Tough Love   4 comments

Kimberly and I have had rough weather for the last few months, not only in our individual souls, but in the soul of our marriage.  We have wanted to sort it all out and have tried, but we’re still baffled, unable to do anything but cling to our seats as we ride out the turbulence.  In spite of the conflicts that keep popping up, I want her to know that she is precious to me, and sometimes words of appreciation ring truer when we overhear them, so let me share with my friends here the treasure she is to me.

She is gentle.  She is accepting.  She is courageous.  She is true and genuine.  She is self-reflective and in touch with her soul as few people are.  She is determined and tough in spite of setbacks.  She is vulnerable and open.  She naturally believes the best of others, and stands up for the underdog.  She is empathetic and understanding.  She is a great listener.  She is wise and insightful and talks for hours about deep things.  She is welcoming of the weak and broken and marginalized.  She is responsible and capable.  She calls out the best in others by being okay with their faults and foibles and valuing them for who they are, not what they do or fail to do.  She is a woman of grace, even when it hurts her.  She shares her true self with others even when they have crushed her spirit, but she is also good at keeping healthy boundaries.  She never gives up on herself or on others.

She accepts me as I am and makes room for my weaknesses, encouraging me to support myself even when it is hard on her.  She has an incredible commitment to personal growth and wholeness, and though she started out far behind others in her childhood environment, she has far surpassed most others in becoming her true self.  She welcomes all of who I am, even the broken parts, and loves me as I am, and so she has taught me to love myself.  In other words, she is for me the truest experience of the gospel with skin on.  When my insecurities and weaknesses break out against her, she does not retaliate, but hangs on through the tensions until we work it out.

She is not perfect, and I wouldn’t want her to be (how intimidating would that be!).  She has her own hangups, insecurities, and weaknesses.  But we have discovered that the deepest and truest bonds come through our frailties more than our strengths.  I’ve never met anyone like her, and we do life together in extraordinary fashion… even our stumbles seem to add something beautiful to the rhythm of the dance.  We’re still figuring out the steps to this new rumba, and we often as not step on each other’s feet, but we’ll keep swinging till we get it down.  It is in the hard times that love proves its character.  Ours is a tough love.


Posted February 14, 2013 by janathangrace in Personal

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4 responses to “Tough Love

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  1. Like!! – BK

  2. that’s a great valentine’s day gift!

  3. *through grateful tears*
    And this is not even the most heartfelt Valentine you have given me, my love. Yes, folks… his ability to express his love and appreciation in words is incredible. The road has been rough lately. We have been weary. This part of the journey is bumpy and long and the path is so unclear. Like a headlight in heavy fog… we only see a spacious white blankness in front of us. We don’t know how long it will last, and on the way sometimes our frustrations and fears come out between us. It doesn’t feel good at all. And yet in this obscurity and with no great consolation, Janathan can speak of me this way… knowing I really needed to hear it (though I did not say this with words)

    Jani, your partnership in life has been immeasurably more than all I could have asked or imagined. I could not be more grateful for the gift of you.

  4. Several days later and I come back because I realize that this is my Proverbs 31. I’ve never been intimidated by that “ideal” picture of a woman because I am the farthest living creature from it. So, it’s the same way I know I will never be a famous neurosurgeon plus run a marathon in 4 hours plus learn 3 more languages.. it’s just too different from who I am to spend all my time trying to become. But I’ve learned recently that Proverbs 31 is not an ideal or a prescription for how each woman should be…. Jewish culture says it’s a song, a poem of praise that a husband sings to his wife. It’s an example of how a husband learns to appreciate his wife for who she is and what she contributes to his life. If only every husband could learn to express himself in praise to his wife, there would be countless more Proverbs, each with their own flavor, because we do all possess wonderful qualities that can be acknowledged. So this is mine 🙂 Thank you, my gracious husband. I love my proverb!

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