Yesterday, on September 15, Kristen and I celebrated 18 years of marriage. 4 days after the attacks of 9/11 in 2001, Kristen and I said, “I do.” Life continues to get more complex and busy, but at the same time I grow more in my love, affection, and gratitude for my wife.
Every year I compile a list of reasons why I love my wife (2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013). This is my 6th annual anniversary post. Each year instead of regurgitating last year’s list and adding one new reason, I put together a list of new reasons why I love and am grateful for Kristen.
I do this yearlong by paying attention to the good. While our tendency in marriage might be to focus on the negative, I seek to keep no “record of wrongs” (1 Corinthians 13:5) and instead choose to keep a record of rights. A friend just commented to me this morning about the couple in the Song of Solomon. It’s clear they are students of one another and find specific ways to compliment each other. I hope I do the same thing with Kristen. Couples who do well in marriage keep track of rights not wrongs.
I’m not just being cheesy marriage dude, but Kristen makes it easy. Everyone who knows her agrees.
18 More Reasons Why I Love My Wife
1. She’s not afraid to challenge me (respectfully).
I get angry at times and say stupid things about myself, our kids, and others. She’s not afraid to lovingly sharpen me in my sometimes foolish thoughts and statements (Proverbs 27:6, 17). One of the most consistent things I see in couples who are great versus those are good is the willingness and ability to sharpen, encourage, and admonish each other.
2. She handles chaos like a champ.
This is the first year we have kids in three different schools. Four kids, three schools, and four different drop off and pick up times. Whether I’m driving or she’s driving, she keeps it all together.
3. You should see the way she parents our kids.
Every night she patiently listens to, talks with, and prays for our boys. She doesn’t miss a night with our kids. She serves them so incredibly well and provides a perfect model for a godly wife. Our boys will have no excuse to not know what they should look for in a wife someday.
4. Kristen is a woman who is sex positive.
This is the one I hope her parents don’t read. We use this phrase often in marriage ministry world. We come across so many couples where either the husband or wife seem to be opposed to sexual intimacy. They’re rarely, if ever, in the mood, and sex seems like a burden, not a privilege and gift. For all 18 years of married life, Kristen has been sex positive, meaning she has a right and biblical view of intimacy. That makes this guy very happy!
5. She flexes with my eating plans.
As many of you know, overeating and bingeing on food has been my thorn in the flesh for just about my whole life. Kristen is incredible at coming along side me as a support and help. She cooks healthy and appropriately encourages me to cut back on snacks/desserts. Because we’re one flesh (Genesis 2:24) she sees my struggles as something we take on together.
6. She is a #BoyMom through and through.
Even though she grew up with one sister and no brothers, Kristen is a great boy mom. She will throw the football, kick a soccer ball, and laugh along to The Office with the boys. She watches shows like All American and QB1 because she knows how to bond with our football-obsessed sons. She’s the epitome of a selfless, Christlike mom in the ways she becomes all things to all people to grow the relationship.
7. She keeps us on track as a family.
Between three schools, multiple sports, small groups for the boys and for us as a couple, my evening responsibilities at work, and much more, Kristen keeps all things moving in the right direction. She started doing a weekly family calendar to make sure we’re all aligned in our schedules.
8. She is my #1 fan.
Ready or Knot? came out earlier this year, and I could not have been more grateful for all her help and support. Every husband wants a wife who will affirm and encourage him. Kristen does this so well. My dreams become her dreams, and we work on them together. I wish I did this as well for her as she does for me.
9. She (almost) never grumbles or complains.
Philippians 2:14 says, “Do everything without grumbling or arguing…” This is Kristen: in spite of sacrificing her time and energy for five boys in our home, she never complains or whines. Thank you, Lord.
10. She doesn’t pitch a fit when I have work responsibilities or small group on our anniversary.
This year I had a big work event on the day of our anniversary and we had five newly married couples come over our home the night of our anniversary. We’ll celebrate later this week and she doesn’t resent me or our responsibilities at all.
11. She’s growing more and more like Jesus Christ.
Kristen just shared a story with me about her part time work as a physical therapist where she had to have a hard conversation with a co-worker. In the past she might have shied away from hard conversations, but she took this one on! I hope that we both continually grow in our walk with Christ and that we grow and change. She models this so well.
12. She supports my (good) addictions.
Kristen knows I love coffee, reading, and college football. She celebrates and makes time for me to enjoy the things I love.
13. She seeks to protect our purity.
Kristen knows how males are typically wired and helps me and our boys fight for purity with our eyes and thoughts. She partners with us in our desire to honor God with what we see on TV and in movies. She doesn’t freak out and understands the battle, but also doesn’t give license to give in to sinful desires. Shaunti Feldhahn’s book For Women Only has been a big help to Kristen in this area of life.
14. She works very hard as a physical therapist.
I wish Kristen didn’t have to work as much as she does, but the grocery bills for four growing boys are not getting cheaper. College is right around the corner, and while I’m thankful for my compensation as a marriage pastor, we need ways to supplement our income. Kristen sacrifices her free time and evenings to use her physical therapy gifts to serve others and feed those hungry boys!
15. She’s a great ministry partner.
Whether we’re teaching about marriage, leading our Foundation Group (small group of newlyweds), greeting couples at an event, or speaking at Kamp, Kristen is a gifted, capable, engaging speaker. She didn’t know she was signing up for this when she married me, but to be fair, either did I!
16. Kristen loves our date days.
We’ve been long time fans of celebrating special occasions (like our anniversary) with a date day instead of a date night. We’ll celebrate this Friday by bringing all four kids to school and then enjoying a full day together (while the rest of the world works!). It’s the best way to use a vacation day.
17. She sacrifices to help support others.
One of our sons runs cross country and needs to be out of the house every day by 6:15am. I am out for work or the gym most mornings early. Our other sons have different places to be throughout the day. She puts the needs of others before her own every single day. I know I hit the jackpot.
18. I love being with her.
Ecclesiastes 9:9 says, “Enjoy life with the wife whom you love.” 18 years in and I still enjoy life with her. Here’s to many more years of enjoying life with the wife whom I love.
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.
Please pray for Kristen and me. I 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 see so much hurt and pain in couples in my job. Please join me in praying that we would be a part of the solution.
Why do you love your spouse?
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?
Here are a few other anniversary/marriage resources to check out:
- 30 Ways to Celebrate Your Anniversary
- How Can We Make Our Anniversary Matter – a great podcast episode from my friend Ted Lowe and MarriedPeople.
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