Every Christian man hopes to find the perfect wife: a wife that loves the Lord, loves the church, supports her husband in his ministry, serves her family well, nurtures her children, respects her husband’s leadership, and is drop-dead gorgeous. This is the kind of woman that every man dreams of, or at least, the kind of woman that *I* dream of. And a little over seven years ago I married my wife, Hayley. But here’s the deal…
…She wasn’t the girl of my dreams.
Instead of a wife that loves the Lord, I have a wife whose wholehearted devotion and pursuit of Him puts mine to shame. Instead of a wife that loves the church, I have found a wife that pours herself out week in and week out for this motley crew of people we’ve been blessed to do life alongside of. My wife doesn’t support me in my ministry, she strives alongside me right there in the trenches, holding me up when I feel the pressure of this warfare called ministry. She doesn’t serve her family well, she serves us joyfully, sacrificially, and in a way that makes us never feel like the burden that I know we sometimes are. My wife does not nurture our children, she trains them up in the admonishment and instruction of the Lord, developing them into fierce contenders of the faith who will one day be primed and ready to violently advance the Kingdom of God. In addition to respect, she shows me honor and speaks empowering words to me that make me feel I can conquer the world. And lastly, she’s not drop-dead gorgeous, she’s the most pure radiance of glory that I’ve ever laid my eyes upon.
I’ve not found the wife of my dreams, I’ve found something so much better. She has shown me that I was setting the bar way too low. She has convinced me of the faithfulness of God to “do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think [or dream]” (Ephesians 3:20).
So to the girl of my dreams, sorry, you’re not going to cut it. But to my wife, Hayley, thank you for being who you are. You’ve proven to me that God can exceed even my most lofty desires; that I can wish even for a taste of heaven here on earth, and He’d give it to me.
To close, I’d like to share the wedding vows that I wrote and shared with her on our wedding day, July 27th, 2012:
Here I stand, not wanting you to see
Me at all, but only He
Who gave His life for you and me
And promised us eternity.
He declared before time that our union would be
And set everything in motion for us to meet
So what greater love could one conceive
And how precious a gift has one than He?
So with that said, I vow to strive
To imitate Christ with all of my might
To spend myself to bring you life
And do this deed until I die
I’ll be the strength of your heart and your portion forever
I’ll be your rock, your fortress, your friend and Redeemer
I’ll empty myself, forsaking my throne
I will take your shame and call it my own
I will look at you and choose to see
Nothing but splendor and majesty
Your ailments I’ll heal, your wounds I’ll mend
Your needs I’ll meet, and your honor I’ll defend
Every day I will climb that hill called Calvary
And every night I will spend in Gethsemane
Praying for you and interceding for your soul
Gripping your heart of which I’ll never let go
I’ll never abandon you, nor forsake
I’ll be with you always until the end of the age
Now I stand and vow to thee
That all of these promises will find their “Yes” in me.