Just a few days ago, my favorite human had a birthday. Though he seems desperate to say that we’re “basically 30” now, we are decidedly not 30 yet. Almost. But not yet!
It’s the second time we’ve celebrated his birthday as a married couple, and I’ve gotta say that I’m just as obsessed with him as ever. Genuinely, how is it possible that I love him more than when we got married? Yet here we are.
It’s a privilege to live with the Behind the Scenes David, the one who wears basketball shorts and workout shirts all day (which I appreciate, because that means there are less dress shirts to iron, hurray!). He teaches me in the most Christlike way: by just living his life, day by day. Here are three lessons that he’s taught me, and I’m not even sure he’s realized he’s taught me these things. Thanks for teaching me anyways, darling.
A Soft Answer Turns Away Wrath
It likely comes as no surprise to those that know us that I’m the one with the wrath that needs to be turned away. By God’s grace, I’m working on it, but I often speak with an unkind tone and harsh words when I’m upset. Even when my issue is not with David, he is often the captive recipient of my frustrations. He rarely responds in kind, though. Sometimes he just accepts it silently, gently informs me that my tone is unkind, or responds to what I should’ve said instead. He is the personification of Proverbs 15:1, disarming my wielded words with gentleness and love.
When people speak unkindly to me, I like to show them what they did by doing it back. But that’s not the wisdom of the Bible or the example of our Lord. We shouldn’t take verbal abuse, 100% true. At the same time, verbal abuse does not merit more verbal abuse back. If anything, that makes the instigator feel justified in their nonsense instead of showing them how silly they’re being (ask me how I know). I’m thankful for a gentle husband who is not threatened by my nonsense, but loves me in word even when I’m not doing well at doing that myself.
Do the Little Things
After waking, David goes and lets our puppy out of her pen. He feeds her, cleans up after her, and then starts working. While in his first meeting of the day, he washes all of the dishes from the previous day and cleans the kitchen, wiping everything clean by the time I come in for breakfast. He brushes the dog hair from his clothes before putting them in the dirty laundry. Often, when I make my way to bed, he has turned off all the lights except for the one on my nightstand. When I’m worried about the costs of something that I need, he reassures me that it’s a worthy expense and he’s happy to buy it. When I’m worried about being a mother, he affirms that I’ll make a great one and he’ll get me anything I need to feel more comfortable.
This is only a small percentage of the “little things” David does every day to love me. Sometimes I thank him for them, but other times I forget. His consistent way of doing small, thankless, expressions of love for me makes all the difference in our home. I always feel safe and cared for. He does big gestures too, which I appreciate, but I think I like the little things more. Added up, they make much more of a difference in day to day life.
I want to love David, my family, and my friends in the little ways. And I want to do them even when it’s not acknowledged or thanked. Being more responsive over text, praying for them consistently, remembering what bothered them the month before. Little things done consistently are not little at all.
On a recent evening walk, David turned to me and asked, “Do you know what I want to do for the next 20 years?” He then cast a vision infused with purpose, practicality, and evident of careful thought. It’s funny that I’m more of the planner in our relationship, but he is by far the dreamer. I plan weekend getaways, grocery lists, and how to pack our lives into just six suitcases. He mentally crafts our future home, our communities, and careers that God has placed in his heart. He is not so much of a dreamer that it bears no relation to reality, but he is also not confined by what we can see in front of us. Mixing in-depth research and a faith that trusts the God of the impossible, he dreams of our future.
Personally, I may like ideas about the future, but I’m better at planning short-term ideas. I’m thankful for a husband who knows me well enough to dream for both of us, always includes me in his plans, considerations, and ideas, and trusts God to bring together the probable and the impossible in our lives.
Happy birthday, my love. Thank you for being a clear expression of Jesus’ love to me and so many others. Thank you for loving me with your words, your “little things,” and thank you for dreaming and putting your faith into action for such dreams. You’re my favorite gift. I love you.