The writer of Proverbs says, “He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord.” (Proverbs 18:22, ESV) While I am somewhat aware of that truth every day, I don’t always acknowledge the truth of it as directly as I should. Today, on the occasion of Melanie’s birthday, I have the opportunity to reflect more intentionally on just how true that is. While the list could certainly be much longer, here are the top 5 reasons I am thanking God today for her:
5. I thank God for the blessing she is to the ladies at our church. – When the church called me as pastor, it was not a two-for-one deal – getting two staff people while paying for only one. Melanie’s primary ministry is to our family (to me and our kids). So, the way she goes about serving at our church, and particularly serving the ladies there, is as a child of God (not as the pastor’s wife), using the gifts, abilities and passions that God has entrusted to her to steward for His glory. She does that sacrificially, and she does it well, to the glory of God. And, the driving passion behind this is to see our ladies growing as faithful disciples of Jesus. Whether it is in front of a podium, or across a lunch table, her desire is to encourage ladies to grow as followers of Jesus – in their relationship with God and with one another.
4. I thank God for the blessing she is to our family. – In a day of gender and role confusion, I am grateful that she embraces God’s unique, creation-order design, for women. The fact is, God created women to do certain things only women can do, as well-intentioned and determined as a man might be to try to do some of them. The way she loves and ministers to me (in every kind of way) as a wife, and the way she loves and ministers to our kids as a mom (while even working part-time outside of our home), is a beautiful expression of the glory of God in how He has blessed and equipped her as wife and mom. I am grateful.
3. I thank God for her hunger for the Word of God. – When I come into our living room early in the morning while she is doing her Bible study, I don’t even try to read for myself anymore. I simply sit and wait, because I know it is coming. She is going to tell me something that God has taught her in His Word that morning, describing it with the excitement of a kid who just got turned loose in a candy store. There is nothing more exciting than seeing that kind of hunger for a growing relationship with God, that can only be filled by the Holy Spirit through the truth of His Word.
2. I thank God for her servant’s heart. – This is probably where God uses her to stretch me the most. I don’t know of anyone who has a greater heart for serving others. Whether at home, at work, at church, or in our community, she lives and breathes with a servant’s heart. I don’t say that to elevate her. God has to give that. And I am thankful He has. In this I see her following the One who said, “…whoever would be great among you must be your servant.” (Mark 10:43, ESV)
1. I thank God that she loves me second. – That one may sound a bit strange, but I assure you it is true. It is a blessing for me that she loves God more than me. I will, and regularly do, let her down. But, because she loves God first, He then leads her to walk in love, grace, and forgiveness toward me when I blow it. He gives her a love for me that she could not muster on her own. Plus, her love for God being first then directs the rest of her life, which I am blessed to be part of.
Again, there are many other things I could share here, but these are my top 5 for today. I know Melanie is not perfect; she would be the first to tell you that. And, she won’t be perfect until the One she loves most takes her home or returns for His people. But it sure encourages this husband’s heart to have a wife who is pursuing most the heart of the One who made her, gave His Son to die for her, and fills her with His Spirit to enable her to live for His glory. Yes, “The man who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord.” I have found a good thing. I have received the Lord’s favor.
Happy Birthday, Mel! I love you. I thank God for you!