Wendy and I will celebrate 24 years of marriage this August. I love her more today than I did back in 1998 when I sang her a cheesy love song from an acoustic guitar on our wedding day. She knows all the intimate details of our beautiful children and has a gift of leadership, interpersonal communication, and administration.
Our relationship is a precious miracle because we are opposites in many ways. For example, Wendy loves cats. I don’t like how cats scowl and walk away when you call their name. She wants the volume on the TV soft. I want it loud so that you can hear it in the garage. I tend to drive fast. Wendy enjoys going the speed limit. She’s an extravert, and I’m an introvert.
Early in our marriage, I tried to bring Wendy around to my way of thinking. I thought she would see blaring TV surround sound was the way to do home entertainment. Surely she would understand that cats were awful pets. I ruined a few good date nights thinking that way. Instead of changing her, the older we’ve grown, the more we’ve tended to emphasize our differences.
Several years ago, we went on a week-long marriage retreat for a time of extended counseling. I was looking forward to this. Finally, I’d have a third party to intervene, stand with me and help my wife come around to my way of thinking. But I was foiled again. I walked away from that time, limping from all the personal sore spots the counselor kept pressing. Instead of trying to change Wendy, I needed to work on myself.
Popular culture tells us today, “Don’t change yourself. Embrace your brokenness. Give yourself a big hug, look in the mirror and say, ‘I love you. You’re perfect just the way you are.'” But, God has a much better plan. There’s grace for lasting personal transformation. When that happens, everything gets better.
In our series, we’ve looked closely at the life of Jacob, grandson of Abraham. He had many admirable qualities – industrious, motivated, disciplined, conscientious, and strategic. He ran his uncle’s shepherding business and did quite well. He had a growing family. But inside his soul, there was a frustrating flaw. His momma saw it the day he was born.
To be continued…