On this Valentine’s Day: What I love about my wife…

I love that she is more beautiful now than the day I married her
The first time I saw her in the spring of 1980, she took my breath away. I remember the exact moment: I was in the cafeteria at Anderson College and the first time I saw Carla, time seemed to slow down…like the moment was in slow motion. Her smile was so captivating. Her light brown hair was long and feathered on the sides—a style that Farrah Fawcett made popular. In that slow motion moment, our eyes met and she smiled at me. I later learned that she didn’t notice me that day; she must have been smiling at someone behind me. Looking back, it didn’t matter who that particular smile was directed at…I caught it and it captured me.
Through the years, an amazing thing happened…my desire for Carla has grown. The day we married, I loved her with all my heart; but I love her more now. I’m not sure how that works; but I have a theory: I think the years of marriage—the good times and the bad, the success and the loss, the triumph and the struggle, and the challenges of parenthood—have combined to enlarge my capacity to love the woman who gave her heart to me nearly thirty years ago. Life has changed me, I trust for the better and for the good; I know it has for Carla…her beauty has such depth that has been born from the crucible of life as she has allowed God to create the woman He knows she can become. Which leads me to…

I love who she is becoming
One of the greatest joys I have in life is seeing my wife grow: as a woman and in her faith. She is respected in the workplace as a person who is bright, gifted and operates with the utmost of integrity. After thirty years, she is going back to Anderson University and will earn her bachelor’s degree this summer; she has received all A’s…she has a better cumulative GPA than I had at Temple.
Unless you have been the wife of a pastor, you cannot fully understand how difficult that role can be. Carla has been a pastor’s wife for most of our marriage and through the joys and the heartbreak; she has a remarkable faith in Christ. I’m a better pastor because of her.
I catch myself looking at her, in moments when she is unaware of my gaze, and my heart melts…my eyes mist with the joy that can only come from a husband who is so proud of the woman he sees. Paul in Ephesians 5:27 says one day Christ will “present the church [his bride] to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.” In the next verse, Paul says that husbands should love their wives the exact same way. Carla was given to me as a gift from God; other than my salvation, she is the highest gift I will ever receive. I believe that one day, I’ll get to present her to Christ and say, “She was incredible when you gave her to me all those many years ago, but look at her now! Look at what she has become!”

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