UPDATE 2016-02-21: This is a very personal amendment to the original post. The bulk of my writing below was constructed out of anger and frustration in defense of my wife. While the heart to stand up for her was noble, and I will always attest to the quality of woman she is and the need to honor her, the spirit and tone that I wrote this post in was not reflective of Jesus or of what it means to pastor people. As one commenter on Facebook aptly put it, “The author is usually spot on, but missed the mark on this one.” I’m sorry for the hurt it caused specific people (whom I’ve since apologized to and asked for forgiveness in person), and for the lack of Christ’s long-suffering love. Rather than redact the entire post, I’m letting it stand as it is with this apology atop, hoping it’s a testimony of how the Holy Spirit brought needed correction. I’m still a work in progress, and I’m glad I’m worthy of the Lord’s attention. For anyone else who was hurt or put off, I’m sorry. Thank you for being gracious with me as I press in toward Jesus.
My wife, Jennifer, is an amazing woman. And she was an amazing teenager.
Yes, she was in a relationship too young. And got out of it. And was in a second relationship with a guy who needed serious counseling. And she got out of that one too.
She also walked the talk as a Christian.
She did her first 40-day juice and water fast at 15 years old. (And still was first-string on her soccer team). When her other friends were off partying at midnight, she was laying on her face next to her flag pole, praying for revival in her school. She was devoted, outspoken for Jesus. And was still Homecoming Queen.
She was a rockstar.
As a teenager.
Because of this faithfulness, she addressed thousands of her peers in arenas around the country. Multiple times. And sang in front of 25,000 teens on the Mall in Washington, DC. All to give glory to her one true love, King Jesus.
God rewards those who pay a price to follow him.
Ladies, if you have my wife’s phone number or are friends on Facebook, don’t text: “So, can I ask you a question?”
Listen, I love that you admire her. So do I. Either ask your question, or don’t. Pretending like you’re weighing your options when you’re stepping up to bat with a Titan of faith is unbecoming.
And if you’re going to ask for her pearls of wisdom, please mean it. In other words, don’t insult her by throwing them in the mud after she gives them to you. Her time and her testimony are valuable. They’re gold, and then some. If you really value her, decide in advance that you’re going to model what she’s modeled for you. Or don’t bother asking. You’ll be wasting your time and her’s.
Ladies, you have this sneaky way of so desperately wanting her advice when you don’t have a boyfriend, conveniently throwing yourself into Jesus. But the moment that cute boy comes along, you suddenly vanish off the map for six months.
Here’s my advice: don’t expect to get the life she has without paying the price she paid to get it.
Wisdom is purchased, not transferred.
Start saving early.
“Wisdom is supreme. Get wisdom. Yes, though it costs all your possessions, get understanding.”
King Solomon of Israel (Proverbs 4:7 WEB)
Do you want to know why she’s such an amazing woman? Because she sought wisdom, and chose to cling to it even when other things seemed more enticing. This was hard. She was not proven faithful when life was easy—she became great in the midst of adversity. I could not ask for a more remarkable, more intelligent, more steadfast, more beautiful, more passionate woman than her. She paid for every one of those attributes, and more.
If you want role models, true female models, they’re out there. Most aren’t on the covers of magazines, and most won’t give you the answers you want. Just make sure you’re really going to do what they say before you ask for their pearls; they get tired of being insulted as soon as your fancy changes.
“Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you.” Jesus of Nazareth (Matthew 7:6 ESV)
To those of you who have listened to Jennifer, and in turn, listened to Jesus, you know who you are, and I applaud you. Thank you for treating my wife’s wisdom with the honor it deserves. Your lives are testimonies of God’s faithfulness to those who pursue him at any cost. I love you for honoring the Jesus in my wife. Carry on.