Thursday, June 21, 2012

The True Measure Of A Man

We recently celebrated twelve years of marriage and fourteen years together~ as a family.

We've always been a family.

I was a single mama raising my baby girl of just eight years old when I met my husband.

I can remember sharing about my girl right after meeting him.

And going ahead and "letting him know" right away that he could just keep on keeping on because I most likely was not what he was looking for in a date, a girlfriend and especially a wife.

He thought it was wonderful....that I had this gift of a daughter.

He insisted that we at least have dinner.

I could hardly wait but was worried at the same time.

Most men were not interested in a "woman with child" type of relationship.

But I was wrong.

He was wonderful. By every possible definition.

I can remember later on in our relationship when he shared some of the kindest things he's ever spoken to me.

During a time of feeling insecure and worried that I wasn't enough.

Worried that I was just damaged goods. Worried that I wasn't really his dream girl.

He was busy planning our future together.

He shared with me how lucky he felt to be able to see what kind of mother I was before he married me.

"How many men get that opportunity?"

"To know the woman you are marrying is going to be a good mother?"


And my girl?

He loved her. With the kind of love that is written about in the good book.

He loved her like nothing I had ever witnessed- or experienced.

He loved her and adored her and blessed her and made her his.

The Father created my husband with the spirit of adoption in his heart.

My girl was the one who made him a father.

On May 20, 2000 right there at that glorious alter.

He became a husband and a father in the same moment.

A double portion.

It was as if it had always been.

I can remember after dating a short time he shared with me that he wanted a basketball team.

A big family.

Which had always been my dream.

But I had never heard another man talk about dreaming of a having a big family of his own.

Dreaming of playing in the NFL? Winning the US Open?  Or landing an amazing job? Yes.

But a big family? Never.

I couldn't believe his heart.

And so it happened...after thirteen years of waiting for two pink lines.

Because of God's unmerited grace....

He poured out a team of children to two very undeserving people.

Half a dozen precious ones to raise up in the admonition of the Lord.

Raising a big family can sometimes feel like the hardest thing in the world.

But our joy is multiplied six times over.

With each baby our knees stay on the ground longer.

More prayers.

More petitions.

More forgiveness.

More grace.

More mercy.

More to thank Him for.....

Martin Luther King Jr. said it best when he said these words...

"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy."

So powerful. So true.

I also believe that the true measure of a man can be found in the love he pours out onto his family during times of adversity.

In spite of adversity.

That doesn't mean perfection. Lord knows there isn't anything even close to perfect in this house.

There is no perfect husband, perfect wife or perfect family.

Only a perfect God.

There are times of frustration and sadness and despair and wishing for brighter days, for all of us.

But when the bottom drops out ...

To know that he still has something left to give us.  Some love left to comfort us. Some faith left to cling to. Still has some hope left to offer us....

Is a humbling thing.

I have watched this man lay his life down for this family.

Lay his life down so that the gospel can be heard.

Lay his life down to serve God's people. Love God's people. Love a wife who loves God's people.

I have watched him get on a 5:09 a.m. train and commute into the city for two hours a day for ten years so that our first born could attend incredible public schools and live in the suburbs in a wonderful community.

I have watched him get up before the sun. Never miss a day of work unless babies were being born.  Never even be late for work for twelve years. I have watched him be brought to his knees at the thought of not being able to provide for us when job loss became part of our testimony.

I have watched him remain faithful to a grueling commute to another state for two and half years and only be able to see us on the weekends, if that, in order to provide for us.

I have watched Him pour into a family- without being poured into in the same way.

I have watched him give generously over and over again in every possible way to many.

Without that generosity ever being sown into his own life.

I've watched him sow and love and pour into a family with every card stacked against him and through what would cause many to collapse in life...

Without help, support, counsel, mentors, pastors, leaders or extended family.

I have watched him stare cancer in the face and beat it- survive it.

I have heard the prayers and the pleading with the Father in the midnight hour to provide for us when job loss hit our family the week of Thanksgiving last year and during the months of crisis that followed that.

I was humbled by his prayers and petitions for months for The Pearl Event. For the Father to gather his daughters and pour out and bless others even in the midst of a time of tremendous adversity within our own family.

To watch a grown man pray for hundreds of women he's never met- because his wife had a dream
that a single pearl would be the reminder that they are loved and that it is not over....

Is a beautiful thing.

Thank you sweetheart.

From the very depths of my being.

For being the gospel to us.

For loving us unconditionally.

For pressing in when you could have given up.

For not withholding.

For being the strong tower of unshakable faith during some of the hardest and most pressing years of our lives.

I celebrate you and honor you this week of Father's Day and always...

The very best is yet to come. He has promised us that....


Paige said...

absolutely beautiful!!!! made me cry!

lizziefitz said...

Blessed beyond measure!

Love Being A Nonny said...

Cannot imagine how he will feel when he reads have you bless him like this! Love it! Precious!

just ask beth said...

WOW! I feel the same way about my husband..he is a lucky man..your husband..

nonnie said...

Such a beautiful tribute to a wonderful husband, father and Christian man!
Blessings to your family. Thank you for sharing.

Ruth said...

Beautiful post to honor your husband. May God pour out many blessings on your family.

3 Peanuts said...

What an incredible man God has blessed you with. you were meant for one another:)