Today my husband, Judah, celebrates 28 years on earth. We were married just before he turned 20, and I remember him the day before his birthday becoming very reflective. “What am I doing with my life?” He asked me. “Am I wasting it? Am I doing what God wants me to do?” I thought it was a little bit funny for a 19-year-old who had just gotten married and was headed into a year of intensive discipleship training to be asking a question like that. “Of course you’re not wasting your life,” I said, giggling.
But as each of his birthdays have come ‘round since, I’ve grown to deeply appreciate these questions, which he ponders afresh every year. My Judah is not a man who lives on a whim. He wants his life to matter for eternity.
When you’re married to someone, you come to know very quickly both their strengths and their weaknesses. So, I know I married a man in need of God’s grace just as much as I’m in need of it. But I also know what it’s like to watch someone take hold of that grace day after day, to see someone set their face to seek God, to repent of sin, to walk in humility, to love others, to be faithful and hard-working, to cling to God’s promises when it’s not easy, to sacrifice time and energy for the sake of seeing others built strong in the Lord. I’ve seen him softened and I’ve seen him strengthened. I’ve had the privilege of witnessing first hand someone being transformed more and more into the image of Jesus as we move closer to eternity.
There will never be the “perfect man” this side of heaven (other than Jesus). But I know from experience that there are men who are growing in holiness, who are strong, who are brave, who are kind, who hold fast to the truth and who love well. And they, just like us women, are also a work in progress. As a wife, instead of putting a microscope over his “eye specks,” I can choose to hold fast to that eternal vision for what God is doing in him and continually champion that. It really is a game-changer. When I pause, looking at my husband through God’s lens, He shows me hundreds of facets of Judah’s life that reflect the character of Christ being grown in him… and the beauty of it makes me catch my breath.
I don’t deserve a husband like Judah. But I praise God over and over again that He has seen fit to bring us together as lovers and co-laborers for His Kingdom. Judah is the humblest of leaders, the dearest of friends, and the wisest of advisors (and has the best of beards ;). Happy 28th, my beloved. I can’t wait to see what this next year holds.