Since this is a blog about "all things marriage from a Christian Hedonist, Gospel-centered perspective, and since virtuous love flows from Gospel-centeredness, I thought it would be acceptable to publicly post how precious my wife is. Men, perhaps you could use this as a springboard to your own expressions. For a more eloquent expression of love than I could give, go to The Upstream Current where Tony Romano sings the praises of his wife.
My wife is the most beautiful creature in the world to me. Some may say that of their children, rather than their spouse. I would disagree. I love my children. They are all beautiful. My oldest, Jason, just turned 10 a few months ago. He is the most mature and analytical 10 year old I know. He is a dream of a child, who helps around the house, loves his siblings and respects his elders. One might be tempted to think such a sweet 10 year old is a sissy. To the contrary, he's all boy who loves every sport, particularly baseball, and waging wars with little army men. Sydney is my second oldest, and she will turn 9 in a few days. She is so sweet and thoughtful. She's the one always drawing a picture for someone, or hugging someone, or serving someone. She's getting so beautiful as she gets older that I'm quite concerned I'll have my hands full some day. Heidi is my third oldest at 5. Heidi is the adorable, moody one that can go from sweet and happy to pouty and down in a blink. She makes the cutest expressions when she talks, and her playfulness is only outmatched by her intelligence. Emily is fourth at 4. She is the fireball of the bunch. She has a hard time talking in a normal voice, stomps around with a scornful face, screams at the top of her lungs when she thinks something is unjust. All of this is of the greatest difficulty to correct because she's so picture-perfect cute with huge blue eyes, and a little button nose (which every one of our children inherited from their mother). On the other hand, she can be the sweetest little thing when she shouts, "Oh my goth!" or climbs on your lap and says she loves you. Keegan is my youngest at just over a year. He's been so much fun, I wonder how we ever got by without him. He is extremely smart and analytical like his big brother. He's also all boy like his big brother. He has this bad habit of climbing to the absolute peak of anything he can reach. He has no fear. He's the happiest, most content little boy I've ever been around. Yep, I deeply love and thank God for each and every one of my kids. But they do not hold a candle to my wife.
Amanda is my equal in every sense. She can match me thought for thought, and the only areas I know more are in the areas I've studied more. Still her ability to think through an argument enables her to follow me with very little catch up time when I have something to iron out. She challenges my thoughts on things, and gives me insight that I never would have thought on my own. Better still, she never gets offended or fights for ownership when I unintentionally forget to give her the credit for the insight. I suppose she's just humble enough to not say anything if I intentionally took credit for her insight.
Despite being my intellectual equal, she never challenges my leadership. She questions me where she thinks it wise, but rarely in a discontented, demanding way. She allows me to be her husband. She never makes me regret that God has placed our marriage under my headship. She never makes me feel guilty for a decision, even when it turns out to be wrong. She's optimistic and gracious to me. I've never heard her question my motives or methods, even if they might be suspect. She just gives me the benefit of the doubt and trusts in her Savior to take care of her. She is truly a gentle and quiet spirit, and a joy to serve. Amanda truly lives her life in service to her God. When she is convicted the Bible says something, she will organize her entire life around its fulfillment. She is the most articulate and passionate pray-er I've ever heard in a woman. Her prayers are focused and Christ-centered.
She is so unassuming in a crowd that one may forget she's even there. She doesn't demand to be in the spotlight, and is pleasantly low-maintenance. You'd be hard-pressed to get her to say something bad about people. There has never in over 10 years of marriage been a time where I have been embarrassed to be her husband. She isn't quarrelsome or rude to others and I know of few instances where someone could be rightly offended at her words or conduct. She strives to be hospitable and charitable to friends and strangers. She fights well the desire to accumulate things, and build a comfortable life on earth. Her faith in the provision of her heavenly Father is strong and sure.
My children are who they are today because of the diligent guidance and instruction of my wife. Amanda teaches our children to be godly, humble and loving. She also teaches them phonics, math, history, geography, writing and everything else they will need to know to be productive, God-glorifying Christian ambassadors. She is raising our sons to be strong, yet loving men; and our daughters to be capable, yet gentle servants. She does this, not because she's naturally gifted at it, but because she's convicted that this is the best way to ensure our children are ready to face whatever this world throws their way. She is truly a shepherd of our childrens' hearts, desiring to see the gospel believed and lived in our children. She fights the urge to parent out of convenience, and receives little breaks in the action of managing our household.
In addition to her duties in the home, she always has a wise word of counsel for others who call on her. She looks for ways to be a blessing to others, even when she can't fully carry them out because of her responsibilities to her own family. She serves our church in whatever capacity requires it, teaching the children of our church about a big, beautiful God who loves them and will save them. She helps to lead others in worship by playing guitar in our praise band.
Finally, Amanda is so physically attractive to me that I cannot keep my eyes off her. If she's in the room, I have to be looking at her - staring at her. I let my eyes and mind get lost in the way her hair contours her face, and her full lips smile, and her big multi-colored (bluish, greenish, hazelish, and even yellowish depending on the light and day) eyes, and curvy body make me feel. She goes out of her way to serve me and please me. She actually acts like she enjoys being Mrs. Darby Livingston. I love to watch her play volleyball, or softball, or any other physical activity. She is the perfect blend of athleticism and femininity, independence and maternal nature, ability and humility.
I love my wife so deeply, for so many reasons. I love to tell her I love her. I love to show her I love her. I tell her frequently, many times a day. I tell her randomly. And I've tried to order my life in such a way that she feels it in a hundred little ways every day. And I know she does the same for me. I pursue my pleasure in her pleasure under God. And she does the same. And she makes pursuing her pleasure incredibly pleasurable.