This is a continuation of a previous post.
[From Noel] We asked a bunch of friends to respond to the question: “What changes in your spouse have surprised you the most since you first got married?” and the first to respond, by a mile, was our friend Mair Gault.
How on earth did Mair every come to be my friend? We didn’t go to school together, no direct family ties. I knew of Mair but I didn’t know Mair until I hitched a ride with her up to Thessalon in the summer of 1988. She was working in the recruiting office of Great Lakes and was heading up north to visit potential students. I needed a ride to see my sweetie (Julie) so off we went. We got as far as the Burlington Skyway when a flatbed truck spilled steel across all four lanes and we were stuck sitting there for nearly an hour. I was not in the mood for conversation but Mair was not to be deterred. She saw a car beside us with an Ohio license plate so she rolled down the window and hollered, “Welcome to Ontario!” After sharing travel tips and things to see in Toronto we were separated by the staggered departure of the impeded traffic. What a trip. She wasn’t sure how to get to Thessalon but I assured her that I knew how to get there. This was the trip where I learned that North Bay is not on the way to Thessalon (it adds about 2 hours to the trip). It was a bizarre trip but a friendship was begun.
Mair and her husband Malcolm are some of our favourite people. I like Mair but when I met Malcolm and learned that:
- He was a Math major
- He had memorized even more Monty Python than I had
Well, let’s just say I had made another friend.
Malcolm and Mair are completely sold out for Jesus. Everyone needs friends like this. They felt the call of the Holy Spirit calling them to a year of ministry to the people of Boracay, the ones who work at the resorts and fancy hotels on this tiny island. So they sold what they didn’t need, put the rest in storage, put their careers on hold and loaded up their three girls and flew half way around the globe for the cause of Christ. You can read about their story on their blog: http://gaultsonboracay.blogspot.com/
But look at me! Rambling on and on. (I wonder if I know anyone else like that 🙂 ) Here’s Mair’s thoughts:
I have heard it said that men marry women hoping that they will not change and women marry men hoping they will. If this statement is true, and many married couples met as teenagers… it sounds like men want women to behave like teenage girls and women want men to just grow up! Sounds like a recipe for disaster. Noel has requested us to respond in approximately 300 words ( Three hundred? Really? Really Noel??) This is our attempt:
Malcolm and I have been married for 18 years, dated for six and were friends for two. We have had a lot of opportunity in that time to undergo some significant changes. The changes I see in Malcolm, I honestly have to say, have been overwhelmingly positive. I know I got really lucky (or to give some credit…I got really blessed.) I could write a whole article on how I do not behave as though I know I am really blessed… but that is not the assigned topic, and I am already approaching my word limit!
The most significant changes in my spouse have come as a result of having three daughters. When I want to ponder how much I respect, trust and love my husband I often do so in the context of his role as Dad in our home. When I met Malcolm I enjoyed his sense of humour, I respected his intelligence and how he made me think, I loved the way he “got” me and never accused me of over-thinking things or of talking too much. (If you know me, you will find his degree of acceptance impressive.) When we met, my future husband was a teenager, however, and so I was not overly confident about his parenting skills. (And yes, I did think about these things at the age of 19!)
Needless to say, when our children were born, I was more than pleasantly surprised. The first sign that Malcolm would be a great dad arose when I was pregnant. In my third trimester he negotiated the right to be the first one to hold our child when she was born. When my emotional side said “ARE YOU CRAZY?? I am the one going through the pain of childbirth, and you want to be the one to get the first cuddle??”. My rational side listened to his arguments which included the fact that I had carried the child in my womb, it was my voice that the child had heard for the last nine months, I would be the one to breastfeed the child, and I would be the one staying home with the child. The whole “first to hold” thing, he reasoned, was just his small opportunity to balance the bonding scale. He won the debate. Despite some judgmental looks from the night nurse, he held our baby daughter first. He made sure she heard his words of love and smelled his daddy smell before he passed her off to me. And so it began.
My husband has (he will HATE this word) matured into a responsible, affectionate, caring father, who has made his family his main priority. He is not perfect. Our marriage is not perfect; we struggle like everyone else. Yet, when I see my husband with our girls, I praise God for His impact on my spouse, and I am grateful for the change. One thing I know, is that it would have been more difficult for God to work his magic if I had not been willing to let go of some of my mommy control (like letting him hold the baby first.) And so the learning for me, as a result of this blog reflection, is : when I let go and let God, some wonderful things can happen in our marriage.
I know for a fact that I am a bit of a control freak, so it is my prayer that 20 years from now, when Noel asks his “change question” again, Malcolm will be able to answer that I have changed because I have learned to let go. I wonder what God could do in our marriage then?
This series is continued here.