Just yesterday my wife and I celebrated our second wedding anniversary. Meg says that this means we are officially no longer newlyweds. She was kind of bummed about this, but I was excited. Moving further along in marriage means leaving a whole lot of boneheaded behavior behind me. Is there more too come? Sure. But, whew(!), how God in His grace helped me grow.
But enough about my foolishness. I thought it would be fun to capture a few things that I am celebrating about my bride on our second.
Now I know this is a blog about my seminary experience, but in reality the greatest force for change in my life is my wife. No one humbles me more. No one teaches me more. No one encourages me deeper. And no one is a closer ministerial partner.
So here are a few personal joy-increasers that I have received so graciously from my God through my bride:
(1) Her companionship – Before being married I don’t remember reflecting much on the companionship that me and Meg would soon share. What a pleasant kind-of-surprise! Having Megan to constantly experience life with doesn’t just make life steady; it makes it happy and lively. Taking walks, going to Chick-fil-a, reading books, praying, vacationing, driving to work, exercising, eating meals, going to Starbucks, grocery shopping, clothes hunting, gardening, house-decorating, and on and on the list could go. All of these things are giving such vibrancy because she is there. (And many of them I wouldn’t do at all if she weren’t there! (i.e. decorating))
The Lord God’s ancient declaration still rings true: “It is not good for man to be alone” (Genesis 2:18). What a faithful and loving best-friend I have been given.
(2) Her wisdom – Another aspect of our friendship is that I get to share with Meg basically everything that goes on in my life that’s worth sharing. As she then has opportunities to speak into my life, I am amazed at her wisdom. Quite often I don’t want to tell Meg about something because I know that she’ll know what I should do, and doing the right thing is hard, so I don’t want to tell her. Regularly, I refer to her as my second conscience.
But it’s not just that Meg is able to discern right from wrong. She is also able to see into people’s hearts in a way that boggles my mind. The way she is able to perceive situations and circumstances on a deeper level is close to supernaturally psychic (especially compared to my shallow sensibilities). Her ability to, then, speak with such insight and wisdom is exceptional.
(3) Her grace – I said I was going to get away from my boneheadedness, but it is directly tied to my next point of gratitude. The truth is my actions and speech toward Meg go far deeper than boneheadedness and are better labeled evil, mean, immature, and cold-hearted. I’ll spare specifics. But greater than my sins is Meg’s grace. Her persistence in taking me back, forgiving me, and exhorting me out of my feeling-sorry-for-myself attitude is downright miraculous. She has learned well from her Savior whose people have this testimony:
But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief, and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the grace and love that are in Christ Jesus. The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners (1 Tim 1:13-15).
Megan, to my joy, has steadily heeded the command, “As the Lord has forgiven you, so you must also forgive” (Colossians 3:13).