Sunday, June 14, 2015, is my 29th wedding anniversary. As a tribute to my wife, I want to list the top ten reasons why she's been so easy to love and enjoyable to be with.
When I said "I do" 29 years ago, I don't think I realized just how blessed I was going to be to have her as my wife. Looking back now, I appreciate her so much more.
Here's my top ten list (in no specific order).
1. Never complains. While on a missions trip in Honduras, she and I sat on a Q&A panel. Church leaders could ask us questions about anything they wanted. A lady asked my wife, "What do you do to support your husband in ministry?" She answered, "I pray for him and don't complain." I remember thinking, "She's right!" She's had many reasons to complain. She never has. Not once.
2. Prays for me. See above. I've been in ministry for 29 years now. I think I've often underestimated how much I needed the prayer support of others. It starts with my wife.
3. Incredible mom. To my kids, she is just their "mom." I know they love her and appreciate her, but I hope that someday they will be able to see what I see--just how blessed they have been to have her as a mom. All she ever wanted to do as our kids were growing up was to be their mom.
4. Even temperament. Steady. I never worry what she is going to be like when I walk through the door. One quality most young men underestimate in looking for a wife may be, "Is she easy to live with?" This is at the top of the list for my wife!
5. Low-maintenance. She has never demanded much attention. She doesn't overspend. She's not into "drama." She's perhaps the most contented person I've ever met. Ministry can suck the life out of you. It can be high-maintanance. I never would have made it for 25 years as pastor at The Ridge in a high-maintenance marriage. Going home after work has always been my "refuge."
6. Needed space. She never smothers me. She is never possessive. This was something that attracted me to her from the beginning. We don't say it, but it's often understood that we'll go our separate ways while at church or when I'm doing ministry, then we'll see each other at home.
7. Realistic expectations. Many marriages struggle because spouses place expectations on their partner. Many wives of pastors are disappointed when, after a few months of marriage, they find out that he doesn't always "practice what he preaches." I'm not super-spiritual nor superman. Janet has never expected that. She accepts me for who I am.
8. Attractive. She was attractive to me when we were dating, and she is still attractive to me today. Yes, certainly on the inside. But after 29 years of marriage, she is still attractive on the outside.
9. Total trust. The foundation for any relationship is trust. Never, ever have I not trusted her. And never, ever has she not trusted me. She is very secure. She has never given me any reason to question her character or our relationship.
10. Humble. She's the most humble person I've ever met. She volunteers in the church faithfully and almost weekly. She has been doing that for the 29 years I've been in ministry. She does not need nor seek the limelight.
11. Enjoyable. Okay. So I can't count. But I can't stop at ten. (And I could even list more!) We have fun together. I would just as soon spend time with my wife as anyone.
I mean this sincerely--I would not have persevered in ministry for 25 years at The Ridge without her.
"Her children stand and bless her. Her husband praises her. There are many virtuous and capable women in the world, but you surpass them all!" (Proverbs 31:28-29 NLT)
I love you, Janet.