I think greeting cards are dumb. Ok, so not all greeting cards are dumb. I really like the ones that play music or tell a really cornball joke. But the reason I say they are dumb is because there is seemingly no thought behind them. The scene goes like this: a person knows a birthday is coming, so they rush to Wal-Mart or the Hallmark Store and search through dozen of pre-made greeting cards to find the one that best matches the person they are buying for. Once they find a card that works, they sign their name at the bottom, maybe stick $10 with it, and give it as a present. I like $10 as the next birthday boy, but the rest of that stinks. It speaks (to me) as unthoughtful, rushed, and not personal.
Now there are many people who buy greeting cards and write a little something on the inside and that is better. But in my estimation, I think someone would rather receive a hand written letter (or even typed written) that explains their personal love for the person. Too often greeting cards are either too mushy, or they skip any personal love for the person.
The point is: when you are planning on getting someone a card, skip it and write a personal note on a plain old piece of paper (or fun colored paper or cool paper with a border). I can almost guarantee they will read and love that more than any greeting card they receive from everyone else.
**Now off the soapbox**
Today I write a birthday card to my wife of 7.5 years. Michelle’s birthday was yesterday. She is now 33. For her birthday, I made her some annual blueberry muffins and threw in some bacon (because what is a birthday without bacon?! Seriously!!). Throughout the remainder of the day, our church family loved on her, then we completed the evening by going to banquet where we met Michelle Duggar, as well as Pam Tebow, who was the speaker (yes, this is Tim Tebow’s mom). It was a good day overall.
Now, I was also planning on giving her a list of 33 reasons why I love her, but instead of just telling her, I wanted to share with the blogsphere as well. My hope is to not only praise my beloved wife and her excellent life, but also to encourage the men who read this to ponder why they love their wives. So without further ado:
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
- Michelle is my best friend. We talk about everything and sometimes we talk about those things for hours. We love going on trips together and just chatting in the car about whatever. We call each other. We text each other more than anyone else (sometimes from different rooms of the house, or occasionally from across the room). We make fun of one another. We cry with one another. We rejoice with one another. We have the same interests. I can’t believe that after 9+ years of knowing Michelle, I find her more interesting than ever before!
2. Michelle still loves to cuddle. It may very well be that she has very little body fat and I have enough to keep three people warm, but either way she loves to be the woman in the Song of Solomon who proclaims: “In his shade I took great delight” (SOS 2:3).
3. Michelle is all mine. With the way that the world distorts marriage—whether by making it about sex and pleasure only, or by giving hearty approval to the sin of homosexuality—Michelle is committed to me as her one-and-only husband. I don’t have to worry about her looking for another man or being swept off her feet by some other hunk. She echoes, again, the Song of Solomon: “My beloved is mine, and I am his” (SOS 2:16).
4. Michelle is more like Christ than when I first married her. I have loved watching Michelle “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18). Michelle is a wonderful child of God (1 John 3:3, 10) and I love being on the front row of watching God complete the good work He began in her (Phil 1:6).
5. Michelle still likes to hold hands. May sound cheezy, but I love holding hands. I can’t put my finger on the reason why, but I love it! And holding Michelle’s hand has always been one of my favorite gestures of romance.
6. Michelle loves Christ’s body, the church. If you know Michelle, you understand that she gives and gives and gives of her resources and of herself to the church. Neither of us have ever had a huge sum of money (though I sometimes wish I was a multi-millionaire because I would love to see what Michelle would do for the church locally and world-wide), but that have never stopped Michelle. It seems almost weekly that Michelle is asking how we can give to either someone in the church, the church generally, or someone who serves the church abroad.
7. Michelle loves the truth. In a world where relative truth seems to triumph, Michelle loves God’s absolute truth found in His Word, the Bible. She delights in reading the Bible, works hard in memorizing the Bible, pursues obedience to God’s truth, and longs to establish others in God’s Word. Scripture is most definitely a light unto her path (Ps 119:105).
8. Michelle loves to laugh. This world fills true Christians with mourning because of its prevailing sin (Matt 5:4), but there is much joy to be found. Most often the joy is in being with other Christians, but Michelle also recognizes fun, clean entertainment and laughs appropriately.
9. Michelle is an excellent singer. Now she will downplay this one, but she does have a 5-year Bachelor of Music degree from an excellent music program. Very honestly (with a hint of bias icon-smile-o), there is no one else I would rather hear sing than my wife. Everyone who hears her agrees with me. When she sings, she blesses all who hear.
10. Michelle is an excellent decorator. Everything has a place and if you put everything in its place, you get organization. However, it takes true talent to not only put everything in its place, but to put it in a place that is appealing to the eye. Michelle has this gift. I don’t. A normal home may be organized, but Michelle make the organization homey so people come in with a sense of relaxing.
11. Michelle will watch football with me. I love, love to watch football. Michelle ………“eh,” is how she views it. But because she loves me, Michelle is quick to be willing to sit, watch, and do my touchdown dance with me.
12. Michelle loves what God has created. It’s fall here in Arkansas and the leaves are beautiful. Everyday Michelle wakes up, she reminds me how God is glorious in His creation. Furthermore, just about every day we get to enjoy the sun setting. Michelle is, again, quick to thank God for He masterpiece in the sky for all to see (Ps 19:1).
13. Michelle forgives. One of the obvious signs of God’s work is in the forgiveness one gives to another. Forgiveness itself means to no hold a wrong against someone. This is the very definition of Michelle’s daily attitude towards me. I am a sinner and aside from God’s complete forgiveness when He saved me, I need daily forgiveness from those whom I offend. Michelle is always quick to forgive, just as God has forgiven her (Eph 4:32; Col 3:13)
14. Michelle is a Proverbs 31 wife. Although we do not have children to praise her, someday they will. All the excellencies described in Proverbs 31:10ff are Michelle. What else can I say? I got an excellent wife!
15. Michelle is beautiful. Sure, I get to see her non-painted self first thing in the morning, when her hair is “boofy” and the rest of her is floppy. I have observed her in situations that are the furthest things from flattering. I don’t care! She is SUPER attractive to me and I am beyond blessed to have such a beauty as my wife (cf. SOS 7:1-9)
16. Michelle’s heart for non-Christians. Michelle has a heart of evangelism. She regularly seeks how we can share the gospel with neighbors, youth, visitors at the church, etc. She is always looking for opportunity and is willing to go outside her “comfort zone” to share the love of God shown in the glorious message of the gospel.
17. Michelle’s loves the unlovable. If you are the person who comes to church alone, Michelle will be your friend before you leave. She has a sensitive heart to find what look to be the awkward, unlovely, downcast, maybe depressed, and then lifts their spirits and becomes a ray of Christ’s light to them. Many people, sadly often including me, find only those people in life that we enjoy being with. Though Michelle is fine with that, she seeks the people who need God’s love. They are usually the unloveable to the world’s eyes. I still have much to learn in this area. I am thankful to Michelle that she spurs me on to love as Christ loved.
18. Michelle makes great conversation. Not just with me; with everybody! Ask any person who has talked with her for any length of time. She is excellent at asking questions, responding to questions, holding conversation with people who are less-social, and listening for hours when necessary. This grows out her love for people and wanting to share the love and compassion of Jesus Christ with them.
19. Michelle is the best gift-giver I know. This is just a reflection of her being a child of God, who is the giver of all good gifts (Jas 1:17). She is thoughtful and purposeful in giving. She gives at the right time. She never feels obligation to give, but does so from the heart (2 Cor 9:7). And she always gives sacrificially (2 Sam 24:24). This is why she is responsible for the finances in our home and I am blessed because of her giving heart.
20. Michelle trust God in everything. Michelle is worry free. She knows that God is sovereign over all. She knows that all things work together for God’s glory and her good (Rom 8:28). So whether it is the current situation of figuring out what the lump is in her chest or if we can ever have babies, Michelle entrusts herself to God.
21. Michelle is quick to ask for forgiveness. Michelle know she is a sinner (Matt 5:3). She also knows she sins against me. Her heart is sensitive to sin and knowing that her sin will cause division if not confessed and repented of quickly. So, as hard as it is to humble one’s self, she repents and seeks forgiveness. I do not have to manipulate her or make her “feel” guilty. She knows her sinful bent and desires to be holy in every area and relationship in her life.
22. Michelle is an excellent cook. Not to say she is a refined 5-star chef, but she knows what tastes good and desires to grow in cooking skills. I’d say 90-95% of the time she cooks, the food looks and tastes great. The other 5-10% that is not so good, is either my own “choosey” taste buds, or was an honest mistake that never happens again (such as ground beef with chicken flavored Ramon noodles……bleh!). I love to sit down with her and enjoy the meal she prepared.
23. Michelle is very discerning. When a joke might be crude or a suggestive comment might be made, Michelle is quick to point out that that is not honoring to God. Or when we hear someone spout off another belief that is contrary to God’s truth as revealed in Scripture (such as Mormonism, New Age stuff, Roman Catholicism, homosexuality, Pentecostalism, atheism, etc.), she is quick to count those as wrong/sin and then affirm the truths of Scripture. She may not understand all the arguments or even know the details of every position and its rebuttals, but she knows the truth and clings to it firmly.
24. Michelle is a reader. Not necessarily a fast reader, but because of her desire to know God and deepen her relationship and love for Him, His Word, and His people, Michelle reads books that will produce those results. FYI: she is currently reading A Hole in Our Holiness by Kevin DeYoung and just finished What’s the Meaning of Sex? by Denny Burk. Both books Michelle highly recommendeds.
25. Michelle is a servant. The Bible illustrates a servant as one who waits tables (John 12:2) and is fully understood as any loving assistance rendered to one’s neighbor. Ultimately, servanthood is a perfect sacrifice of giving one’s life to another for their benefit. Thus the concept of being a servant is to be like Christ Himself (John 12:26; Phil 2:5-11). This is Michelle. As I said above, she gives herself to people in every way she can, not for herself, but because she understands that Jesus has served her by becoming the perfect sacrifice for her and she therefore gives of herself to others (including daily to me).
26. Michelle is creative. Creativity is putting your imagination to work. Michelle’s imagination is big and she finds all kinds of way of expressing that creativity. Our home is one example. Our dress-up boxes are another example (more on that below). But the way Michelle shines in her creativity is in serving people in creative ways. She will make hand-crafted cards with individual notes for people’s birthdays or other special days. She will find out a person’s favorite food and then make that yummy for them. She will have ladies over to our home and make the table look “froofy” and fun. All this to show that she is a creative as God who created her (Ps 139:14)
27. Michelle still lets me date her. I am always asking to go on a date with Michelle. When we find a random $5 in a pocket, I ask, “is it a date?” When we get a rebate check in the mail for $1.65 from something we bought 6 months ago, I ask, “is it a date?” When we get a giftcard from a church member loving on us, I ask, “is it a date?” Now Michelle usually has to deny this request because we can’t just eat out all the time or we’d be broke and wouldn’t be able to use our money to love on other people and our church. But, occasionally she will give in and will let me date her. I love these nights. But even when we don’t go out, she usually lights a candle for dinner at home for some romance, or we turn making some popcorn and scooping some ice cream while watching a movie night into a date.
28. Michelle loves to be with me. Let’s face it: I’m a dork. But for some reason, Michelle loves me. She might give you all kinds of reasons why, but it still doesn’t make any sense to me (outside of God’s grace) why she married me in the first place, let alone why she would still want to enjoy my presence. I basically had to get her to marry me before she found someone else who is less dorky and more hunky. But she loves me and I love her for that, gross-dorky-weirdo stuff and all.
29. Michelle is learning to love coffee. My love for coffee started in college and reached its climax in seminary and continues to this day. “A day without coffee is a sad day.” Michelle has come to learn this wise proverb. Though she believes that coffee should match the color of one’s skin (in her case, that mean lots of cream), she enjoys the rich flavors that coffee has to offer.
30. Michelle prays. This is just another way of saying she trusts God. She knows that prayer is effective and powerful (Jas 5:16) because God promises to answer prayer. Michelle trusts this promise and therefore prays to our great God who in Christ graciously hears his people. I love her dependence upon God and I know that God accomplishes much through her prayers.
31. Michelle loves to dress up silly-like. I knew I found the right bride for me when I found out that Michelle had a box of costumes she’d been collecting over the years … just like me. We have since combined our costumes and have 6 boxes of fun outfits for any occasion. Go ahead and ask anyone who has known us for any length of time and they will tell you about our dressing up gigs. These are fun times and I love doing this with Michelle.
32. Michelle loves her family. At times, I want to let my family go because of the dumb things they do. But Michelle reminds me that God gave me my family as a gift and that I need to love them. She is the model of this. Her family is not perfect either, but she loves them. She shares Christ’s love with each of them and prays for them regularly. I know of no one who loves their broken family more than my beloved wife.
33. Michelle looks out for my purity. In this world of sexual billboard and commercials, Michelle is quick to turn my eyes to her and away from the “lust of the flesh” (1 John 2:16) that “so easily entangles” (Heb 12:1). I am working at my holiness, by God’s grace (Phil 2:12-13), but I still need help (Heb 10:19-25). Michelle is my help. I cannot express my undying gratefulness to her for this gift.
– – – – – – – – – – –
Michelle is God’s gift to me. This goes without saying, especially at the end of such a list. Solomon was sure right when he pinned: “Enjoy life with the woman whom you love all the days of your fleeting life which He has given to you under the sun; for this is your reward in life” (Ecc 9:9).
I love you Michelle. I pray that 33 will be yet another year in which you are firmly planted in God’s Word, so that your spiritual fruit may continue to bloom to bless all who cross paths with yours.