Monday, July 18, 2011

Married Up

by Steven

Did you see the movie, Meet The Parents?  Remember Greg Focker's (Ben Stiller) nervous attempts to overcome all his insecurities in the face of his potential in-laws?  Though I found the movie to be hilarious, it was painful and frustrating to watch Greg be so misunderstood and unfairly measured.  However, this post has very little connection with that movie, but I needed an opening paragraph.

Let's try again.

You know the expression, "married up"?  It implies that one partner married a person who is better than they are.  "Better" might mean further up the line in the realm of good looks, money, intelligence, social standing, or simply in an overall sense - better.  Well, I believe that my wife, Sarah, definitely married up when she married me.

At least, that's how she makes me feel.  In reality, everyone else knows (including me) that I'm the one who married up.  Sarah has the beauty and grace of a princess, the intelligence of a genius, and the wealth of a...  Okay, I'll admit that we both were pretty even in the area of financial assets; lower middle class sums up both our histories.  The point is, my girl is downright stinkin' great.

When Sarah and I went to Missouri last weekend for my interview, it was a very unique circumstance.  For other types of jobs, the spouse isn't part of the sizing up process.  Microsoft and Toyota do not care if the executive's spouses get along with your spouse.  What does it matter to Bell Corporation if your wife is amiable and favorable toward the company?  But when a local church hires a pastor, they care very deeply about such things, and should.  So when Sarah was invited by the church to join me last weekend, it wasn't just so that I would have a cuddle buddy at night.  They wanted to interview her as well, even though they would only be hiring me.

During the process, something wonderful shone - something that I was already well aware of, but don't always get to see with such clarity.  Last weekend I got a great view of how good Sarah makes me look.  And that made me appreciate her as my spouse in a fresh, new way.

Some may not like to think this is true, but our spouses reflect us.  The way they interact socially with others, their sense of humor, the manner in which they dress, eat, walk and speak - to some extent it all says something about who we are.  Being aware of this, I had no hesitation or the slightest apprehension about Sarah being with me on my interview.  In fact, I figured that she would make me look better than I really am.  What confidence she gave me, knowing that nothing about her would be embarrassing to me.  Moreover, I knew that however she represented me, it would be true to who I am - who we are.

Perhaps that is the number one reason why, in spite of not getting the job, I can walk with my head high.  That is, I know that I was represented by the two people on earth who know me best- me and my lovely wife, and we represented myself with authenticity and integrity.  The fact that the church didn't hire me is really beside the point.  Knowing the high quality and character of Sarah makes me feel like I married up, all the while she keeps treating me like she's the one who married up.

And that's one of the very cool parts of our marriage.  Both of us function under the illusion that we married up.  She found a stud beyond her pedigree and I found a babe way out of my league.  And 'til death do us part, we have each other.


  1. There is a third person in your marriage covenant. You both married up!

  2. awwww. that was so sweet. and it's not even your anniversary. :)

  3. LOVE.....and as a wife who has been "interviewed".....I so appreciate you not taking for granted her role in the weekend. It is easy to support and represent our men when they are full of integrity and character---but it is not always easy to know that even though you aren't the one officially hired, you still hold/represent/a lot of weight in the situation. Praying for you Steven & Sarah!

  4. This post brings tears to my eyes. This is exactly what marriage should be! Thanks for being so open and sharing this, it is beautiful. :)

  5. Wow, that's all I can say, Steven. Except, go have a baby today.