February 15th will mark thirteen years of marriage. When Karen and I got married, we were twenty-two years old and the world was at our fingertips. She had recently started a new job working as a child-care professional, and I was destined to make millions in the financial services field. We had a quaint cape-cod in north Dayton and ginormous plans.
Somewhere along the way those plans morphed. They changed from, “Yeah, we’d like to have kids.” To, “Oh man, we have three kids.” My plan went from making millions in the financial services field to doing ministry in the local church. As we grew together as a couple, our life changed with us, and the life we live today was formed. It is a great life, with great kids, and amazing people. It is exactly where we want to be.
The one thing that I could have never imagined is how much my wife would change in that process.
Over the last thirteen years Karen has become a rock that is far more stable than I could ever imagine. She has become a woman who doesn’t do anything in the morning till after she has done her devotionals. She has become a prayer warrior, full of grace and led by the Spirit. Somewhere along the way Karen accepted her role in ministry.
It isn’t a role that you will always see on Sunday morning, it isn’t a role that will get her many accolades, and it isn’t a role that gives her nearly the thanks she deserves. What her role does do, however, is to keep me going. Her role makes our family stable. Her role pushes me to be better.
In thirteen years of marriage, she has morphed from a bright-eyed, enthusiastic young woman to a leader of the faith and a role model for the people around her. And on my worst days, I completely forget how far she has come I take it all for granted, and I squander the gift.
I believe that this phenomenon happens in many marriages. I believe that often couples don’t stop to pause and reflect on where they’ve come from to where they are. So this Valentine’s Day (or anniversary in my case) I challenge you to stop and reflect.
Where did you start?
Where are you now?
What do you have to be thankful for in the journey?
[b]A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.
11 Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value.
12 She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.
13 She selects wool and flax
and works with eager hands.
14 She is like the merchant ships,
bringing her food from afar.
15 She gets up while it is still night;
she provides food for her family
and portions for her female servants.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks.
18 She sees that her trading is profitable,
and her lamp does not go out at night.
19 In her hand she holds the distaff
and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
20 She opens her arms to the poor
and extends her hands to the needy.
21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
22 She makes coverings for her bed;
she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is respected at the city gate,
where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
and supplies the merchants with sashes.
25 She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.
26 She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
27 She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
31 Honor her for all that her hands have done,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.