Posts Tagged ‘my wife’

I have been immersed in the Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment by Jeremiah Burroughs now for almost 2 months and it has been extremely good for my soul. Two themes in particular has been huge: that this world is truly not my home and that the world of eternity promised to us in Christ will be better than I can fathom.

The World is Exhausting

These past few days I played Mr. Mom as my wife helped out with our local twins club and their biannual used kids sale. The first day I was amped up and motivated, vacuuming almost the whole house and doing some outside work around our house as well on top of taking care of my 5 little ones. It was an enjoyable day. The next day I was feeling it. I was struggling to get moving in the morning. But, the day went well and I felt like I was able to delight in my kids and even made a fun dinner for them. Day 3? I was toast. Of course, my kids were tired and cranky as well. I was struggling to delight in them, to joyfully serve them, to not fall asleep. Fatigue and my own selfishness fought to taint everything on day 3 without my wife. I honestly was trying to trust Jesus to sustain my but I was exhausted. I almost couldn’t think straight and was starting to become harsh with my kids as Hyde was screaming to take over.

What is My Hope in?

How did I finish the day? I started to put my hope in when my wife got home and my time with her! The evening went pretty well because I was simply looking forward to her. It tainted everything I did from that point forward. I thought about what we might do together and even had some sparkling wine ready to enjoy together. Thinking about my wife impacted the rest of my day and helped carry me through the fog of exhaustion.

The reality is, due to circumstances out of her hands,  she got home later than we both thought and, by that time, we were both walking zombies (date night tonight though!). This anticipation plays out many a time though. It can affect my wife’s entire week to know we have a date night coming. On days we have a date night, my work day flies by and I have an anticipation that can carry me. Eternity should be like this for us. Everything we end up hoping for in this world can carry us only temporarily and can disappoint. This is not the case with what Jesus has stored up for us.

The Hope of Eternity

When you sailors see the haven before you, though you were mightily troubled before you could see any land, yet when you come near the shore and can see a certain land-mark, that contents you greatly. A godly man in the midst of the waves and storms that he meets with can see the glory of heaven before him and so contents himself. One drop of the sweetness of heaven is enough to take away all the sourness and bitterness of all the afflictions in the world.

We know that one drop of sourness, or one drop of gall will make bitter a great deal of honey. Put a spoonful of sugar into a cup of gall or wormwood, and it will not sweeten it; but if you put a spoonful of gall into a cup of sugar, it will embitter that. Now it is otherwise in heaven: one drop of sweetness will sweeten a great deal of sour affliction, but a great deal of sourness and gall will not embitter a soul who sees the glory of heaven that is to come. A carnal heart has no contentment but from what he sees before him in this world, but a godly hearts has contentment from what he sees laid up for him in the highest heavens.

There is a great deal of hope in these thoughts from Burroughs. We who trust in Christ do indeed have a light at the end of the tunnel and it is a glorious light. There is land ahead of this journey on the sea and we will get there. It feels so far away as the world and trials beat down on us but it is there. In hoping for heaven and eternity, God will use that anticipation to give us the joy and contentment we need to thrive and not merely gut it out in the here and now.

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. (Romans 8:18-25 ESV)

This life can be complex and feel like the walls are caving in. Simple tasks can be painful. The rug can be pulled out from beneath us so quickly.  But it will not be this way forever. This world is not our home and we are just passing through.

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Today my wife of almost 9 years, Sam, turns 30 29. I am not exaggerating when I say that she is my best friend. I would rather spend a day with just her than anyone else on this planet. I never get tired of being around her. She is amazing, beautiful, and such a blessing to our home. One more number for you to emphasize how fantastic my wife is: we have 5 kids ages 5 and under. Yes, you read that right. We have 5 kids ages 5 and under.

An excellent wife who can find?

She is far more precious than jewels.

The heart of her husband trusts in her,

and he will have no lack of gain.

She does him good, and not harm,

all the days of her life.

(Proverbs 31:10-12 ESV)

I am sinner. I struggle with being harsh and not paying attention to my tone of voice. I can get in a rut emotionally and just move along through days oblivious to how Sam is doing or to how our general unity is. In my flesh, I battle having unreasonable expectations, being a little OCD about the messiness of our home, and I can be overbearing on our kids. These patterns do not fit well with having 5 kids as young as they are! Yet my wife is my biggest encourager and supporter in the midst of all my sin and struggles. I cannot remember the last time that I questioned whether my wife was on my side and for me. I just can’t. I trust her immensely. She affirms me so much that I question much of the time whether or not I really see myself with sober judgment. In all this Sam is also, by far, my most frequent reprover. She is not impressed by me. She does not let me get away with patterns of sin without gently calling me out. I am so thankful for this. She encourages me without enabling me. I think this is extremely rare! She tells me she is thankful that I can take her reproof. But her foundation of love and encouragement is a major reason why I can take it and even why my exposed sin can hit me deep enough (though I can still be hardheaded at times!).

Strength and dignity are her clothing,

and she laughs at the time to come.

She opens her mouth with wisdom,

and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.

She looks well to the ways of her household

and does not eat the bread of idleness.

Her children rise up and call her blessed;

her husband also, and he praises her:

(Proverbs 31:25-28 ESV)

Read this post she wrote for one example of the above. When people find out how many kids we have and the ages of our kids, their brains tend to implode. After they pick their jaws off the floor, I tell them that it’s not as crazy as you would think and that it is indeed as crazy as you think it is. Sam is in the middle of it all. Her perseverance through the last 5 years of 2 twin pregnancies, ups and downs in her intimacy with Jesus, fatigue, moving, pouring into people in our church, and dealing with me, makes my own brain implode. Sure, she has her own battles with sin. But she has a 100 more excuses than I do and yet she presses on trusting Jesus for growth and to be a blessing to our home and others. When I start to feel fatigue I can fold so easily. My wife does not fold when facing fatigue and continuously convicts me in how she responds to weariness and sickness. She does this even though the 5 people she most gives to barely understand how much she blesses them. If her wages are praises and genuine thanks, then she is seriously being underpaid. Does she complain? Does she fight for her own rights? Almost never.

This does not even factor in how approachable my wife is to other moms and friends. God tends to bless whatever she touches from using her skills in graphic arts to the wisdom and vulnerability she has with others to how other women tend to just melt and spill their guts with her. She has such a soft heart.

By the way, if anyone were to call my wife “idle” or a busybody or say she was wasting time, I might have to punch them. I’ll leave it at that.

Give her of the fruit of her hands,

and let her works praise her in the gates.

(Proverbs 31:31 ESV)

Honestly, this could be a ten part post. I do not do near a good enough job praising my wife. People question why we discipline our kids the way we do, they question why we’re going to home school our kids, why she doesn’t do more mommy play dates, why we even have 5 kids, and they question our ability to have success as parents, even expressing genuine sorrow for our son (no joke). My wife has had multiple people, in public situations, express straight to her face that her life looks like their own personal hell. You know how many times my wife has heard, “You have your hands full!”? People tell us that when they’re really struggling with their kids or having a hard day, they just think of us or my wife and what we might be going through and they feel better. I understand all of this. I truly do. Our home is intense. It’s a lot of work. It looks different than other families. We are so grateful though for our kids and for the family God has given us. Our kids are a blessing. However, we definitely have really hard days and you have no idea how many times my wife and I just feel flat out exposed in our sin. But know this: there are 2 huge reasons why we are not merely settling for survival. First, God’s grace is more than enough and He has been so good to us. Second, I have an absolutely priceless, selfless, sweet, and profoundly loving wife that I am so undeserving of. One day, she will certainly receive the ultimate fruit of her hands and the praise she deserves when she meets our Heavenly Father and He says to her face to face: “You are my beloved daughter; with whom I am well pleased.”

Happy birthday, Sam. I love you. You are my best friend and you are truly an excellent wife and mom and far more precious than jewels. A thousand words are not enough.

Check out her blog here.

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