Eight years ago, this day in about half an hour, I married Candice Hair. Consider this my praise of her (Proverbs 31:28.) In celebration of our eight years, I’ll give eight reasons why she is the love of my life.
First, Candice loves me. This could be enough by itself. I have never once, not for one day, doubted that Candice loves me. She tells me often and shows me even more that her heart is mine. I can tell the way she looks at me, talks to me and smiles at me that she loves me. Everything is better because of it.
Second, she loves Christ. Her love for me is anchored in her love for her God. I know the first is nothing without the second. Her precious heart is tender with affection for her Savior. It is good for this often emotionally reserved husband to see Candice’s heart swell with love for Jesus. I can see it in her reading, hear it in her worship, and feel it in her service. I know she loves me because she feels that He first loved her. So I am grateful to Jesus for Candice.
Candice loves my children. Oh how she loves them. She has given up much to love them. She studies and reads and learns how to love them better. She trains them, washes them and now schools them. And does it all so very well. What a blessing that I can leave my home and never, even for a moment, worry about the care, nurture and training that my children are receiving from their mother. She could be successful in the workplace but has humbly taken on the high calling of motherhood. She embraces the role of homemaker with grace and pride. It is her desire to be the best mother she can be that makes her so special to me.
She loves my family – meaning my parents and sisters and nieces and nephews. (Of course this is easy because my family is awesome and without flaws.) She has taken them as her own and loved them as she does her own sweet family. She truly enjoys fellowship with them and looks forward to the late-nighters sharing tears of joy over games and conversation of our spiritual journeys. She gives, goes and sacrifices for them because she loves them. I cannot imagine how we got along without her.
Candice loves my church. My church is like most churches. It has members that are imperfect people. While I have been a member since 1987, she started coming in 2004 shortly before we got married. God, in his sovereignty, saw fit to test and try her early on with certain relationships within the church. But Candice never gave up. She endured. I love that she loves the church even when the church did not seem to love her. She endured hard times. In moments of pain, she has asked me to consider other churches. But through prayer, she endured. She is like a pearl who has gone through silent suffering to emerge a beautiful reminder that “God brings his dear children along.” What was once born out of duty and obligation to me is now a gracious participation in a community of believers that she deeply cares for. I could not be more proud of her.
Candice loves my friends. Some are harder to love than others. Some are loud. Some are moody. Some are sarcastic beyond tolerance. Some are proud, stubborn and insensitive. But they are my friends. And she loves them. And she prays for them. She makes brownies for them. She cleans the house before their arrival and after their departure. She makes them feel welcome. My friends are her friends because she loves me.
Enough of what she DOES. The last two reasons are what she IS.
She is beautiful . Inside and out, there is no comparison. She makes me smile with her smile. She can still take my breath away. I love that she wants to look beautiful for me. In a day when Christian women are fighting to find balance between selfish vanity and legalistic homeliness, she walks the line like a queen among her peers. She wants to be the object of my eye. I like that. And she is.
Lastly, she is my safe place. There is no place I would rather be than with her. Sure, she will tell you, I have other interests, other hobbies, other relationships. I play video games, poker and share good times around afire with many a fine friend. But there is no moment better spent than with Candice. She is worth far more than rubies. While there are many women who do noble things, she surpasses them all.