Sometimes, in my random daydreams I think about what it would be like to help people in their marriages. And sometimes I stop myself because I don’t have the tumultuous, trial-ridden marriage that would have taught me through pain and suffering, how to love another person. But then I remember, I have Bart.
He is what makes our marriage work. Ultimately, God in him, yes- but he chooses to say yes and do the work. He is always the first to apologize. He is always the first to go low, to serve, to care, to give up a fight. He won’t be walked upon or guilted- he is strong and stands up for himself and injustice, but he does it in such a humble way. When I think about the girl I was, at 26, when we got married, I am SO GRATEFUL for how God has used my husband to change who I am today, at 37. Gosh.
I have learned sensitivity…going from a girl without much of a sensitive bone in my body- to one who cares deeply about the way words are spoken, who cries at the drop of a hat, who thinks about how others would feel in any given situation. I wasn’t any of those before I met Bart.
I have learned servanthood…admittedly I have a LONG way to go on this one…but I get to watch a man daily lay down his rights. He gives and gives, with no expectations. I tend to give and give, but often find myself waiting for reciprocation. Serving is not about self, it’s about others. My husband knows this to his core.
I have learned dependance on Jesus. One of the first things I noticed about Bart is how often he’d ask the question “so- what does God say?” to anyone who was discussing a problem or choice or life decision. He showed me that no matter what, ultimately God’s answer is the best. God wants His BEST for us, not just good enough. He created us with such unique desires and giftings, and He wants those realized! But even more than all that, He wants a deep intimate relationship with us…where we can enjoy each other and just receive His love. I feel like Bart has led us into a place where we can receive Him in such beautiful, life-changing ways.
I have learned how to let go of what I want. This is probably the hardest lesson that I keep having to learn, over and over and over. But my dearest husband has the patience of a …person with tons of patience…and lets me stumble and fail in this area…while still believing the best. My favorite thing is that he doesn’t let my damaging behaviors continue too long, he lovingly calls me out, in the best and kindest ways, and then I have the chance to try again. But he’s never nagged, never degraded me, never made me feel like a failure. I like things a certain way, I love to control situations, I enjoy choosing what I do, when I want… but I don’t want to be this person forever. And slowly, I’m watching God change that selfish, fear-based side of me, little by little. I’m just so thankful that Bart has so much patience.
You may be thinking, “gosh krista- you know, half the marriage is you… you’re not giving yourself any credit” but trust me…I take LOTS of credit. I love who I am and believe wholeheartedly that God has given us each other- we are so good for one another. But the truth is, if Bart wasn’t continually giving me such unconditional love in our marriage- it would look vastly different. And I’m not sure it’d be pretty. The Bible talks about a wife needing to submit to their husband, but this is built on the admonition that a husband needs to love his wife like Christ loves the church. Bart has never once even used the word submit in any context…because he’s been far too busy loving me like Christ loves us. I can’t tell you how thankful I am for this. And how well this whole set-up works. I love my husband. I love my marriage. In a world where marriage is becoming such a temporary union, I want to celebrate ours. I enjoy being married. It’s amazing.
So, on this day…October 28, 2017…our 11th anniversary and my husband’s 39th birthday…I want to say thank you Bart. I am truly so much better because of your love. Thank you for loving Jesus with such abandon and for loving me into a better version of me, every single day, just by being yourself. I cannot believe that I get to be married to such a stud. You’re my favorite. Forever.
*If you feel like reading our whole love story…I wrote it down awhile ago. Start at last year’s 10 YEAR post and follow the trail.