On this date, 19 years ago, Kristen and I said, “I do”! Apart from following Jesus, I can’t think of a better decision I’ve made outside of marrying Kristen. The jury is still out on Kristen’s decision! 4 days after the terrorist attacks of 9/11, Kristen and I vowed to love each other until death do us part. After an extremely scary and memorable four days, we shared our vows, celebrated with friends, and became one flesh before friends, family, and the Lord.
We’ll celebrate later this week with a 24-hour getaway to Austin, TX. It’s been quite a year, for everyone on the planet, so we’re excited about getting a little bit of time together to remember God’s kindness to us in marriage and in so many other ways.
Ironically, we got into a small argument on Monday, September 14th (the day I’m writing this post). One of the reasons why I love putting this list together is because it helps me focus on the positives. It helps me keep a record of rights instead of a list of wrongs (see 1 Corinthians 13:5).
Every year I compile a list of reasons why I love my wife (2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013). This is my 7th 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.
19 More Reasons Why I Love My Wife
1. She made our quarantine time count.
I’m pretty sure I never heard Kristen complain about the change in lifestyle during quarantine and shelter in place. Nobody in our family was affected more by the changes than Kristen, yet she modeled 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18. I’m grateful for her steadfast, faithful, trusting, thankful heart, even in the midst of challenges. We enjoyed family meals, walks, projects, and games together, and Kristen faithfully helped bring the family closer together.
2. Kristen is an incredible friend.
She may not be friends with the masses and is not the most extroverted person on the planet, but she goes deep with her people. She misses her friends from Dallas, and they miss her. A lot. Proverbs 18:24 says, “One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother/sister” (sister, added by me). She sticks so close to her friends and her friends stick close to her. I admire the way Kristen builds her friendships.
3. She’s an amazing “mom” to our puppy.
For the first 18 years of marriage, we said “NO WAY” to a puppy. I started asking for one around a year ago, and our collective answer was a “not yet.” In a moment of weakness when we knew we were moving away from Dallas, Kristen promised our boys we’d get a dog. Most of the time we’re thrilled with this decision. Bauer has been a great addition to our family, and Kristen bears the brunt of it. And she’s incredible at it (no surprises). And, she just happens to be Bauer’s favorite as well (no surprises).
4. She turned 50!
It’s been a big year! We celebrated in style in a way that suited Kristen perfectly. About 20 friends came over and we feasted, toasted, and celebrated Kristen as she turned 50 years old in May. She doesn’t look it, but certainly has the wisdom and maturity of a 50-year old.
5. She’s still beautiful.
This is the only one on the list that gets repeated just about every year. No one can believe she’s 50. Truly beautiful inside and out. They say beauty is fleeting, but I’m not sure that passage applies to my wife (Proverbs 31:30).
6. Move to Waco? No problem!
You’ll see a theme here. We moved to Waco. This is not an easy time in life to uproot a family of six from your home for the last 18 years. It’s a weird time to move with the ages of our kids (16, 16, 13, 11). It’s a weird time to move for the two of us (50 and 47). And, it’s a weird time because of COVID-19. Yet, she handled the move with a deep faith in the Lord and a deep trust in her husband. I never had to play the submission card (and never have in 19 years of marriage), but this move was not Kristen’s ultimate desire. While we thought we’d stay in Dallas after I resigned from my role at Watermark, she faithfully trusted in the Lord and has not complained at all about moving. He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord (Proverbs 18:22). Proof!
7. She’s creative and eager to work on projects around the house.
It’s no surprise to anyone who knows us, but I can’t do much of anything around the house. I can change batteries and light bulbs. Kristen does 10x what i can do! She recently took on some fun painting and furniture projects and did a great job. I love her willingness to try something new.
8. She knows how to encourage our kids.
As mentioned above, it’s a strange and challenging season to move our four boys. Kristen has listened so well to them and truly efforts to understand them. She’s quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry (James 1:19), and it truly benefits our kids (and me) in this transition to Waco.
9. She’s a fantastic thought and ministry partner.
In moving to Waco and Harris Creek, I get to start the marriage ministry from scratch in many ways. I love that Kristen cares, gives ideas, brainstorms with me, and encourages me. I’m so grateful I get to serve alongside her in helping relationships and marriages.
10. She makes our marriage a priority.
Like everyone else in the world, we always have plenty going on. The kids have school, sports, band, youth group, and we have lots going on as a couple. But, we know we need to make and keep our marriage as the most important human relationship on earth. I’m so glad we’re on the same page on the importance of dating each other, resolving conflict, fighting for unity, and getting time away to prioritize our marriage. For those of you who are not married or not yet married, pay attention: choose wisely on who you marry.
11. She’s much tougher than me.
This confession is a little hard to make. Our twins turned 16 this year which means it’s time to drive. I would be terrified (irrationally) when I got in the car with my kids when they got their permits. Kristen did most of the practice driving with both of the twins as they get their hours and practice in. Even in the times she was (understandably) scared, she put in the time with the boys to help them get their licenses.
12. She’s raising four incredible young men.
I’m not one of those parents who think their kids are flawless. The thought is ridiculous that anyone could think that. But, we’re raising four quality young men. I didn’t love being a parent when our kids were younger, but now I’m seeing the fruit of all the hard conversations, HOURS of prayers, and sacrifices made. And make no mistake about it: while I’m partly responsible for our boys, there’s no question that they get most of their greatness from their mom.
13. She consistently prays for our boys.
Kristen has read several books about how to parent and pray for sons. But the cool thing is that she doesn’t just read the books. She does what they say. She journals out her prayers and faithfully prays for their character and seeks wisdom on how to raise them. For years now she has participated in a weekly Moms in Prayer group where she prays with other moms for school-age kids.
14. She helps me with my writing.
Kristen edits and proofs everything that goes on this blog (except for this annual anniversary post). She’s never “written” anything for my blog, but her edits are over everything you read. The website has my name, but know that she makes all of it better.
15. She’s an expert physical therapist.
She’d never admit it, but she is so good at what she does. She’s been practicing as a physical therapist for longer than many of you have been alive! She’s been a PT since 1995, and she’s especially good at working with patients with neurological diagnoses (i.e., spinal cord and brain injuries, strokes, and ALS).
16. She’s humble.
This one goes along with the one above about her PT skills. We know God opposes the proud but gives grace (or shows favor) to the humble (1 Peter 5:5, James 4:6). I admire her humility.
17. She initiates with others.
I’m really proud of my wife for this one. Kristen stays super busy with kids, new puppy, her work as a PT, and house projects. But, she still makes time for others and initiates relationally. Even though it may not be in her comfort zone, she still leads out and initiates. I’ve seen her do this with the other staff wives at Harris Creek and she makes me a proud husband.
18. She’s wants our home to be the place for other kids to come.
One of the reasons why we chose the house we bought is so that we can invite others over. She wants our kid’s friends to come hang at our home, so much so that she wants to put a concrete basketball half court in our backyard.
19. She tolerates all my quirks because she loves Jesus.
I’m a difficult person at times. I’m prone to overwork, overeat, and over emote. Yet she patiently endures, puts up with my stuff, forgives me, and presses on. I’m not all bad. I’m a good husband, but I’m married to a great woman of God.
I really could put “because she loves Jesus” at the end of every one of these 19 points. She does love Jesus with all of her heart, soul, mind, and strength. And I couldn’t be more grateful that she’s my bride of 19 years.
I usually end each of these annual posts with some kind of similar charge and request.
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. Pray for us as we seek to start the marriage ministry at Harris Creek. I’m so grateful to be on mission with my wife and I know Satan would love to tear us down.
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 in your love for Jesus?
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.