C Through Marriage by Jim Hughes. Paul and I have been reading it together. You can see my review HERE. We had to really think. You see we met the first time a whole 9 months before we met again, then were married less than 4 months later..."What are the top 5 things that first attracted you to your spouse?" is one of the questions in
My spirit. He described it as "meek yet strong".
I was amazed at his answer. What a wonderful complement! With age these traits have matured. What he perceived as meekness was more self-consciousness and has now humbled with experience... My strength now is less the determined independence of my youth and more a courageous faith. My character and spirit will hopefully continue to mature and improve with age.
Paul's eyes still sparkle. He will always be taller than me, but his integrity is even more impressive. His cheerfulness has tempered with responsibility to a contagious joyfulness. His big hands are now a source of comfort and a symbol of his provision and protection of our family.
We are blessed especially because we did not have unrealistic expectations. We were not attracted to each other merely physically or because of silly charismatic traits that fade with the hardships of life and responsibility.
As Pastor Hughes says in his book, "In a healthy marriage there is a mutual unconditional acceptance of who each one is and a willingness to do whatever it takes to make the marriage work." Women will seldom stay the same size or keep their youthful complexion and hair color. Men will also gain weight, lose muscle tone, and bald or grey. Young couples who have that in mind will not have unrealistic expectations of appearance. One of my favorite things about this book is the lack of "lecturing" women to try to keep themselves attractive. I know I need to keep myself healthy, but I hate the pressure of trying to compete with every other woman my husband may come across. A beauty of spirit and character is probably more important.