This is me and my amazing wife. She’s a gift and a crown to me. We are in the midst of our 8th year of marriage. While resolutions tend to communicate something needing to be fixed, this is a resolution is to increase the joy that is already there.
The second of my four resolutions is simple: just to be her husband.
We’ve served as marriage mentors and been a part of guiding pre-marital counseling for other couples and every time we do that we learn so much from leading and teaching. Last year, I read Real Marriage by Mark Driscoll and The Meaning of Marriage by Tim & Kathy Keller. They were both incredibly helpful books that moved beyond the concept and theology of marriage into the practical realities of a marriage growing and flourishing amidst parenting and everyday life challenges.
My wife is and has been my best friend, her passion for life and Jesus challenge me and have made me into a better man. So what would this resolution mean if things are already good?
Focusing even more on Friendship & Romance
The bible speaks to husbands to live with their wives in an understanding way and to lead them well. Without getting into theological convictions, I’ve learned over 7 years that you never stop learning about your spouse, especially as life and circumstances change.
Amber and I met as ministry partners in college and we remain an effective couple serving God and others together. As we’ve grown as parents, we’ve learned to parent our wonderful, though not perfect, children together. We work well together, but marriage is more than complimenting one another and serving side by side. It’s a continued growth in relationship in friendship and romance.
In friendship, I’m learning to listen to the joys of life alongside the challenges and hurt. My tendency is not to fully celebrate the joys and to jump into problem solving mode before ever sympathizing with the problem (note: not the best for a friendship). Since moving to NYC, our friendship has grown exponentially as we’ve learned to rely on one another through transitions in our life together and it’s been amazing to learn to enjoy one another while also sympathizing with one another. Our nights usually end over a glass of wine and good conversation involving laughter, dialogue, and coming to a consensus on the approach to what’s going on in life. Our friendship is great and I don’t want that to slip, so I’m resolved for it to be a focus so that our friendship continues to get even better.
Each week I’m considering, how can I grow as a friend to my wife? It’s fun.
In romance, I’m learning to increase my displays of love in little ways while also planning consistent date nights and even fun getaways together to communicate my joy and love for her. I’ve never been the hopeless romantic, but I’m learning what makes my wife feel special, not what a romantic comedy communicates makes women feel special. Last night we went on our date night, enjoyed a great meal and time together while friends of ours had fun with and watched our kids. Our family is better when our enjoyment of one another is better. Our kids enjoy life more when mom and dad enjoy each other as husband and wife. Plus they love our friends (they call them their friends) and we’re glad they feel a part of our family life.
I’m also asking myself often, how does she feel loved by me recently? Not to feel guilty, but to imagine new ways.
This resolution has been helped by the first that I mentioned yesterday, to be fully present, to care for my wife as she feels cared for in the moment. I fail, miserably at times, but I’m learning and I’m excited about this year, for the fun and joy that it will bring to our home.