Tomorrow (September 15th), Kristen Kedersha and I will celebrate 17 years of marriage. We took some time on Thursday to celebrate with a little day date in Dallas.
My goal when I write these is not to copy the list from last year and add one more, but to come up with a whole new list every year. When I sit down to type this out, I ask myself a few questions:
- What are the unique characteristics of Kristen I thank God for?
- How does she make up for my shortcomings?
- What are the things that drive me crazy about her, but might actually be good for me?
- How do I brag about her behind her back to friends?
One of the benefits of serving in marriage ministry is that I daily get reminded through other couples of what to do and what not to do. I’m reminded of the life that is found in following Christ together and the death that comes when choices are made apart from Christ. I’m learning as we mature as a couple, how great I have it, and to remain focused on the countless blessings instead of the finite number of minor frustrations.
Today I share 17 reasons why I love my wife.
1. She’s fun, cool mom.
Dallas got a TON of rain a few days ago. So much rain that they had to cancel soccer games and cross-country runs. While I went to the gym to workout, Kristen took a few of our boys to have some fun in the rain. They splashed around, kicked water at each other, and laughed like kids. She’s as responsible as they come, but I love that she can let her hair down and have lots of fun.
2. She works really hard in every aspect of life.
Kristen works hard as a mom and as a physical therapist. I wish she didn’t need to work, but because of decisions we made as a family, we really on the income she brings working part-time as a physical therapist. Much like the woman described in Proverbs 31, Kristen works so hard both at home and at work.
3. We wrote a book together.
Even though she didn’t write one word in the book, she read and re-read and re-re-read every one of them. My name is on the cover, but her sacrifice and behind the scenes work allowed me to make one of my dreams come true.
Question: What are you doing to help your spouse fulfill their dreams? And do they know what your dreams are and do they know how to support you?
4. We have our own inside language.
I love having a language of our own where we can speak in code to one another. This helps us when we’re with friends and even more so in front of our kids (if you know what I mean). It’s similar to what my friend Mike wrote on a prior post.
5. She works hard to keep in shape.
The last few months, Kristen’s been doing Camp Gladiator a few mornings every week. If she can’t make it to CG, then she’ll do something active with our kids.
6. She sacrifices so that I can work to get in shape.
For three mornings per week for 12 weeks over this past spring and summer, Kristen took care of everything at home with our kids so that I could jump in with a workout and wellness group. She never complained, and joyfully sacrificed so that I could get well. We partner together in all that we do.
7. She strives to know Jesus more.
This year, Kristen has done several She Reads Truth bible studies, an IF: Bible study, and is about to do a few studies with our church this fall. She doesn’t just study the Word but also applies it in her life. See James 1:22-24.
8. She empathizes with others in ways I never think of.
This year our twin sons are in ninth grade which includes taking girls to homecoming. She thinks of things for our twins, for the young ladies they’re bringing, and their families that I would never, ever think of. She’s thoughtful in ways I’m not.
9. We get to make disciples together.
We just started leading our fourth Foundation Group together. Foundation Groups are small groups of newly married couples that we do through our church. We get to make disciples together leading these young couples. It feels like we’re making our time really count. See Matthew 28:19-20.
10. She takes on home projects like a boss!
Out of the blue, Kristen decided to paint our outdoor furniture. It took a lot of work, time, and creativity, and she took the initiative to take on this project. I’m so grateful for the ways she exercises her creative muscle and makes everything in our lives better.
11. She lets me get away on our anniversary.
I’m taking our 11-year old away for a father-son trip this weekend and will be out out of town on our anniversary. She never complains or argues. We both know while our anniversary is a day to be grateful for, it’s just a day. Hopefully we celebrate our anniversary and our union 365 days per year, not just once per year.
12. She’s the most selfless person I know.
I’ve spent a good chunk of the last few months thinking through and journaling about how selfishness affects our lives and marriage. I saw the detrimental effects of selfishness in our marriage and in countless other marriages. The reason we fight and quarrel is because of selfish desires that wage war within us (James 4:1-3). The way out is becoming more like Christ (Philippians 2:1-11). I’m grateful for the ways my wife models a Christlike, selfless life.
13. She is a woman of prayer.
Every night when she tucks our kids into bed, she takes time to talk with them, ask questions, and pray for them. She helps our kids learn more about God’s love for them. She knows them and knows how to pray for them.
Carson (our 11-year old) just told me, “Every night she tucks me in and prays for me.”
14. She knows how to forgive.
Ephesians 4:32 and Colossians 3:13 both tell us to forgive others as God has forgiven us. She does not keep a list of wrongs (1 Corinthians 13:5), and will humbly ask for forgiveness when she falls short (James 4:6) (It happens like one or two times per year). We’re reading this book with our community group – she truly is unoffendable.
15. She really wants me to become more like Jesus.
Kristen really does care about my relationship with the Lord. She’s not afraid to challenge me when I fall short, and as one flesh (Genesis 2:24-25) with me, she carries a weight and burden to help me grow spiritually.
When couples get this right, it’s pretty awesome. We’re not perfect in the ways we partner together, but we’re trying to get there.
16. She just dropped me off at the airport at 3:30am.
I mean, come on! Sacrifice, selfless, and no complaints. I married up, in every way (she’s about 1.5 inches taller than me).
17. She looks just about exactly the same today as she did on September 15, 2001.
It’s just not fair, but I still love her.
Happy 17th, KK. I love you more.
For those of you who are not married (and want to be), I hope you get to see and hear how great marriage is. I know many of us who are married often dwell more on the challenges. While these difficulties are legitimate (1 Corinthians 7:28), the upside is even greater. If you desire to get married someday, please don’t compromise this decision.
For those of you who are seriously dating or engaged, please consider joining us at Merge, Watermark’s premarital ministry.
If you’re married and it’s hard to come up with a list of reasons why you love your spouse, I urge you to come join us at re|engage. re|engage is a safe place to work on your marriage in the context of community, under the leadership of a married mentor couple.
I’ll ask for you to please pray for us. I probably don’t do this often enough, but if you’ve made it this far in this post, please thank God, with me, for God’s gift of marriage and pray Kristen and I would honor Him and love each other and love others well as a couple.
I can’t recommend this exercise enough. Sometimes it’s tough to think of what to say, but check out these questions to get the thought process started:
- What are the things you love about your spouse?
- What makes you say “wow”?
- Or, what attracted you to them in the beginning?
- What makes you laugh with them? At them?
- How has your spouse helped you grow?