My hubby and I have an incredible relationship. I am so beyond grateful for him and it wasn’t always that way. God has done tremendous things in us over these last 11 & 1/2 years and who I am today is a direct result of my being married to him. He has such a strength and steadiness in him and there have been many days where I’ve wondered (in my insecurities), how I even compliment him evenly. It’s like he does so much of the behind-the-scenes stuff that people don’t always see or understand how incredible his impact truly is.
This past Friday night our church had a Ladies Dinner and the surprise speaker ended up being 5 husbands that shared about how much they love and cherish their wives and the impact that they’ve had on them. These men were moved by great emotions as they spoke about the dedication, loyalty and love of their wives… I don’t know a lady in there that didn’t tear up listening to some of the testimonies.
My husband was the 5th man. Those of you that know me know that I am a Words of Affirmation gal. When I saw him walk out I just grinned and got ready to enjoy the ride! He tremendously dislikes public speaking and I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve seen my hubby break into tears or get choked up. I knew he was going to have a hard time and honestly I don’t know if I was even that surprised that he was up there. We’re just at this point that we thoroughly enjoy each other and showing it.
I was, however, very much interested in what he had to say. I leaned in and rested my head in my hands and got ready to really listen. It’s intriguing that I’ve spent time over the last few weeks contemplating what my husband thinks of me. I’ve grown a lot over the past year and made great strides to accomplish some dreams and overcome darkness. So what does this man currently have to say about me to this room of 200 people? And there he was taking the mic.
In Mr. Chandler fashion he had an organized list to speak on. He talked about three things; love, encouragement, and strength. Pretty simple things that I would say about a lot of other people. Isn’t that funny? We think about ourselves and when we list our qualities we often write them off as nothing that extraordinary. But my husband is a pretty incredible man. He’s very wise, intentional, caring and thoughtful. When he says something he means it. When he does something he’s committed to it. So I pay attention when he speaks up and I care about what he thinks.
He affirmed things I knew about myself but instead of them seeming so normal he spoke about them as if they were great rare qualities that have shaped his heart and life. Sitting there being honored in front of so many friends I felt humbled to be loved by him. Gees, that’s my husband! Knowing all of my own faults, and all of the times we’ve messed this marriage thing up, God has continued to fill our home and guide us. We have been so blessed as we have learned to give up all the different parts of our hearts and lives and allow God to restore us and shape us. The friction of marriage creates an amazing dynamic where two individuals learn to experience and see God’s heart through serving each other and sacrificing for one other. It’s not a “give and take.” It’s a give and receive blessings as a natural byproduct of abiding by God’s word and will toward each other.
Ecclesiastes 4:10 “For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!”
Thank you babe for speaking life over me and believing in me. You did a lot of that last year too and kept a steady compass as I learned to trust God with my grief. You’ve kept the perspective clear and vision the same even as I’ve switched from feeling accomplished to feeling as though I’m failing week to week. You’ve encouraged and lead me as I’ve found the balance between the responsibilities at home that we have while making sure our kids are loved, trained, and poured into. God, thank you for how you’ve displayed your love and word in action through our marriage. I see your word and what you speak over us and see that play out so often in my life through my relationship with my husband. I am forever grateful.
I’ll share our testimony another time. We took ourselves through the ringer for quite a few years while we learned to let go of the garbage and allow God to truly have authority in our hearts and home. A lot of tears and fights in those years. A lot of fear that we were going to fail and fall apart. That wasn’t God’s will for us and it’s not for you either. I’ve listed some things below that really equipped us and taught us how to have a truly abundant and amazing marriage. We prayed a lot too. Those deep, honest, surrendering prayers, asking God to restore and fix us instead of trying to do it on our own.
I’ll leave you with the great verses on love that are often recited at weddings. God is contending for you and your marriage. He is capable of anything. So keep releasing your spouse into the hands of God and pray incredible victory over your marriage. Don’t relent. God isn’t.
1 Corinthians 13 – The Way of Love
13 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith,so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned,[a] but have not love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;[b] 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8 Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. 11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known. 13 So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.