The best thing my wife ever said to me.

Twenty-five years ago this week, Elissa Engle became my wife.

It would take a full length book to detail all the ways in which she has made this an amazing marriage, but I’ll share one.  It is something that every wife should say to her husband.

If you haven’t figured it out yet, men and women are different.  Our world wants to eliminate gender differences in order to promote equality.

That is unnecessary.

Recognizing differences does not diminish equality.  In fact, I would strongly argue that distinguishing different strengths, weaknesses, desires and duties is essential to a successful marriage.

For example, most men have an inherent desire for adventure and a deep desire to make their lives count.  These are certainly critical needs in my life.  I’ve noticed that many men lose touch with these things over the course of their lives and as a result they lose heart…they lose zeal…they lose their passion for life.

Sometimes, a wife may be content to see those sorts of priorities diminish.  It’s less risky.  It’s safe.  It’s secure.  But in the end, no women really wants a man with no heart.

And here is where I want to celebrate my wife.

At the end of last year, I was contemplating a resolution to complete the Spartan Race Trifecta.  I’ve written on some lessons learned during my Spartan adventure here, here and here.  The Trifecta is a challenging series of three obstacle course races totaling over 26 miles and 60 obstacles.  I was nervous to commit to the goal.  I knew that it would take a significant investment of time, training and money…not to mention pain.

One night while talking to my wife, she said something that she has said to me many times before…

“You should do that.”

Those simple words are liberating.

Those simple words are life giving.

Those simple words are loving.

I needed the challenge and my wife didn’t hit me with reluctance or reasons not to do it.  She encouraged me to pursue my desire.

The value of that is immeasurable.

Listen ladies…that is a gift to your husbands soul.

Over the course of the last twenty-five years, I have proposed a lot of ideas to my wife that included risk, sacrifice and the unknown.  Some were for the sake of adventure.  Some were for the sake of mission.  Some were for me.  Some were for us.

But whether it was running a triathlon, moving across the country, planting a church or hand building a log home…I always got “you should do that.”

My wife, Elissa, was a cheerleader in high school and college.  It may be a little cheesy, but it is all true.  She has been my cheerleader for twenty five years and God knew that I needed her.  I needed a wife who would say “you should do that.”

Thank you, Elissa.

How about twenty-five more?

We should do that!

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