Sunday, May 8, 2011

Thoughts on Marriage: It's ok to brag (about each other)

On Friday, Josh and I took a group of 20 junior high students to a conference at Indiana Wesleyan University.  Overall, it was a fantastic trip, but the best part was the man who spoke at the conference on Friday night.  He spoke a lot of truth that left the kids (and adults) feeling both convicted and encouraged.  His name was Adrian Despres, if you feel like looking him up :-)

The part of his talk that stuck out to me the most were the times when he talked about his wife.  At the beginning of both of his speaking sessions he started out by introducing himself and bragging about his wife.  He talked about how beautiful she is and how he is still so in love with her and how she is a complete and total "righteous fox".  I loved it.  I loved hearing a man brag about his wife.  It was so refreshing.

Rather unexpectedly, he suddenly called out all of the married men in the room to do the same.  He was saying that he loves to hear men brag about their wives too, so he was going to give all of the married men 15 seconds to think about what they were going to say, and then he was going to give them 10 seconds to brag about their wives at the top of their lungs.

Stunned, I looked over to see that Josh was standing up.  Every eye in our group was on him. He thought for a few moments, and then he started bragging about me.  It was an odd experience to be sitting right next to him while it was happening and as he was shouting, I could feel that every gaze in the group was now splitting time between staring at Josh and staring at me to see how I was reacting.  It was a very peculiar moment, very peculiar indeed.  I loved that Josh didn't have any shame and didn't care at all and despite the fact that I couldn't even really hear what he was saying, I felt loved anyway.

I thought about what a moment like that must have meant to a room full of 1000 teenagers, most of whom are living in broken homes with broken lives.  Watching a bunch of men stand up and brag about their wives was so counter-cultural.  I hope that it brought them hope.

The next morning, Adrian started out his talk the exact same way- by introducing himself and bragging on his wife!  As soon as he was finished he once again challenged the married men in the room.  Specifically, he called out the men whose wives were in the room with them, and he said, "Men, if your wife is here with you, I want you to get on your knees in front of her, and tell her how much you love her, appreciate her, need her etc etc".  So this time, Josh got on his knees and looked me in the eye (the exact same way he looked at me when he spoke his vows on our wedding day, in fact) and I didn't think about anything else except listening to what he was saying.  The temptation to laugh or roll my eyes or act embarassed was so tangible, but I resisted. I calmly and intently focused on each word that he was saying and stored them up in my heart.  This time, I could feel the eyes of our kids as well as the kids behind us burning into our tender moment.

They were soaking up the way it looks for a husband and a wife to love each other, unashamedly.

Both moments were special not just because of the things Josh said about me or to me, but because as the kids watched I could feel their hopes being lifted.

Marriage can be a good thing.  
Marriage can last.  
There are husbands who love their wives, 
and there are wives who are honored by their husbands.  


  1. I am so glad you got to experience this. And I hope it inspires and encourages the kids.

  2. WOW! I am so happy for you both.