happy! She willingly serves me, and dotes on me, and I catch her staring at me while I'm reading and she tells me she loves me, but not just in the, "Oh, hey dude, love ya," sort of way, but in a way where her eyes echo back what her voice says. She lets me talk about everything I need to process, though I don't give her time to respond or give advice, and I find myself walking away chasing some shiny thing before she speaks. She lets me try to be her Jesus despite all the times I lazy my way out of stuff, or simply drop the ball. She tells me I'm handsome, and smart, all the things dudes who like to pretend they're all grown up and put together need to hear. She plans vacations without planning every detail because I like flexibility even though it can drive her nuts. She prays for me all the time, and tells me when I'm being a baby. And she does it all in a way that seems effortless. I think I'm a decent husband, but I need to--and I'd guess it's apparent--work really hard at it, and she is far easier to love than I am. If you're reading this you probably know me and would confirm that!
Why am I writing this sappy post on my blog, after having not written for over a month? Is it because I think my wife could beat yours up in a fight? Is it because I think she needs to be celebrated more broadly and specifically than I normally do? Is it because she deserves it? Yes, to all of them! But more than all of that, this is something that just needs to be done. Though my wife is the best on the planet, my guess is that there are other dudes out there who have these things to celebrate in their marriages too. I find it odd that so many wives are perennial smiling servants, and so many husbands neglect to acknowledge, thank or celebrate that. So LeeAnn, thanks for taking care of me.
Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight.
(1 Pete 3:3-4)
If you know LeeAnn, you must think Pete wrote this about her.