Today is mine and Andi’s 4 year anniversary. We married four years ago today at Grace Baptist Church in Springfield, TN and then spent 5 glorious days in the smoky mountains of Gatlinburg, TN. As I have been reflecting this morning in my office about the past four years and looking forward to our evening together tonight, I wanted to share a few things.
First, Andi is the most significant part of my self-worth. Well, my relationship with God is of course where my worth ultimately rests. In a culture where it is becoming increasingly popular to determine your self-worth and purpose based on introspection and accomplishments, mine is found in the life of the person whom I love the most, my wife. You can argue that such a philosophy is dangerous, unhealthy, and damaging. And I will respond by saying that it is biblical. Marriage is designed to model the gospel (Ephesians 5). The gospel is ultimately about the groom laying down his life for his bride. The ongoing implications of that gospel have nothing to do with self and have everything to do with Christ and others. This is why we must be immediately cautious of any popular Christian resource that teaches that our worth or purpose is somehow found within ourselves. It’s garbage. Our worth comes from our identity in Christ and our relationship with others. Listen to this quote by R. Kent Hughes from the book “Pastoral Leadership for Manhood and Womanhood.” Hughes was listening to a counselor because he was beginning to become isolated from the world due to his pastoring. He then writes about his experience and says, “the counselor, a minister himself, observed that I was attempting to establish my self-worth by my performance as a pastor. He assured me that given my mind-set, whatever I achieved, I would never find satisfaction. The answer, he said, was to establish my worth apart from the ministry. That was the best personal advice I’ve ever received. Today I define myself by my relationship with God and with my nearest and dearest – not ministry.” Right on.
Second, Andi believes in me. I have some terrible news for her. I’m not near as good, smart, or accomplished as she thinks I am. I think of the great Kenny Rogers song “She Believes In Me.” In that song Kenny is always late getting into bed for the night and trying to not wake up his wife. But then, “quietly she says, how was your night?” Patient, understanding, and she believes. So it is with my Andi.
Third, Andi is unbelievably attractive, in more ways than one. I think I will leave this one alone.
Fourth, Andi listens. Let me tell you, I have some stupid stuff to say. Yet she listens. She listens to me talk about the differences in the Halloween movies and how today’s horror is not what it used to be. She could care less, but she listens. She listens when I talk about theme parks, baseball, heavy metal music, and my ideas for turning our garage into a “haunted garage” for the trick-or-treaters. But she also listens when I am fearful that my sermon fell flat, when I am discouraged with my ministry, and when I am just frustrated. That is so important to me.
Fifth, Andi knows me. The greatest thing in life is to know God and to be known by Him. The same is true for my relationship with Andi. There is a kind of intimacy in her knowing me, my thoughts, the way I process information, and usually the way I will react that is just simply amazing. There is just nothing better on this earth than for me to say that I know Andi. And that she knows me.
And with those things that just scratch the surface, I will end with this simple bit of worship: Thank you, God, for Andi.