Today is my husband’s birthday. The day his mom struggled then knew the joy of having her fourth (and last) child. The day he cried his first audible (to humans) cry. More likely than not, the day I was conceived. Since I was born 9 months to the day after Phil was born, we often say that God created me especially for him as a gift to him on his true birth day.

I think it would more accurately be said (from my perspective) that the Lord who knew me even before I was conceived was working, even before I was conceived, to create the perfect husband for me.

 I wrote this tribute in 2008, but was reluctant to publish it in my blog because it seemed so self serving. This year, I am rejecting that notion for several reasons.

  • Phil has been a fantastic example of a godly husband throughout our marriage. If reading this helps any man become a better husband to his wife, that is a worthwhile use of this space.
  • Our culture is awash with women who do not choose to honor their husbands. If this blog encourages a single wife to honor her husband today, it is a worthwhile use of this space.
  • This tribute gives a glimpse of a life lived for Christ and a marriage committed to Christ. There will always be difficult times to work through and doing so together is one of the joys of marriage.

With that being said, here is my tribute to the greatest man on earth!

Phil –

Thank you for loving me. For seeing in me more than I could ever see in myself. For showing me God’s unconditional love. It seems that no matter how much I fall short, you love me. And without heaping negativity on me in any form, you urge me to become better than I am.

Thank you for being my cheerleader, loving me the way God created me and encouraging me to  be me when others have said “no, you can’t.”

Thank you for making up for my weaknesses (like not cooking or cleaning much), covering them with your actions, demonstrating your love for me.

Thank you for putting our future ahead of our past and our present. For always knowing that God had more for us, even when I slid toward doubt.

Thank you for introducing me to God. For your tenacious faith in the midst of my anti-faith. For your patience and perseverance until the Holy Spirit to change my heart.

Thank you for pursuing God in good times and bad. For all you’ve taught me as we study together or prepare to teach others together. What a blessing to be a study partner with you! You enrich my relationship with God.

Thank you for encouraging and guiding my walk with God. For recommending books you think I should read. For asking me how my spiritual life is going. For praying for and with me.

Thank you for your tender heart and willingness to take risks. What a risk I was 32 years ago! (And maybe still am today!) Thanks for seeing the payoff, even before I did.

Thank you for being my business partner for 21 years and my life partner for 31. What a life! God has been so very good to me!

Thank you for holding me together in the hard times, for celebrating with me in the great times and for making the in-between times more fun that they ought to have been! Thank you for being the fun that balances my seriousness.

Thank you for loving me.

I love you…more than you can ever know, more than I can ever say.

Happy birthday, love.

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