I was the perfect man: charming, irresistible, polite, discerning, protective, and passionate. I was a hunk and man of God rolled into one ideal package.
… at least in Kathy’s mind.
What she actually got was an amiable but insecure, protective but selfish, polite but socially clumsy, passionate but lustful, fit but undisciplined, pursuer of God with millions of miles to go on my spiritual journey.
I am always amazed at the faith women have in the belief that men will change for the better once the aisle has been walked and vows repeated. Fortunately for those of the male gender, the women who love us see us for who we could be, not who we are in reality.
Of course that can be dangerous for a woman. Besides the fragile grip on reality, it is fraught with temptation to take the taming of the cave man on as a woman’s personal mission and prerogative.
Actually I was significantly self-righteous for many years about the fact that I didn’t want to change Kathy—like she wanted to change me. I wanted the woman I thought I married. However, when I read Paul’s instructions to husbands in Ephesians 5, I see a different attitude commanded entirely. Being a good husband is all about helping to change the woman I married—not into the image I had in my mind, but into the image that God had in mind for her when he created her. It’s not about shaping her into the perfect woman who will meet my needs, but helping her become all she was created to be.
Today, as I look back on 38 years of marriage, I am so thankful that Kathy Peel is not the cute little adoring coed I married. Despite my help much of the time, she has become a beautiful woman of God: smart, winsome, fiercely loyal to our boys and their wives, committed follower of Jesus, tenacious business woman, graciously confrontive wife, and passionate lover—and did I mention, she’s my best friend.