Positive Assertion #1 – I Love My Wife

What would I like to see from you?  More positive assertions.  You are a positive and gentle person who loves his wife and daughters.

Good morning, my friend. On this Easter day, many of us will be reflecting on what we view as God’s righteous plan of love for us. Others, like my wife and I, may experience mixed feelings of joy and sadness at the loss of this belief. The loss of comfort and hope and once anchored our lives. Are there powerful notions of hope and love that have made it through the fire of doubt about the Bible? Yes!

For me, the answer is my wife and children. You. Our friendships with the active community of readers on this blog – some of whom have since become sincere friends in person. Today, my thoughts are on my bride, CC – the one I call J. I’m honestly tormented by how my doubts have affected and will impact my family, yet I can’t imagine going through them alone. I can’t put into words how deeply my failure to fulfill my vow to be J’s spiritual leader has hurt me (I did not and do not take that vow lightly), but I must briefly tell our readers more about her and the impact she’s had on me.

So thoroughly does she have my heart that I truly believe it is unconditional. I know here so deeply, what she hopes for, feels, who she is and who she wants to be, that as I consider her and how my actions might affect her, the lines between us blur. As we’ve walked through doubt together, the struggle has carved us together into something strong, fused together by these graphene rods of mutual support where we’ve push against each other so long.

J is as righteous, intelligent, beautiful and driven today as I’ve ever seen her, despite our attached roving anchors that each struggle for purchase. She’s a medical student, a mother of two sweet girls, a brilliant writer with a quick wit and intellect, a deeply compassionate person with a hilarious sense of humor and the brightest and warmest smile I’ve ever seen. Everything about her style and her physical appearance is mesmerizing to me. I can stare at her face for hours while swimming in the warm fuzzies. She lights up the room and I can see how her arrival and warm welcome causes our children’s hearts to soar. She’s simply enchanting. She loves our sweet daughters and she makes me proud of her character and choices on a daily basis. She makes me better in so many ways, and her spirit forces me to consider and love others more deeply. As we head off to church to celebrate Easter from our perch of heavy skepticism, I can only hope that there is a God that cares for all of us as deeply as I care for J. I absolutely love her.

Go hug your spouse or closest human and tell them your heart. Whether you’re a Christ-follow or not, let it be that “love is risen” today.

Gentleness and respect,
–Russell

P.S. I can’t share a picture of J due to a potential loss of anonymity, but here’s our youngest. You can extrapolate from there because she looks just like J, but shorter and fatter. 🙂

image

8 comments

  1. What a great post Russell! Ironic that in the same post you would write about feeling bad about not being spiritual enough but then continue on to write such an amazingly heart-warming, inspirational, and spiritual post. But my definition of spiritual is different than others so I understand.

    I took your advice in your last paragraph and I’m glad I did. 🙂 I followed a great leader.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. First of all, thank you for this. I love you, and it is a joy to stand by you regardless of where we find ourselves with faith. I went through a brief time when I couldn’t say this with confidence, and that seems so silly now. I’m sorry. I’m yours, no matter what.

    Spiritual leadership. I don’t buy it—that shouldn’t even be a “thing”. I do understand that you are a man of your word, and perhaps your torment is more about the fact that you broke a promise at all than it is about the specific promise you broke. Please let that go. Please know that I trust you and that I do not feel betrayed. I’ve become quite the feminist since I married you, actually—and you have been one since before I met you. You are my leader in the sense that you protect and provide for me. In every other way, you are my partner—an equal. We lead each other. We follow each other. We walk together. Our roles change depending on where our abilities, talents, and interests lie—not depending on the difference a chromosome makes. I never should have depended on you to lead me that way simply because you are the man of the household. I do appreciate your gift with logic and what you have taught me—you lead me to truth, and that’s the only spiritual leadership I want. You lead me where you are equipped to lead, and I hope that I do the same for you. I would say that I hope this doesn’t offend you, but I already know that it doesn’t—you advocated for my equality in our marriage from the beginning (years before I ever cared about that) and I have never once felt the need to defend my role in the partnership. If anything, I am more likely to naturally step down and take a supportive role in marriage—you are the one who insists that I don’t. You gave me something far more important than spiritual leadership in a faith we no longer have—you made me your partner.

    Your description of me was far too gracious (although you will challenge my self-deprecation as always). True, I am a medical student. True, I am a mother to precious girls. Everything else was exaggeration. Brilliant writer? I hope to get better. I hope my wit and sense of humor bring you joy that never comes at the expense of others. I hope my beauty will be the lasting kind that doesn’t fade when my body gives in to senescence and when someone describes my style as “so 2015.” I hope that every lost soul can find a warm welcome in me—that I never forget what it feels like to wander. I hope that my character can make you proud, because yours is actually my personal standard. I do love others deeply, and I am sometimes plagued with compassion that exceeds my power to act—but I hope you know that I love you first.

    And yes, I hope along with you that there is a God who loves us as deeply and unconditionally as we love each other.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. (I also want to add that you do lead me in such a valuable way sometimes because of your greater number of years of life experience and the wisdom that comes with that—and I am happy to accept that leadership, just as you would be happy to accept it from me if our ages were swapped. You lead me in the areas where your strength, wisdom, and expertise exceed mine [which ends up being most areas]—but never with a perceived “authority” over me simply because you’re the man in our marriage. Because I can trust you to appropriately and lovingly assume a leadership role when it makes sense for you to do so, it is a joy to follow you anywhere).

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Can’t you just agree to disagree? What is wrong with a little doubt every now and again. Your post shows how much you love her and care for her, isn’t that what is most important in a relationship? You got to let love rule. Keep on blogging in a free world – The False Prophet

    Liked by 1 person

    1. False Prophet—
      We actually don’t disagree. Russell and I share our doubts and our disbelief. I do have a growing sense of a pull toward belief in something—although not the version of God that I grew up with. If Russell never shares that, that isn’t a problem for either of us. Don’t worry—love rules and always wins, in whatever faith I end up having, in my interactions with fellow humans, and specifically in my marriage. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Hi Russell I was interested to see your interaction with ‘Silence of Mind’ on his blog. I thought I should complement you on your tact and patience in that interaction. You caused him some problem by not fitting in with his stereotype.

    My pet bug bear on these internet forums is the tendency of both Atheists and Christians to be very critical of each other (I see fault on both sides). What i appreciate about this blog is the capacity to discuss mutual matters of interest in a more open and respectful way then in most other forums.

    Liked by 1 person

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