It isn't easy being married to a strong-willed and outspoken woman. Looking back over nearly five years of marriage, I think my husband and I could have safely included in our wedding vows the promise to remain faithful through richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, through conservativism and liberalism, through orthodoxy and “heresy,” through hard work and harder work, in faith and in doubt. I’m living proof that the person you marry has a frightful tendency to change, and yet I've had the blessing of being loved and cherished through it all.
Despite the fact that we may boast conflicting bumper stickers this election year, Dan and I enjoy what I consider to be a good marriage. This says a lot for Dan, whose watched me evolve from a relatively conventional conservative evangelical to someone who reads Brian McLaren.
Not only have I changed, but I’ve done so with my usual candidness and ambition. This means lengthy conversations with friends about biblical interpretation, the occasional unprovoked tirade against the Bush administration, long hours in front of the computer or behind a book, and the prospect of publishing a few of these crazy ideas for all to see.
The thing about Dan is he’s got a remarkable ability to lead a person who doesn’t generally like being led. He isn’t threatened by my intelligence or emasculated by my drive to succeed. He doesn’t judge me when I’m struggling through difficult theological issues, or argue with me when he disagrees with the conclusions I reach. He leads by example, his measured wisdom and self-control reminding me to be patient, his encouragement and entrepreneurial spirit inspiring me to dream big.
I know that some people may criticize him for not showing more “spiritual leadership” by keeping me reigned in and submissive, but Dan respects me enough to let me grow, and he trusts God enough to let Him guide. Dan’s one of those rare guys who can hold with open arms.
On top of all of this, Dan essentially created this blog. He designed it, launched it, and continues to help me maintain it. So for all of you who enjoy the RSS feeds or appreciate the technical end of things, he’s the one to thank.
Now, for all you independent women out there, I’ve got some advice. Look for a guy like Dan. Go for someone who is both strong and controlled, both inquisitive and confident, both humble and damn good at everything he does. Also, it doesn’t hurt to have a guy who can write a little html.