Today is my husband’s birthday. His presence in this world is a gift to me. I wanted to honor him today because I do not do it nearly enough. He will be the first to say it’s not needed, and that is just one of the hundreds of ways he amazes me. So many of the traits and qualities he has show humility and putting others first.
“Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves;” Philippians 2:3 NASB.
My husband doesn’t believe in the Bible, yet he acts out and lives out what scripture says in many ways. That is a grace gift from God. God’s common grace poured out onto my husband. I believe my husband was made in the image of God and that truth doesn’t require him to believe in the God that created him. He bears his image because he is His! He is loved by God just as I am. Just as we all are. I pray that one day these many attributes my husband displays will truly be reflections of the Light of Christ in him. He is not going to want any of this recognition but I write about my life and what God is teaching me and this man is a big part of that and I believe it is okay to publicly show appreciation to him and thank God for him today.
Back to this sweet man and the many ways he loves me and our girls so well. We are in an unequally yoked marriage. But my husband didn’t bail. He didn’t say “okay that’s enough you crazy holy roller, I’m out”. He doesn’t try to change my views. He engages me in conversation to try to help me see what he believes and asks me to ponder, research, and consider but he doesn’t do that in a way that is a detriment to our relationship. He supports me and my beliefs in many different ways because he loves me. He loves every part of me. Even the part he doesn’t understand or agree with. That is commitment. That is unconditional love. He came to my baptism and he gifted me with a cross necklace that day. He has gotten to know my “church” friends and continues to be open to meeting them and being around them. He has even become friends with some of them and serves them and gives his time to them when a need arises. When we first started dating I remember one thing I noticed about him was that he wasn’t just kind to me, he was kind to my friends and family as well. That continues to this day. On random Saturday mornings he will go to Kristy Kreme with SG and get a few 6 packs of donuts and deliver them to various homes. Some of the people he delivers them to are my friends from church. He loves “my people” as he calls them because he loves me! It brings tears to my eyes just typing that.
He works so hard. His work ethic is strong and he enjoys his labor throughout the day. He feels the need to provide for his family and does that beyond what is required. He is passionate about his work and that drives him to be involved in so many areas and parts of his work community. He wants to contribute and do above and beyond what he is asked for the betterment of his colleagues and students and community. Valentines of 2016 he gave me an amazing gift. Even though he doesn’t completely understand I think, my desire to stay home with my children full time, he came to a place where he wanted to honor me and let me stay home. I was staying home with them during the day but was working nights and weekends. He saw the value of me being home at night and on the weekend and what working those hours was doing to me physically. So he made a way for me to stay home full time. Which meant he worked more. He picked up extra classes and continues to work diligently for his family. On top of that, he shows me grace when I haven’t always done my best to help keep us on a tight budget to help with this transition. The Lord is working on that in me, showing me ways I can help him out more and honor this gift he has given me.
He is compassionate and wants to see the viewpoint of others even if he doesn’t agree or understand. He has opened my eyes to areas I have been judgmental and haven’t seen things from others’ viewpoints. He is passionate about social injustices that have happened in our history and continue to affect and shape our view today. He has pushed himself to see that his status and privilege in life isn’t the reality for everyone. He continues to learn and educate and support the efforts to make available opportunities for everyone.
He loves our girls. So perfectly. He is calm with them. He plays and make them laugh and laugh. Daddy is the fun one. He is protective of them. And I know he will love them in the same way he does me in regards to whatever their beliefs become. Our oldest already has conversations with her daddy about his views on God and he is patient and understanding and doesn’t take offense or get frustrated. He pushes her and questions her but in a way that gets her to think, not trying to sway her one way or another. He loved our youngest MK from the moment he set eyes on her and never sees her as his “adopted” daughter. He never tells anyone that part of her story unless it comes up naturally or is someone that was there with us from the beginning. There are several events in the community that reach out to and support parents licensed with our local DSS, one of them is a baseball day. We went this past year with some friends but when we were told to go to the booth and get a free gift that was for all foster/adoptive families he declined. He said we don’t receive “prizes” for having our oldest daughter so he doesn’t want to be rewarded for having MK as a daughter just because she is adopted. He knows she is his daughter, not for praise or special treatment, but his prize is his beautiful child that shares his birthday. I believe support and help is absolutely okay in the foster/adoptive community but I do love my husband’s view on the issue and appreciate his love for her that transcends how she physically came to be with us. His heart continues to be opened to future adoptions, seeing the need, and putting aside selfishness. Again our reasons come from two different starting points but I am so thankful he shares in (and sometimes is even more open to it!) my desire to take care of orphans.
My husband has to live with three women. Enough said right?? On top of that I have a worldview different from his. On top of that I struggle with control and not keeping my mouth shut enough. On top of that I write about our life and share it with others and minister to other women in unequally yoked marriages. On top of that I am very involved with my church and have bible studies I’m in and Lifegroup and other ways I serve. On top of that, I messed up in a lot of ways in the beginning of our marriage before I was saved. Through all of it he forgives me, loves me, supports me, encourages me, showers me, makes me feel adored, grows with me, is dedicated to me, challenges me, and demonstrates love as an action not just a word. I am amazed and blessed and cannot believe he is the husband I get. Some of you reading this know him and love him for his tie-dye and Boone Dip and silly words, and Clemson orange pride, and his crazy math tricks, and his generosity and his Jagerbombs and his happy head-butts, and his bald head, and his musical talents on the drums and his karaoke skills. Others of you only know him because you know me and you know about our situation and marriage because of what I write and you know how much he loves me and how much our marriage is a testament to restoration and redemption and a sovereign God with a sovereign plan. All of you I hope will celebrate this man with me today and thank God for who he is in my life. Besides my salvation, he is the greatest gift in my life. You are loved Mr. Boone and I am so privileged to be your bride. Happy Birthday!