Refining Life, on Purpose

How the Girl Next Door Became the Wife of My Dreams

I am probably going to get in trouble for this picture, but it pretty much says more than I ever could. :)

As I joined with family to celebrate Mother’s Day last weekend, I could not help but reflect on the relationship that exists between my wife, Jenny, and I. Having dated many years before marriage and now about to celebrate our fifteenth wedding anniversary next month, we’re old enough to to say we’ve spent more than half our lives together, but not quite old enough for that to be as impressive as it sounds.

Regardless, as I reflected, I realized it’s not fair for me to keep it all to myself. I have an awesome wife. One that has been and continues to be a great blessing in many ways.

You see, as I detail in Listen Up, Kids, and in an earlier blog post, my life has consisted of three big personal dreams; a college degree, a strong family and my name on the cover of a book. With the presence and support of my wife, all three came true.

My Wife is a Blessing From God

In Genesis, we are shown God’s purpose for man and wife.

Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone. I will make a helper fit for him.” – Genesis 2:18

Most of us are probably familiar with this verse, but I doubt nearly as many have really studied it. Let’s start with the word “good” and what it means. We have a tendency to think of it as being the opposite of “bad.” But, in this context, it is meant to indicate God’s benevolent purposes. In other words, God desired it for us and for him.

Next, look at “helper.” Notice that it does not say slave or subordinate. It says helper and is meant to indicate a completion of the man. Also notice that it is meant to indicate a second being for the completion of the man and not meant to indicate one is inferior to the other.

This is reiterated in the phrase, “fit for him.” In this context, we get a complementary understanding of their relationship. Both beings are broken and lacking. One complements where the other is lacking and vice versa. God is the third strand to complete the cord (Ecclesiastes 4:12).


My Wife is a Devoted Mother and Matriarch

There has never once been an expectation that either of us would position ourselves into stereotypical husband-wife roles that have been depicted throughout the ages. Nonetheless, we have found our strengths and worked them accordingly. For instance, my wife excels at coordinating schedules, making sure parents are present for field trips, and ensuring homework is done on time and fully before anything else.

These things seem tedious and lack the luster that they rightfully deserve. You cannot place a value on the impact to our household when our children have the assurance that parents are involved, focused and being led into a life that knows personal discipline. As a parent, I appreciate this dearly and though the kids don’t yet, I know they one-day will come to do so.

I appreciate all these things because her strengths make up for many of my personal shortcomings. She is masterful in all the things I cannot accomplish. She rounds out the needs of the household and provides stability that would not otherwise exist in the home.

My wife, through her support and encouragement, has given me the privilege of having an opportunity to achieve big dreams.

While I was in college – both as an undergraduate and graduate student – she encouraged my studies. As a parental partner, she nurtures our children and participates in raising them in the way they should go. And when I get one of those pie-in-the-sky foolish dreams (like writing books), she doesn’t discourage me from pursuing foolish goals.

My Wife Glorifies the Lord

My wife, Jenny, has a smile that lights a room. That is because it’s a genuine smile. Not one that is forced or deceitful. Her compassion shows in her kindness towards others – children and elders in particular. She extends a tender heart to the animals of the world and exhibits a caring spirit for others to learn from.

She is dedicated to loving our children and teaching them to love others. Her dedication to our marriage and family is what allows me to enjoy the most “foolish” dream I ever pursued.

My wife is a blessing from God and a main reason why our family represents the achievement of one of my most "foolish" dreams.

My wife is a blessing from God and a main reason why our family represents the achievement of one of my most “foolish” dreams.

My Wife Plays a Key Role in Our Story

I like to spin a narrative in my mind that Jenny and I – in God’s grace – are crafting a sort of fairy tale by the way we live our lives. I like to think we are the real-life “Cory and Tapenga.” As we approach our fifteenth wedding anniversary and more than twenty years as a couple, we’ve endured many seasons and grown up together in many ways.

Today, my wife – the woman of my dreams – is as much a part of me as Eve was to Adam. We take serious our roles together as we serve our Lord, raise our family and build the legacy of unity under the Lord. One I pray can be a proper example for our children, their children, and others to learn from.

Together, we seek to raise up a family that is God honoring and glorifying. Jenny has shown me what it means to love and how to be loved by others. Life shared with my wife has proven that we cannot do it alone.

Nor would I even want to try.

Thanks for being in my life, Jenny, and for being the wife of my dreams.

About Chad Gramling

Chad Gramling makes his home in Indiana with his wife and three daughters. He's the founder and primary blogger at 1Glories, a vision cast onto his heart and detailed in Listen Up Kids: Foolish Dreams, Syncing with God & Running to Win.