My lover is radiant and ruddy, outstanding among ten thousand. Song of Solomon 5:10
Anthony is radiant and ruddy, outstanding among ten thousand! He is an incredible man, a Godly, loving husband, and a father who loves his children fiercely.
I have been overwhelmed this morning as I have considered the faithfulness from the life of Anthony.
Firstly, my husband loves the Lord. He desires more than anything to be like the Jesus, to love like Jesus, and to honor and glorify God. Anthony seeks to understand the Word of God with diligence and passion. He desires wholehearted understanding of the Bible and is continually assured that the Bible is the truth through his faithful study and fearless pursuit of answers to questions that are hard. Anthony never gives up seeking to understand what the Bible really says about life, trials, and living as a redeemed man because of Jesus Christ's sacrifice. I love that my husband has wrestled to understand what the Bible really says and has always come to a clear understanding and full peace that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. I love that he is eager to share this passion with anyone who wants to hear. I love that Anthony passes on the wisdom and truth that he so faithfully seeks to our family.
I love that my husband is strong for us and for others. That he protects us from my own do it all drive. There is no earthly place more secure than that in arms and faith of my husband. He covers our family in prayer, I love that he blankets us with leadership that is inspired by God. I love that Anthony is humble and tender to his sin. He admits fault and confesses shortcomings without blame or pride.
I love the way Anthony loves. The way he loves me, the way he loves our children, the way he loves our family & friends, his tender compassion for those who are hurting. Ephesians 5:25-30 says:
Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body.
This may seem strange and can be difficult to understand. But as I study this passage more and see my husband loving me as Christ loved the church, I see the beauty in Anthony's love for me. That like Jesus, he sacrifices much for me. He reminds me of the Word, gently washing me with truth when I am emotional or fearful or in sin. He delights in my splendor (even though I can be plagued with selfishness and irrational expectations). He overlooks all of my shortcomings, seeing no spot or wrinkle or any such thing (like a GIANT belly!), calling me perfect and without blemish...both in my appearance and character. I know I am not perfect and every woman has inward and outward blemishes they stive to cover up or heal, but my husband consistently overlooks all of that, loving me as his himself. He nurtures me, he protects me, he treasures me, and serves me in our home and with our children, he cherishes me because I am his wife.
Over the last couple of months as I have grown in size and fatigue, Anthony has tirelessly and never once complained while he has managed not only his full time job, but has taken care of our home, done piles of laundry, cooked dinners, given himself fully to our children...they delight in their daddy! He has mastered the fireplace, keeping our home delightfully warm. He has shown unwavering love and patience as his wife has grown weary from daily life and has turned into a sleepy pumpkin by 8pm most nights. He never complains, never grumbles, just kisses my cheek saying, "sweetie, let's go to bed."
Likewise,husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.
1 Peter 3:7
1 Peter 3:7
Anthony has lived with me in such an understanding way. Showing me honor, protecting me with his strength and love as I have literally become the weaker vessel. If you are not familiar with this passage, the phrase "weaker vessel" is actually linguistically rooted in a description of the finest china, treasured and well cared for. Anthony has treated me with such treasure and care, as something priceless and worthy of special care and attention. I delight in falling under the arms of his honor as my husband. I am tremendously thankful that God has graced me with a husband who does this without bullying, demeaning, demanding from me. That I can be real with who I am and who God has made me to be in the protection of a husband who cares for me with such tenderness. I will confess, I like to think I can do it all on my own, but I can't. I need a strong man, and I treasure the gift of the man God has given me. He is truly Outstanding Among Ten Thousand.