I don’t usually talk much about my man here on the blog, but today I wanted to publically honor him for his birthday and share with you how VITAL he is to this ministry even though you don’t hear/see him.
He’s 50 yrs. old today and the man has walked with Jesus for as long as I have been alive. Here’s the math on this…I’m 43 and my Beloved asked Jesus into his heart when he was just a little boy at 7 yrs. old. What I find remarkable about this is that he has always followed the Lord and not wavered from the faith even when his first wife divorced him and then later in life when he lost his business and home. These were two hardships that could certainly devastate any man.
What I want you to know about this man of God is this:
If it weren’t for his persistent nudging then there would be no on-line ministry coming from this gal!
He is my constant encourager.
When the attacks come from nasty commenters, he’s the one who comforts me through the tears and he’s the one who says to me,
“They’re not attacking you, they’re attacking the Message.”
“When you’re out front, you’re going to get attacked the most.”
He’s the one I bounce theological concepts off of.
He’s the one I turn to making sure I’ve communicated doctrine correctly.
He’s the one I’ll ask to write a blog post from time to time. (His is the most popular post about Biblical submission!)
He’s the one who makes all the videos (as well as all the re-takes!) for this ministry.
He’s the one I turn to when a wife needs counsel about her husband or the boys that she’s raising up. (Being that they are dealing with men, what better insight to receive than from a man himself?)
He’s the tech guy of this ministry. He’s the one who gives up his free time so he can deal with all of my virus threats, my dot com’s and hosting issues, my computer back-up’s and so much more!
He’s the one who tells me to keep going when I second-guess myself in this ministry.
He’s the one who will go for a run with me on Saturday mornings so I could talk his ear off about what’s going on around here. On-line ministry is lonely!
And the one that’s most precious to me is this one…
He’s the one who shares his wife with another man. Yep, I said another man. I have another man in my life that I’ve given my heart to….he’s Jesus Christ! 🙂 Just the other day we were talking about all that God is doing here in the ministry and how He’s growing it. We realized it’s just going to continue to get bigger and bigger. Because of this, the reality is, it’s going to demand more of my time. I asked him how he felt about this and here was his response:
“Would I like to have you all to myself? Of course! Yet, I couldn’t go through life with you so focused on building my kingdom. You and I are here for the Lord, to build God’s kingdom, therefore I will gladly share you with this other Man.” And then with a twinkle in his eye, he smiled at me. 🙂
We both know Who we’re living for.
Now did our marriage start out like this?
As a newly married couple we had the desire to serve the Lord and be God-fearing spouses for one another, but we couldn’t see the big picture of what the Lord had planned for our lives back 15 years ago. You couldn’t have told me I’d be writing and speaking to women about the things of the Lord, nor could you have told me that I’d be doing so with my husband right by my side.
He knew EXACTLY what He was doing when He chose Eric to be my husband.
Back before Eric and I dated, he was my volleyball coach when I was in high school. I shared that story here.
But what you don’t know is this part of the story below.
The day I ran into him I was running on an outdoor track when the weather was blazing hot. I wanted to quit because the run was too hard. I felt I couldn’t continue. I told myself, “I can’t do this, it’s too hot outside.” But there was this voice in the back of my head and it was that of my high school volleyball coach (the one I wasn’t too fond of, by the way.) Anyways, I would hear Eric’s words over and over in my head saying,
“Can’t means you won’t.”
I used to hate it when he would tell me that! In fact, he would tell me I wasn’t allowed to say the word ‘can’t’. So smarty-pants me would respond to him by saying,
“Coach, I’m not able to achieve this right not.”
Well, that didn’t go over too well with Eric. My smart-aleck response caused me to run many laps around that court!
But here I was 10+ years later and who’s voice do I hear in my head? The voice of a steadfast and encouraging coach.
It was in that moment that I realized and even said to myself,
“I need to marry a man like Eric Engle. I need a man who will encourage me the way he did.”
Being that I knew Eric was married, of course I didn’t even consider having a romantic relationship with him, (nor would I have been interested in him even if he wasn’t married!) And there was certainly never any interest between the two of us all those years ago. Goodness, I was a kid when he first coached me at age 14, and well, he was old at age 21! 🙂
After the encouragement I heard in my head, I finally mustered up enough strength to finish my 3-mile run. Later I headed down to a gymnasium to play volleyball for the first time with my new church family.
And guess who I ran into after all of these years?
Yep, Eric Engle!
He was shocked to see me since it was church volleyball. He knew all those years ago when I was his player I wasn’t saved. I knew full well he was a Christian back then because he openly and boldly shared his faith. In fact, on his coach’s clipboard he had a sticker that said,
“If you don’t know Jesus, you don’t know squat.” (Yes, he is an intense personality…just like his wife!) 🙂
The man would pray for the salvation of his players which ultimately meant he prayed for my salvation! Isn’t that a great God story?
Hearing what he was up to after all these years and learning the story of how his wife divorced him even though that is not what he wanted, nor what God wanted, I quickly patted him on the shoulder letting him know that God had the perfect woman for him.
As I walked away from our conversation it had never crossed my mind that it would be me.
But God did!
God knew EXACTLY what Eric needed in a wife.
And God knew EXACTLY what I needed in a husband.
God knew the hearts of His children and He knew the plans for this ministry long ago.
So today I wanted to share with you my Beloved because without him this ministry would not exist.
But maybe this is not where your marriage is today, well, I’m here to remind you not to lose heart! You never know what God has in store for your life just like I didn’t know what He had in store for mine!
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11
And maybe you’re having a hard time giving your man honor. Well, I’d like to encourage you to give him honor anyways because it will make a radical difference in your man and your marriage.
Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another. Romans 12:10
Find the good in him and dwell on that.
And you don’t need to have a blog to give your husband honor.
You can speak highly of him at home.
In front of others.
Or you can even leave a comment here on the blog letting the world know that you’re married to a great man!
Now I’m going to go eat some chocolate birthday cake with my man. That’s right, I said, “chocolate cake!” 🙂
Live a poured out life for Christ,