So fast forward 3 years and I’m in Chattanooga, graduated from dental school and practicing for about 2 years when my friend Val said, “hey, there’s a girl who just moved here, I met her at church. You should meet her.” Or something like that. I was 28. I was at a point in my life (as are many of you) where I was ready to meet my spouse and get on with things. I was open to whatever God had for me – maybe someone previously married, maybe even a single mom (I really didn’t think I was ready to be a dad) – but I just figured He knows best, He has a plan for my life, and I’ll just roll with it. SO a couple weeks later when I had a break from the Sunday school class I was teaching, I went to church with Val to meet “the girl”. She was cute. She asked a lot of questions. A little stand-off-ish. Loved God…and people. Interesting. Funny. Cute.
We got to know each other over the next several weeks and for the sake of time I’ll tell you that the ‘if you wind up with this girl you’re compromising’ turned into ‘if you don’t wind up with girl you’re compromising’ in my heart. I was praying. I was having a blast getting to know Steph. She’s intense. She’s focused. She’s the one…she just doesn’t know it yet. We’re spending more and more time together, and she really wants to know (and I really want her to know) that God’s in it – that this is it. So one night in my driveway she says, “Let’s pray about it”. We sat on the concrete and prayed that God would show us His will, His plan, His direction for us and whether or not He had brought us here to spend our lives together. He answered. I knew it. She knew it. This is God’s best for each of us!
So, like I said at the beginning, we made the plans and on January 19, 2002 I found out why I was born. I was born to be Steph’s husband. I love this girl. After 13 years I love her more than ever. Over the years we’ve been through quite a lot, and at times she didn’t have anything to anchor her but The Rock of Christ Jesus – and she hung on tight. If there are any single guys out there listen up – you MUST marry a woman who is pursuing God and who loves Him more than she loves you. Because you will disappoint her. If in her mind the marriage is built on her spouse, it’s gonna be trouble for you buddy. BUT, if the marriage is built on Christ, His Word, and His promises you’ll do great. And that’s why Steph and I have such a great marriage. Neither of us knows what we’re doing enough to try and take control. All we have we’ve given to the Lord and He leads us by His Word.
Parenting is no joke, but with Steph it’s awesome. She is the most amazing teammate! Absolutely tireless when it comes to teaching the kids God’s word, making it fun – they have so much scripture crammed into them seriously the other day Reece had Lake in a full-nelson, body slammed him and John 3:16 popped out.
Every time I see her dishing out soup, carrying the laundry basket, mopping, or changing diapers I fall in love again. Whenever I get to hear her teach, lights out. The way moonlight plays off her face and outlines her hair, magic. The way she fits that puzzle-shaped space in my heart, perfect.
In Matthew 5:48 (Sermon on the Mount) Jesus says, “..be perfect..” the idea there is complete-ness. Be complete. Do what you were made to do. (Also James 1:4) Lack nothing. Function correctly. Jesus isn’t telling us to be without sin or blemish, he’s telling us to do what we were created to do. For me Steph is perfect. When I married her on that freezing January afternoon the cell door opened and I was free to be the man, the husband, the father that He created me to be. It’s because of her love, patience, forgiveness, motivation, wisdom, humor, and friendship that I am the guy I am today. I get to be a husband. I get to be a father. I get to do what I was created to do.
Last year I had the privilege of officiating a wedding while in the middle of a really difficult time for us as a family and as a couple. As I was putting my thoughts together and studying how God brought Adam and Eve together, and following that thread to how God sent Jesus to bring us together as believers with each other and with Him
that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. (John 17:21)
I realized how precious it was that Steph and I had oneness. The other day in the office I met a single mom with 3 kids and trying to be funny I said something like, “Yeah me too!” and went on to tell her how Steph and I have 6 – but it’s totally different because we can do WAY more together than we ever could as singles
Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. (Ecc 4:9,10)
Having oneness is huge. It’s the difference. Two are better than one…but when the two become one? Game changer.
God was gracious to me when He gave me a wife like this! I hope that those of you who are married have the same oneness in Christ that we do – that’s why He came to earth! That was his mission – to make us one with Him and each other. For those of you who don’t know Christ yet, for those who don’t know what I’m talking about when I say “oneness” with another person, open your heart to the possibility that your Creator made you because he wants a relationship with you! You don’t have to get things straight before you come to Him, He’ll walk with you through the process of becoming who you were created to be…and walking with Him is the only way you can get there.
Much love to you all out there in blogland! Maybe I’ll “see” you here again soon