Church Planting can be an extremely painful experience on a wife and family. Because of that, Christine Hoover has written an incredible book called "The Church Planting Wife" as a way of encouraging wives through the journey of planting a church. I highly recommend this book to those who are in ministry or looking to plant churches.
In addition, Christine has encouraged us husbands to write a love letter to our brides, reminding them how vital they are to our lives and ministries. Below is my letter to my best friend, partner in crime and the love of my life.
Growing up in a broken home where truelove and sacrificial love within marriage was never modeled, I could never have imagined experiencing the joy that the Lord has given me through our relationship. Now obviously, our relationship has not been a cakewalk. We have endeavored many ups and downs, wins and losses, trials and victories; but in the end, if the Lord's main purpose for us is to glorify Himself by sanctifying us, then it is easy for me to think, "Oh, how great and awesome is our God."
Since the moment I saw you in college I knew my life would be changed forever. I can remember it like it's yesterday, watching you walk into the cafeteria. The first thing I noticed was your big beautiful eyes. I love your eyes. The only thing left to do in that moment was figure out how to get you to be mine. Little did we know that within weeks, the Lord would save me and then providentially bring us together.
Through 2 1/2 years of dating and going on 10 years of marriage, none has been as strenuous and trying on our relationship than setting out to plant Netcast in 2011. Sure all of the church planting books and friends in the ministry would tell us how difficult it would be, but I don't think we believed it. However, looking back it has been definitely the most difficult thing we've ever endured together. That said, similar to the cross, Jesus never wastes our difficult moments. This process of church planting has been by far the most sanctifying thing we have ever experienced.
Over the last two years I have watched with my own eyes, Jesus transform you from a young Christian into an incredibly godly young woman. This transformation has not been easy for us and quite frankly there has been moments of great pain; But seeing Christ in you has become one of my most cherished possessions. I love watching you spend time with other women and pouring your life into them. I love to see you growing in your ability to be transparent and vulnerable even when it's extremely uncomfortable. I love how you're able to point people to Jesus and not simply tend to their emotional needs. There is an incredible joy that comes over me as you share all the things that Jesus is doing in your heart.
Beth, you are truly my best friend. God has used you in my life to grow me in ways that I could never thank you enough. Because of our relationship and because of your commitment to the Lord, today I am more of a man of God. You have been my lover, my helper, my conscience in weak moments, a safe haven for my thoughts, my rock when everything else seems to be falling apart and even my shepherd at times.
I love you more than words can describe. I love the grace that you extended me and the God who lives in your heart. I love the mother you have become and the father you are helping me to be.
I love you, I love you, I love you. Today, tomorrow and for all of eternity.