What great husbands are made of


Today is my third wedding anniversary.

I vividly remember walking down the aisle towards Michael, thinking, “I can’t believe he chose me. I can’t believe he chose me”. I felt unworthy of such a great man. I didn’t have the faintest notion of what the future held as no one does, but I wasn’t worried. I knew no matter what happened, my Michael would be holding me.

There’s a bestselling book out there with the tagline, “What if God designed marriage to make us holy more than to make us happy?” I hate that and frankly don’t like the book. These past three years have been the happiest of my life. It goes without saying that marriage has difficult seasons, hurt feelings, sickness, tragedy, unfair accusations, and tired mornings-but this gift is also full of laughter, impromptu dance parties, lazy days on the couch, celebrations, Christmas mornings, and best of all, companionship. We shouldn’t hold marriage on a pedestal or hope a spouse will save us; neither should we grit our teeth and carry out our marriage like we’re running a start-up together. We have to stay connected to the love story.

Shauna Niequist recently wrote this beautiful post about marriage. Listen to how she describes the path to a great marriage:

Because marriage isn’t a business, co-owned and managed. It’s a love story, something we’re writing every day. We’re learning all over again this year that the most important things we can give our marriage are time and romance and memory-making, kissing and laughing and writing a love story. Like I told my newly-wed friend, laundry can wait, but a love story needs to be written a little bit every day.”

When I said “I do” on a beautiful June 4th evening in 2011, I knew I chose a good man, but what I didn’t know was all the additional joys Michael would bring to my life. I am sitting here with a little baby inside me three years of hindsight into what makes a good husband-so I thought I would share.

What great husbands are made of:

Aspirations. He has goals, but not ones that are more important than spending a little time everyday writing a great love story. 

Courage. A great husband is made of courage to do the right thing even when the wrong or easy one is popular.

Sacrifice. A great husband won’t hide behind his ‘calling’ or dreams, but will do what is necessary to provide for a family.

Forgiveness. One who knows how to say three words: “Will you forgive me?” Or simply, “I messed up”.

Laughter. A great husband will make sure the hard times are punctuated by laughter that leaves your abs baby belly sore for days.

Kindness. He is kind, extra sensitive on the hard days, and knows just what to say when the declaration is made, “I look terrible.”

Listening. A great husband listens. He puts away all distractions and listens to you share about the hard day at work, even if the story takes 27 times twice as long as it should.

Fatherhood. A great father who will hold his daughter tight, dance with her in the kitchen, and tell her she’s beautiful. A dad who will comfort his son when he’s sad and always remind him he has what it takes.

Michael-thank you for being everything in this list and more. These past three years have been the happiest of my life. Here’s to the next year of bringing our sweet baby into the world and learning how to juggle parenthood-but never forgetting to write a little bit of our love story every day.

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8 Responses to “What great husbands are made of”
  1. Greg says:

    First of all, Happy 3rd Anniversary! :) And congratulations too on your daughter or son on its way!

    I think many share your thought walking down the aisle of “I can’t believe he chose me. I can’t believe he chose me.” Admittedly, for some of us though, it’s “Would someone ever choose me?”

    Thanks for this encouragement about great husbands with Michael as an example-I’m sure he greatly appreciates it!

  2. Michael Dean says:


    You have no idea what this means to me. Thank you for declaring your love and being patient with me as I try to be the man you need. Thank you for saying “I Do” 3 years ago today. The best moment of my life was when you walked down the isle!


    • Hope says:

      Im a 34yr old single divorced mother of 4, and have been since 2006. I married when I was 24 and it was the worst 2 1/2 years of my life! I no longer have the desire to marry or even be in a relationship because of it. But seeing how you all interact with each other (even with the ups and downs that come along with any relationship) has helped me to atleast believe that for others, true love…and I mean TRUE love does still exist in intimate relationships. You two also display that when you can understand what it takes to be in a relationship and work toward operating in love, it is very possible to have an healthy relationship where you can grow together even when tests try to pull you apart. Keep your committment to God first and more blessings will come to you both and your beautiful child and children (eventually:)…keep being a wonderful display and please make it a mission to inform others that this kind of love does exist on earth, as it is in Heaven. God Bless You, Ruthie and Michael:)

  3. Giray says:

    Happy 3rd annivesary God bless you guys always!!

  4. Karin says:

    Happy anniversary to you both! As for the book, I have always diskliked it, too. And it doesn’t make a lot of sense, because marriage was designed in paradise. At least that’s my understanding of it…

  5. Ashley says:

    Happy 3rd Anniversary Ruthie & Michael. Ruthie I stumbled upon your blog a few months back and was encouraged to see a Christ-like marriage lived out and put into practice for those of us who hope to be married one day. I have great examples in my parents marriage but seeing you all live it out is a blessing as well. I look forward to getting your book because I’ve found myself in way too many dead-end relationships. It’s time to do things differently I think and I appreciate your book in helping me with that effort!

    Blessings to you both today and always!


  6. Kyle says:

    What’s so sad is that women so often find these traits to be completely repulsive. Sure they say this is the kind of man they want, but will reject each and everyone of them who dates to ask her out. The excuse will always be he is “too nice” and usually in a cruel, hurtful way. They will gravitate toward a man who is a self absorbed, abusive, narcissist who leaves a trail of human wreckage wherever he goes.

    There was a time I could have seen the traits listed in the post in myself, to one degree or another. (I’m not sure about anything anymore.) I always believed if I was a good, Christian man who lived how Jesus taught us to live, I would find a Christian woman who wanted a man like that. Do such women exist other than just on a rare, random occasion?

  7. Awesome! Happy anniversary :)

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