Monday, August 07, 2006

Marriage - or why I'm not single

We've been discussing love and respect in marriage in my sunday school class over the past several weeks. Yesterday, we discussed loyalty and esteem. Most wives/girlfriends/female significant others at some point in a relationship will ask, "Why do you love me?"

After watching Napoleon Dynamite, I can't help but think of Kyp's song to his new wife and I almost can't take the question seriously anymore. However, I've never really come up with an answer that satisfies me and I'm sure doesn't satisfy my wife.

I should preface my answer with some facts to start off with. I hated being single with every fiber of my being. Despite having a lot of female friends in college, the second I started harboring romantic feelings toward a woman I'd immediately freeze up and become unable to talk with the object of those feelings. I hated having to always be on my guard lest I look uncool. Being a geek, the ability to always be suave and cool was an exercise in futility. Try talking intelligently about politics, literature, or (heaven forbid) technology within the setting of the meat market that is the modern dating scene and its no wonder that geeks are home alone on Friday nights. The dating scene in modern America is an environment where the intelligent are punished for being too smart and the ignorant savage, barely above dragging his female out by her hair, is the one ladies swoon over. Let's face it, only the strong survive (and by extension reproduce). 50 or so years of femminism cannot trump thousands of generations of societal and biological evolution designed to attune women to finding the strongest mate. I simply hated the bachelor's life and I hated the means by which I was expected to acquire a mate. Before meeting my wife, I had pretty much checked out of the whole thing.

My wife is, without question in my mind, my perfect compliment. The addition of my wife simply makes me a better person. That is the most simple way I can express why I love my wife. However, this answer is selfish and doesn't suffice.

I love that my wife is compassionate. 1 Corinthians 13 states that "love keeps no record of wrongs". My wife takes that sentiment and applies it to everything. She is generous to those around us who are in need. She makes me see the people who are in need around us and convinces me that our assistance would benefit them. While I sometimes complain that she is sometimes a little too financially compassionate, I cannot fault her rationale behind it.

I love that my wife is intelligent. I am convinced that there isn't anything my wife cannot learn if she puts her mind to it. If my wife had the desire to be a nuclear physicist, I have no doubt she's got the smarts to do it. She'd stuggle with the math, but she'd persevere. My wife may glaze over and just smile and nod when I go into full on geek mode talking about programming or some other topic, but I know its not because she doesn't want to get it (or can't), she just isn't as interested in it as I am.

I love that my wife tries to share my interests. When the prequel Star Wars movies came out, my wife was by my side at the midnight showings. My wife accepts the fact that certain movies need to be seen simply because I want to see them. She gets excited, but her excitement comes from my excitement. She's not a big sci-fi fan (I blame that on upbringing...too much sunday afternoon football not enough Star Trek), but accepts the fact that I am. After eight years, she's starting to take a greater interest. Eureka and Firefly are two shows she enjoys with me.

I love that my wife is ambitious. My wife is actively involved in the women's ministries at our church. My wife sells Pampered Chef and Creative Memories. My wife is a full time mom. My wife is a full time wife. My wife is a full time sister and daughter. My wife is a full time housekeeper.

I love that my wife is cute and my desire for her burns as brightly today as it did almost eight years ago.

I love my wife's faith. As I've written earlier, I tend to be a man of the empirical. Faith does not come easily to me, and I cannot believe something part way. My wife's faith is deeply personal and has formed the core of who she is.

I love that my wife isn't perfect. She may snore in bed and drive me crazy with that, but it would be all too easy to see my wife as perfect and those little things make me love her all the more.

I love that my wife is female. Women think differently than us men. There are times when the cold hard logic or the brutal reality of life doesn't need to be expressed. My wife reminds me of those times. She reminds me that while men want to fix what is wrong, sometimes all that is needed is a shoulder to cry on. I like that she thinks differently than I do.

I love that my wife said "I do" when asked if she would devote her life to being my wife. After almost eight years of marriage, there hasn't been a day where I wouldn't do it all over again.

I could go on and on (and someday, I just might). However, most of the rest are just variations on these themes.

When I was writing my final paper (when combined with the project is akin to the full masters thesis) for grad school, I thought about writing a dedication but I wasn't sure how it would be received. Instead, I submit it here:

"This work is dedicated to my wife Laura. If it weren't for her efforts, this document wouldn't exist. Thank you for giving me a reason to wake up every morning and work to be the man you think I am. Your constant efforts and sacrifice have made this document possible. This work is also dedicated to my daughter who shows me every day to be amazed at and thankful for the little things and who reminds me that work isn't the only important thing in the world.

I would be nothing without both of you."

I love my wife because I can't not love her. Its part of who I am and who I was made to be. The sky is blue, water is wet, and I love my wife.


At 11:30 PM, Blogger wysewife said...

Do you remember that commercial for one of those diamond commercials where he yells "I LOVE THIS WOMAN! I LOVE THIS WOMAN!" Well... you've just topped that. You've yelled that at the top of the world wide web... which I have yet to figure out how the data comes out of space, into our router back through the air and into my computer. While I love that you'd explain it to me... I'll just remain in awe that it is. I'll also remain in awe that you are you.



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