The enemy hates marriage.
Last week a friend texted and asked, “Did you hear about Lysa Terkeurst? So sad.”
I didn’t know what he was talking about so I quickly Googled it. Lysa lives here in Charlotte and runs Proverbs 31 Ministries.
Her husband, Art, was “repeatedly unfaithful” to her and was caught in substance abuse. As a man, my heart sank even lower.
I texted my friend: “Bro, the enemy prowls … This is a call to fight for our wives. To love big.”
Then, I thought of my own heart. And how the enemy prowls. And how we are all of us (men and women) susceptible to waywardness and the passions.
So, I scratched down a few vows for myself, as a man who does his best to love his wife and lead his three little pixies in the way Everlasting. I share them with you as kind of a “family memo.” You are, after all, my brothers and sisters.
My heart breaks for Christian marriage. But I realize the best thing I can do to help it is to do my best to keep God at the center of it, and my affections where they need to be.
So, I vow …
To love big, and stay small. Doing what I need to do to keep the humility of Christ ever in my heart.
To get off my devices and be present for my wife and children.
To let her see me turn away from images I know my heart can’t handle.
To guard my heart, for it is the wellspring of life.
To get into the wilderness regularly. Not just with dudes, but with God.
To seek quiet, stillness, and solitude. To let it breathe through me and into my household.
To show my ladies the value in a good fire, a yummy s’more, and a terrifying ghost story.
To not give in to the rat-race of busy-ness, and be home—not just sitting around, but doing, building, playing, laughing, failing, singing, cooking, loving.
To work harder at being a husband and dad than I do at my job.
To let the blows of God mold me. For when I am in his hands, I am my best self.
To make play with my girls and wife more important than watching football.
To never let my mind get weak by the amusement and entertainment the world flings at me on an hourly basis.
To be active in my church.
To spiritually pastor and lead my household by initiating times of prayer, Bible reading, and worship.
To let praise, to God and to my ladies, be ever on my lips.
To try new things so that I will never stagnate.
To give my wife every opportunity to shine: in her home, in front of her daughters, in front of her friends, in front of her parents.
To buy her that expensive chair, and then sit with her in quiet, reading praying, and dreaming.
To defer whatever power I might think I have to God, and to my wife.
To not fuss over things that don’t matter. Like where we eat after church, or what should hang on the wall, or what movie to watch.
To live as a shield for my wife and pixies—to take on pain, so they won’t have to.
To let my wife know I live, laugh, and sleep with the real Wonder Woman.
To empower my wife’s gifts with my own.
To let her see me cry.
To kiss her just because.
To kiss her again, just because.
To be honest, to seek truth, but always with a spirit of love and encouragement.
To have the French Press hot when she walks down the stairs.
To let her know how much I learn from her.
To rub her arm in church.
To confess to her during communion.
To speak to her with a heavenly tone, and with words that make the angels cry with jealousy.
To be a warrior-poet for my girls—by setting standards, not just rules, by warding off culture’s constant voice with the sword of my imagination, and by winning the fight for their hearts with a holiness I seek like silver.
To YAWP for my wife; in triumph, in pain, in ecstasy, so we never forget the ferocity of life, and the God who makes it so.
To die. To my self. To my passions. To my lust. Over and over. As many times as it takes.