Today I want to pause from my usual general look at relationships and focus on one in particular: my marriage. Today is the 16th anniversary of my birthday. Now, I know you’re scratching your head and figuring I’m more round the bend than normal, but let me explain.

I chose a special poem for our wedding ceremony that really described what was happening that day. It was Christina Rosetti’s “Birthday.”

My heart is like a singing bird
Whose nest is in a water’d shoot;
My heart is like an apple-tree
Whose boughs are bent with thick-set fruit;
My heart is like a rainbow shell
That paddles in a halcyon sea;
My heart is gladder than all these,
Because my love is come to me.

Raise me a daïs of silk and down;
Hang it with vair and purple dyes;
Carve it in doves and pomegranates,
And peacocks with a hundred eyes;
Work it in gold and silver grapes,
In leaves and silver fleurs-de-lys;
Because the birthday of my life
Is come, my love is come to me.

Yes, my life started over on August 12, 1995, a life much for the better. I have been privileged to have been married to the epitome of the “good wife” mentioned in Proverbs 31. And since Noblesville has no city gates that I’m aware of, I’ve chosen my blog as the place from which to shout her praises.

There are three main qualities mentioned in this chapter that exemplify my wife. First, she is trustworthy, “without reserve.” I have entrusted her with so much, our money, so many day-to-day decisions, and of course, our children. And she’s always up to the task. She’s really amazing in how she handles so many things so well and with such grace. At times, I just want to stand back and admire her in the way she lives and works.

Most of those accomplishments are due to her industriousness. Now while she’s not one to be up at the crack of dawn, when she is up (after she’s had her breakfast, of course) she doesn’t stop. She has a plan for her day, every day, and is driven to accomplishment. I so admire that. She’s taught me a lot in that regard. I have to run just to keep up… and that’s a good thing. I’m thankful to have a wife who takes such great care for me and our kids and pays such attention to every detail of our lives.

Of course, it’s not just us either, for which she strives. She’s got such a great heart for others. She loves to serve. Whether it’s through an outreach with our church or her job working with physically challenged kids, she’s got a patience and a kindness that never ends. It’s a great model for our kids, seeing their mom so actively engaged caring for others, and not just for them. And for me too.

All of this comes out and has elevated me in the community. Because of her, I am blessed. Not just from the things I receive from her, but because of her. Throughout our 16 years together, I have been so proud to be her husband. She has so much integrity, so much industriousness, so much caring, that it’s rubbed off on me! I am a better person because of my wife. It’s the greatest gift any human can ever give to another, and I thank God for putting her in my life. She is a literal incarnation of his love.

So thank you all for listening to me extol the virtues of my wonderful wife on this celebration of the day she made me a new man. And thank you, Alysa, for loving me, warts and all, and for making me better every day. I love you.