The ongoing joke between my pastor-husband and me is that I married a Philistine. When we were dating, Tim introduced me to all things Schwartzneggar and Brian De Palma. He regretted the De Palma incident (“Body Double”--yuck), but I did become a Terminator fan. Probably out of guilt, he agreed to see “Amadeus” with me, and the Philistine discovered that period films did not have to be sleep-inducing. I also introduced him to tea drinking in huge quantities. Or my mother did (see my blog post on Kate).
Admittedly, the Philistine married a snob. I’d rather read a book than watch a football game. I turn my nose up at TV re-runs that keep him laughing. He will watch “Kindergarten Cop” so many times the DVD is hot to the touch; my choice of repeats involves something British with clever and snarky quotes. I don’t like Walmart (not just for their questionable labor practices, but also because the store is so bland). When we were married, Tim was shocked by my need for new clothes or shoes. He wears things until they fall apart. A handsome guy, he is unconcerned about impressing others with his looks and clothes.
My husband has always reminded me of Nathaniel, who is mentioned in the Gospel of John (John 1:43-50). When Jesus sees Nathaniel, He exclaims, “Here is a true Israelite, in whom there is nothing false,” and he then tells Nathaniel something about him that only a prophet could know. The young man immediately declares his belief in Jesus, that he knows He must be the Son of God and the King of Israel.
When my husband became a believer in Jesus, like Nathaniel he gave his life fully and openly, even though there was a cost to that belief. Tim has no falsehood about him, in him and around him. He loves deeply, truly and faithfully. He loves God first, then family, then those he is called to serve as pastor, shepherd and friend. He can apply quotes from Dickens, The Stones and Davy Crockett films aptly to our family life. He explains the Bible, yet appreciates some South Park (thanks to our son). He is our resident Dr. Doolittle and will lay on the floor and ask our cat or rabbit about their day. Our daughters know to “ask Dad” if they want a special treat from Wegmans or pizza for dinner. He will run right out and get it for them. He is also very funny, which not a lot of people know, because unlike his spouse, he doesn’t enjoy the stage (which is interesting, given that every Sunday the pastor is thrust into the pulpit).
Recently, our fifteen year-old was comparing us to people she called “narcissists” and she said, “You know how humble you and Dad are....Well, Dad is humble. You are...less humble.” I laughed. Yeah, it’s true. But, I’m glad she knows her father’s character, one who does not think more highly of himself than he ought (Romans 12:3). Or, when he struggles with pride, the temptation to be arrogant, or self-righteous, as we all do, he is like Nathaniel, who knows the God he serves and turns to him for strength, forgiveness and grace.
And Tim offers those things to me. Being “less humble,” I need a lot of forgiveness and grace and patience. I am grateful that my life-partner is who he is--my best friend, encourager, tea-maker and my own personal Philistine to continue civilizing. Every girl should have one.