March 19, 1970
Nate was a husband who used words to praise, never to find fault. When I looked, it was clear which of us was contributing more positives to our marriage, and it wasn’t me.
He cheerfully encouraged me through failures without the slightest criticism, and I found myself admiring his example – and learning from it.
For instance, as I made my first attempt at banana bread, for some reason the batter overflowed the pan. It dripped through the racks and spread out on the oven floor. I didn’t notice until the smell of burn filled the apartment, but it was too late for a rescue.
Over the next few days as I used the oven to make dinner, burned banana flavored every meal and filled our home with an ugly odor. Surely Nate noticed…. but he never said a word.
As he loved me unconditionally, I often felt convicted of self-centeredness. Though my grumbling wasn’t about Nate, I often whined to him about other things, not realizing the extra stress this was putting on him.
He listened carefully no matter what I said and never forgot the words. Then he would do whatever he could to remedy my problem. His greatest desire was to make me happy.
If I stood in front of my closet and complained about nothing to wear, it wasn’t long before he’d surprise me with a little money attached to a sweet note – urging me to go shopping.
If I whined about not getting to go out very much, soon a coupon to the local pancake house would appear with a note inviting me out to breakfast. Nate was a pro at demonstrating how to love well. And his good model became my good teacher.
Sometimes as we lay snuggled in bed, I would listen to his breathing in sleep, silently thanking God he’d been willing to wait for me. He’d suffered through 18 months of sadness watching me date another boy without ever losing patience.
Lying safely next to my loving husband, I was filled with gratitude that God had prevented me from marrying a guy who would not have been good for me, nor I for him.
Nate’s arms were the only ones I wanted around me.
“I am my lover’s, and he claims me as his own.” (Song of Solomon 7:10)