Yesterday was my 12th anniversary. That is crazy talk because I cannot possibly be a day over 25. And I did not get married when I was 13. If for no other reason than the fact that my husband is 10 years older than me. This year was, maybe, not the best. But we weathered through and we're better for it. For better for worse and all that. I'm so blessed to have him by my side.
As a pastor's wife, I have the opportunity to listen as women tell me the things they love and adore about their spouses and, sometimes, the things they are struggling with. I pray for women with stories of addiction, anger issues, unfaithfulness. I rejoice in "atta boys" when husbands are promoted, get raises, or break free from sin. Often, I am able to get a glimpse into what she was looking for when she chose her husband in the first place. Sometimes it's because he was hilarious or he knew how to fix things or he was a hard worker. Sometimes a guy was chosen for his strapping good looks or because he made her feel beautiful. It's often a combination of a lot of things, of course.
I chose my husband for one reason only.
I "grew up" in the middle of a relationship with my first fiance. We started dating when I was 18 and I broke up with him when I was 21. He shared my faith but, among many other things that led to my ending our relationship, he was not a spiritual leader. I couldn't see my faith growing or ministry opportunities developing as a result of marrying him. At 18, I didn't think to consider that. At 21, with our marriage looming in the not-so-distant future, I realized that it was all that I should have cared about.
In Troy, I found a man who would walk with God and challenge me in my own walk. I knew he would teach me and, from the very beginning, he would lead our children spiritually and point them toward our Creator. If I break down my entire marriage, absolutely nothing else matters to me. This world is fleeting. It is but a moment. Everything points us toward eternity. I wanted a spiritual leader. A man who would open the Word with me and explain it when I was confused. A man who would share his knowledge and opinion but one who would listen if I came to a different conclusion. A man who would debate with me as his equal, pray with me, and grow old with me as we waited for what was to come. Not to get stuck in this life, but to look ahead to the next.
It's an added bonus that he makes me laugh and puts food on the table and that he's patient and kind and honest.
The cards we've been dealt haven't always been stellar hands. We lost our home when we moved to Utah, we went into incredible amounts of debt to gain the privilege of adopting our son, and we buried our daughter. More than 13% of our monthly income goes to our medical insurance premium. We rent our home and we'll probably have to work until we die. To name just a few of our card games.
Such is life.
Through all of that, I'm proud to have this man beside me, pointing me toward eternity. I'm amazed at the way he teaches our boys about our God and about biblical principles. I love the way he has changed me and the way we have grown together. When I pray for my children's future spouses, I ask for one thing only.
She doesn't need to be able to cook or clean well. She doesn't have to be beautiful or wealthy or smart or have a strong set of child bearing hips. I just want her to love Jesus and dedicate her life to following Him. And that's ultimately all I want for my boys as well.
That is why I chose my husband. Because, above all else, that is what matters. And because, when we, as a couple, love Jesus with our whole hearts, we can trust that He will bring us through whatever He puts in our path. No, this year hasn't been easy. But at least I had him holding my hand through it all.