Guys struggle when it comes to praising their wives.
I think it has to do with a terribly evil thing I call “passive inadequacy.”
We feel inadequate so we do the worst thing possible: we become passive.
Men jokingly say things like, “I married way over my pay grade,” or “If she knew then what she knows now, I’d still be single.”
These statements always make me feel sorry for the woman, wishing more information had been made available to her before the wedding.
Perhaps there is a business opportunity here for someone?
For me, no spousal background check was required.
For the last 41 years, I have had the distinct privilege of knowing and loving an extraordinary woman.
May I introduce you to her?
When some women walk into a room, heads turn. They “take the room” as it is said.
They know it, and they like the attention – particularly from the men.
Betsy can take a room also, but she doesn’t want to.
This makes her beauty all the more compelling.
She doesn’t live from it or feed off of it. It’s just who she is.
But to describe her as simply “beautiful” isn’t enough.
A better word I think is “regal.”
Look at her mom above – she is in her 80’s, and she still captures you with her warm presence.
Betsy exudes this same regal warmth.
It’s a rare combination – to be warmly inviting, gorgeous, and stately at the same time.
Not only does Betsy warm your heart (and not hurt your eyes), she also has a depth to her that is unusual, coupled with such attractiveness.
I call it a “depth of soul.”
Let me give you an example.
As you may know, we have been in hell for the last 3 years. Betsy, by default, has been running point for our little platoon.
A lesser woman, I believe, would have collapsed in a heap by now.
Betsy, in contrast, continues to both grieve and flourish.
She has done something remarkable. Weeping over all we’re losing, she has also put her roots deep into the stream of God’s faithfulness and and found nourishment and life there.
“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,
whose confidence is in him.
They will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit.”
– Jeremiah 17:7-8
Don’t get the wrong idea. My wife is not spiritual in the sense that she hides behind her religion to protect her from the harsh realities of life.
Instead, she walks into the mess of life with a strength that is not her own.
Come over here unannounced and you may well find her weeping, but she cries strong tears; tears that tell you she is emotionally alive and present to her current realities.
Depth of soul – it is measured when life collapses in on you.
When a tear drops off of my wive’s face, it takes a long time before it hits the water at the bottom of her soul.
Got something you want to talk about?
Notice, I didn’t say, “Got ‘someone’ you want to talk about?”
Betsy doesn’t do gossip.
But if you want to talk about ideas, events, or anything else, she’s your woman.
Art, nutrition, spirituality, music, reading, bicycling, gardening, politics, and sports all fall under her purview.
A funny story: a couple of weeks ago something significant took place in the parliament of Turkey (don’t ask me for details; I’m on narcotics).
An alert came over Betsy’s iPhone that I saw and then rushed to tell her about. I made a big deal about it, thinking she would have little interest.
She was fascinated and wanted more information immediately.
I always underestimate her.
Need help with your own heart?
Betsy will listen well and direct you to a better place.
She will undo you and then, in love, help to rebuild you more into the person God intended you to be.
You will be grateful.
I know. She’s been doing this for me for over 40 years.
Speaking of nurturing, if you were to ask her, she would tell you that raising our four incredible daughters has been the greatest privilege of her life.
Now, lest you think all is sweetness and light around here, full disclosure requires I reveal something of her dark side.
Behind her warm smile, Betsy can be, well, her own person.
A Stepford Wife she is not.
She doesn’t suffer fools and doesn’t put up with any crap (especially me or mine it seems).
Did I mention I have terminal cancer?
She will not surrender herself to coddle me.
This really pisses me off sometimes.
What it actually is though is her having the strength to honor me in my affliction by refusing to victimize me.
She does have a kind side though. This is an example of what I get when I ask for comfort food:
She, herself, is handmade by God, as I hope you can see from my words.
Thanks for letting me share a little bit of her with you.
Knowing her has been the distinct privilege in my life.
I just wanted you (and her) to know.
P.S. Estrogen update: My PSA fell 186pts in the last week. As my nurse friend, Jen, said, “You are a freak, Ed.”
© Ed Hague. All rights reserved.