Saturday, October 8, 2011

03.08.11 You're the One That I Love!

Today's post is "Four Things I Want in a Romantic Partner."  Now that I've been married over 10 years, I'm not sure which of these attributes I wanted way back when versus what I now appreciate that I have in my husband.  Regardless, our relationship has taught me what I truly value in my spouse and helped me recognize why I chose to marry him.
  1. Tell me the truth, even when it's ugly.  About a month after we were married, Michael told me that he couldn't promise he would remain faithful to me.  After I recovered from my initial shock, I understood that he was simply acknowledging the reality of his humanity.  He said, "I don't know who I will be in another 10 or 20 years.  I don't know what kind of relationship I will have with Jesus, with you, with work - and I cannot predict or promise you that under a certain set of circumstances, I wouldn't give in to temptation."  His honesty is what helps guard our marriage because neither of us is under the illusion that we are immune from our own fallibility.  And his commitment to telling me the truth is what has helped change me from being a demanding, bulldozing Napoleon to a more Spirit-led listener who is willing to let go of having my way.  Some of the greatest convictions for me have come in the middle of fights where Michael just looked me in the eye and told me that I was not obeying God.  I need a man with the courage to put me in my place.     
  2. Value me.  I have learned that having a spouse who treats me completely like an equal partner is the most important factor in my overall level of contentedness.  In work, in ministry, in life - I will be criticized, overlooked, disregarded, and discouraged, especially as a pastor's wife, stay-at-home-mom, and actor.  But when Michael expresses his appreciation for how I serve him and care for our daughter, no one else's opinion matters.  When he includes me in decisions, when he asks my opinion and invites my feedback, when he dreams with me about how we will minister together, and supports my role in Sandbox - WOW.  I am loved!   That makes for good romance.  
  3. Take a stand, even when it's unpopular.  When Michael and I told my parents that we were engaged, we met more than a little resistance.  To be fair, my parents had only met Michael once, and I think they were convinced that he was some kind of Christian cult leader who had swayed me from a life of independence.  At one point in the tense conversation, my dad actually asked me to prove that God existed.  So I will never forget the moment that Michael, with tears streaming down his face, met my father's disapproving stare and said, "I know that you don't respect or understand my faith.  But I love Jesus, and I love your daughter, and I will take care of her."  I was so proud to be standing next to that man!  He continues to impress me by breaking up fights on the street and engaging with people who radically disagree with him.    
  4. Be a fabulous Daddy.  I've said it before, but I have a huge weakness for strong men who are gentle with kids.  My husband is the reason I decided I could even be a mother - knowing how amazing he'd be as a dad, I just had to try it out!  Watching him with Maren just makes my heart sing! 
  • Day Seven: Four things I want in a romantic partner.
  • Day Eight: Three of my favorite possessions.
  • Day Nine: Two images that describe my life or myself right now.
  • Day Ten: One confession.

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