When we were in Seattle for Ken's wedding they had a time of sharing after the rehearsal dinner. I told Ken what I had said to him as he was contemplating asking Andrea to marry him. It was something like this.
"I have never experienced more of God's grace and mercy than through my relationship with Amanda. She has graciously accepted my flaws and faults while justly pushing me and encouraging me to pursue more of Christ's holiness. I never experience anything like this before I was married.
KIDS. The other amazing reason to get married. My kids give me more joy than anything in my life outside of Amanda. They are a gift from God and one that I would highly recommend you look into.
Marriage is the hardest thing I've ever done. It is the area in my life that I fall most short and where my sin is most obvious. It is also where God shows me how much I need Him. It is a God ordained union to show us about His son and the church."
I reiterated these things here because I have lately been amazed at how much God has used Amanda in my life in the past two years or so. It seems that almost every spiritual growth area in my life has been initiated by Amanda's example. I see Amanda reading her Bible; I want to read my Bible. I see Amanda worshiping; I want to pursue Christ more. I see Amanda leading the boys spiritually; I want to lead my family.
One of the things that I have been most proud of her lately is her instruction of the kids in their spiritual formation. I have been listening to the White Horse Inn podcast for a while. Their slogan is "Know what you believe and why you believe it." To that end, I thought it would be a good idea to begin to catechize (teach) the kids about our faith. I printed off the Apostles' Creed and the Catechism for Young Children. Amanda didn't jump right on board with this. But a few weeks later, I came home and she said that every morning they were reading a psalm and beginning to memorize the creed. Now both Ben and Caleb have the creed memorized and have moved on to the catechism. It is so great to hear the boys, even Matthew, reply to the questions, "Who made you?"
"What else did God make?"
"God made all things."
"Why did God make you and all things?"
"For his own glory."
Amanda and I have very different gifts. When Amanda gets on board with something, that's IT. She is a determined action taker. I am learning from this that words mean nothing if they are not grounded and proved in action. It is pretty obvious why God gave me Amanda. Isn't it?!