Life, Madison House, Marriage

Everything that’s Wrong with my Spouse

There’s a mental exercise I’ve done with people that work for or with me.

It goes something like this:

Think of someone you don’t like; they bug you, you can’t explain why.   It’s just something about them that always seems to push you over the edge.  Do you have that person in mind?

It’s immediate recall for most people.

Now ask yourself this,  “When posed with the same question, who is thinking of me?  Who do I annoy, damage, push to extremes?  Who comes to work grinding their teeth knowing I’m going to be there?”

When I was in college, people had a different list.  They had a list of everything they desired in a life partner;  short, fat, thin, educated, artistic, political, social, handsome, perfect body, etc…

I would often ask people making these lists, “Whose list are you on?”

“What?”  They would look confused.

“What I mean to say is,” I continued, “Whose list would you be on? Are you the same level of excellence that you’re demanding from another person?”

And this is the heart of most marital problems: we want something from the other person that they are unwilling or unable to give us, and it pushes us apart.

With this in mind, early in my relationship with Kimberley and into our marriage, I started making lists.

Lists of everything that Kimberley did well.  If the Woman at the Well and Solomon taught us anything, it’s this: that no matter how many people of the opposite sex you blow through like used Kleenex, it will only leave you unsatisfied.

Satisfaction only comes in marriage when you give sacrificially instead of expecting unconditional love and surrender.

Here’s a list of Kimberley’s recent rights:

She is always honest.  She is kind in her honesty.

She admits her mistakes.  I’ve never met a more humble woman.

She loves children and homeschools our own four while working alongside me in a part-time position at Madison House, helping 200 other emotionally/spiritually needy children.

We clear every purchase with each other and always know what’s in our accounts.

I’ve always felt she was super sexy but this spring she put herself on a food/exercise program where she went from a size fourteen down to a size two….Seriously, so hot.

Every day she reads her Bible. Every day.  That’s Hot.

She did a three part, two day speaking engagement this fall at a church…And got paid to do it.

She makes birthdays and holidays extra special for myself and the kids.

She’s such a classy dresser and her skin is flawless, she looks 29…AND IS 29!!!

She is very wise. She guides me away from women with wrong intentions.

She loves Jesus before she loves me, and for this I love her the most.

When you love your spouse and focus on what is pure and perfect about them, the things that are wrong seem unimportant and are easy hurdles to overcome.  Make a list of compliments.  Make a list of things you can do to help around the house.  Lift their spirits and encourage them in the good they are doing.  It is so easy and cheap to be negative, and yet we know from experience and wisdom passed down that anything good comes from hard work and sacrifice.

Jesus loves the Church sacrificially, dying for us.  This is how I hope to love my wife, dying to self.

 

 

 

 

 

Life, Marriage

I Need Help.

 

“She perfect for you. Man there’s got to be somebody for me.”  Adam Duritz 

The least of these is sex.

Guys I knew in college had countdowns set up on their computers.  When I asked what they were for they said, “This is counting down to the day I get married, then I can start having sex!”

What a terribly confusing message.

So the goal is sex?

One thing I share with people who are planning to get married is that Kimberley and I didn’t kiss or allow things to get physical before we were married.  This isn’t a boast; it’s cautionary.   I knew that she was smoking hot and that sex with her would be amazing – she communicated that she felt the same way about me, but…is that the goal?  Isn’t the real issue that we are right for each other?

What does that mean?

It means that all our time together was spent getting to know each other and finding out is this really who I want to spend my life with?

Jesus said, and I’m paraphrasing, “Do not be unequally yoked.”

So marry another Christian?

I can’t express strongly enough how wrong this type of thinking is:  You think they’re hot + they’re a christian = marriage.

Wrong.

Let’s turn to the positive.

Why do I know that Kimberley is amazing and perfect for me (and I’ll leave the physical completely out of it)?

Kimberley is a Christian and loves Jesus.

Yes, the person you marry should love Jesus.

In depths of deepest darkness, in fields of peace, she turns me back to Jesus before sharing her own thoughts.

A woman of great wisdom.

She is an amazing piano player and has a beautiful singing voice.  Music was very important in my family growing up and it’s something I always wanted to give to any children I may have.

Her writing, speaking, and editing abilities are off the chart.  I’m always in awe of her when she does speaking engagements.  I tell her,  “Without your understanding of me,  knowing who I am and how I want a piece of writing to look,  you are able to draw that out exactly.”

It’s a perfect match. I can’t believe it, she’s amazing.

She is a loving mother.  I see the care she gives our children and all I can say is, “Thank you baby, you are the best mother in the whole world. I can’t believe the ways you show our children love.”

Her counsel means everything to me.  The guidance and truth she speaks into my life are something I’ve learned to trust implicitly.  She sees me waver on a decision or making the wrong one and comes alongside to guide and direct.  I’ve seen many great men fall because they didn’t listen to their wife’s insight; not a mistake I want to make. I trust Kimberley.

Finances: My wife is a fantastic financial manager.  I’m so proud of her ability to always know what we have in our accounts and spend only what she needs.

Laughter.  I live to hear her laugh.  She is so funny too.  The funniest person I’ve ever met.

As I sit here writing, I know I’m coming up short.

“Words all fail the magic prize.” -Gordon Gano-

Kimberley is the perfect example of a Genesis 2:18 wife; the definitions of a suitable helpmate because there are so many ways in which I need help. But it’s so much more than that.

After sixteen years nothing about our love has faded, it’s only accelerated.

I see her across a room and I move towards her without even thinking.

She smiles and I stare for longer than I should, until she shakes her head and laughs.

She says she’s going to Target for fifteen minutes.  When it takes her half an hour she returns to find me curled up in a ball on the couch crying because I’m certain she died.

There is not enough time in the world, in a day, in a lifetime, to spend with her.  I always tell her after we’ve been on dates or out together, “That wasn’t enough time, I need more of you.” She smiles, gently touches my face and says, “I know, I feel the same way.”

I send her out to coffee and time alone, 3-4 hour chunks at a time and then the kids and I go nuts.  We crank up the music, clean the house, wash and fold all the laundry, do the dishes, get on pajamas, grab a snack, and pop in some old movie and wait for my bride to come home, kiss the kids and put them to bed.  I do all this because I know that I have removed all distraction, and she and I can be alone together for the rest of the evening in the unencumbered presence of the person we love the most.

So, if you’re looking for perfection, you won’t find it.

Find compatibility, but also find someone that you can’t live without.  They have an indefinable quality that makes you feel something no one else can make you feel, that cannot be defined with words other than that when you find it, only you know what it is and it makes you crazy to be without it and gives you peace when you have it.

When I asked Kimberley last night, as we lay snuggled up together under 20 blankets,  why she loves me she said, “Because you’re you.”

Everything I am is everything Kimberley wanted and so much more she didn’t know was hidden beneath the surface, waiting to whisper words of love into her heart.  I feel the exact same way about her.

“If I found you outside I would kiss you and none would despise me”  -SOS-