As we have talked about the gospel the past few weeks, and as Makinze and I are celebrating our wedding anniversary this weekend, I cannot help but think about how they perfectly intersect. The truth is that she is the first person to ever show me the gospel. I had previously heard about the gospel, but it was a whole new thing when it was actually shown to me. I am forever indebted to her for it. Her example and her grace to me have both played integral parts in my own salvation.
The start of her showing me the gospel was when we first met while in college. As we started texting back and forth, I’ll never forget one of the first texts I ever received from her. We were in the “tell me about yourself” stage. I went first and probably talked myself up and tried to sound better than I really was, in hopes to impress her. When it was her turn, the first line of her text, her way of trying to impress me, said, “My relationship with Jesus Christ is the most important thing in my life.” Seriously?!? That is different. That is special. That text changed the course of my life. I knew that I wanted Makinze, and I knew that I wanted her God.
In a single text, Makinze showed me how good the gospel truly is. When the world was offering her millions of other “treasures,” she had already found the Treasure of greatest value. She had a love for the Lord that I had never seen. It was contagious. She showed me the answer to my lost, searching soul. That text was completely backed up by how she lived. She had this radical nature about her that was completely disconnected from a typical, worldly college kid. Makinze showed me that Jesus was much more valuable than the shallow things I was putting my hope in. Her example of the gospel was so impactful to me that people accused her of changing me. The reality is that she simply pointed me to the God who changes everything.
There are endless ways in which she continues to remind me of the gospel since those early days. By far, the most impactful way that she does that is by loving me through my sin and mistakes. No one knows my worst mistakes like Makinze does, and yet she is still by my side eight years in. She is the only one who knows all of my past failures and all of my current shortcomings. Her willingness to love me in spite of those failures and shortcomings is a clear picture of the gospel day after day. She loves me with a Christ-like love, and my “performance” does not hinder it. Her love for me preaches the gospel to my soul every day. Wives, that is a precious gift to your husbands.
I also want to brag on her for how she trusts me to lead her. Starting when we were first dating, she has always empowered me to lead her. I felt beyond insufficient in those early days, as I was a new Christian and she was far beyond me. She never let that hinder how she encouraged me to lead our relationship, though. In her eyes, I never had to reach a certain level before I was good enough. To this day, she still lives in a beautiful, Biblical submission that empowers me to be able to lead our family. I feel insufficient every single day, but her belief in me is what empowers me like nothing else. Wives, if you continually let your husbands know that you believe in them, they will feel like they can do anything. There is no greater gift that you can give them.
I could literally go on and on. I could tell you how she simply says, “Thank you,” every single time we buy something. Don’t miss that. This is literally one of my favorite things about her. Whether it’s a car, a candy bar, our groceries for the week, something specifically for her, a dinner out, or literally anything, she never misses an opportunity to tell me that she is thankful for me providing…even when she makes money too! She trusts in my provision and she is thankful for it. Every single time I hear her tell me a simple, “Thank you,” it makes me feel like I am on top of the world. It also helps me to see God’s provision over our marriage and to remain thankful for it. Wives, please put that last paragraph into practice!
Makinze, you are a treasure to me. You don’t just talk the talk. You first showed me the gospel, and you continue to do so day after day. Not all husbands get shown grace. Not all husbands are empowered to lead. Not all husbands have their biggest fan living right by their side. I am lucky to have you. Thank you for your love and your example. Thank you for showing me the most important truth in the entire universe. You showed me how God loves me, and you continue to demonstrate that reality by how you love me day in and day out. I love you so much. Happy anniversary.