Wednesday, October 25, 2017

An ode to the man I married

I remember what attracted me to him.

He was kind. You can tell a lot about another person by how they treat others. He did the dishes for his roommates and was considered a "favorite" among the apartment. I've never regretted marrying someone who was kind.

He was unflappable. My family of eleven siblings is A LOT for people to take in. We can be loud, obnoxious jokesters. I loved that Ben could take it all in stride!

He was calm, but motivated. I loved how Ben carried a sense of peace with him. He was laid back, but was still quite ambitious. He was getting a masters degree when I met him.

He was friendly. I loved how he was stripped of pride, no "respecter of persons." He treated everyone the same, and everyone was treated with kindness.

I never could have imagined how much love, learning, and happiness Ben has brought into my life. Those traits of Ben's have literally changed me, for the better. It's also fun to see what other goodness you've uncovered about your partner after eight years.

He is so wise. Ben always has such good advice. He's incredibly thoughtful when he thinks through decisions and how it might affect the future.

He does amazing work with his hands. As a college student he had no resources or space to participate in the hobbies he loves (woodworking, electronics, fixing things). It's really blessed our lives to see this passion come to life.

He is a great parent. I love to listen in when Ben convinces our kids "If you want a friend, be a friend" or "Don't ask yourself, "What can I do to make my sister mad?""

He is own man. Ben is someone who is comfortable in his own skin, doing life the way he thinks is best. He is unfazed by others' opinions or their choices. He always does what his heart feels is right.

Of course, being married to someone for eight years, I could make you an equally long list of all the negative traits I've "discovered" over the years (as I know he could as well!). But I've found, like this sister did in a story from General Conference, that no good can come of that.

"I received this really interesting letter about a protective alarm experienced by a faithful sister. She told me that in an effort to help her husband understand how she felt, she began to keep an electronic list on her phone of things he did or said that irritated her. She reasoned that when the time was right, she would have compiled written proof to share with him that would make him want to change his ways. However, one Sunday while partaking of the sacrament and focusing on the Atonement of the Savior, she realized that documenting her negative feelings about her husband was truly driving the Spirit from her and was never going to change him.
A spiritual alarm went off in her heart that said: “Let it go; let it all go. Delete those notes. They are not helpful.” She then wrote, and I quote: “It took me a while to hit ‘select all’ and even longer to hit ‘delete.’ But as I did, all of those negative feelings were lost in space. My heart filled with love—love for my husband and love for the Lord.” Like Saul on the road to Damascus, she had her vision changed. The scales of distortion fell from her eyes."
I'm not perfect, but I recognize that marriage is a beautiful gift. I am grateful for the man I married-- and the man I'm married to now!