I am so excited to write this post. Not because I think it will be some amazing, awe-inspiring post but because I truly believe it will bless my husband and speak to his heart in a love language he speaks and receives (and make him squirm a bit because it’s about him—humble yourself and receive it Aaron, lol). It’s significant because words are not necessarily the language of my love so I’m sure it will catch him off guard, especially coming out of a time of difficulty in my own personal life which has made it difficult for me to love the way I want to love.

Aaron’s birthday is coming up (January 22) and so I have been racking my brain trying to figure out how I could really bless him. I’m not the best gift-giver with him. I usually say, “what do you need?” or “what would you like for your birthday?”. If I’m able, I make it happen. Not much thought put into it and no surprise for him. This year I want to honor him with words and consequently honor the Lord in those words as I know (and Aaron knows) the only reason I will be able to honor Aaron this way is because of the great work God has done in his life. Thank you for allowing me to “honor Aaron before men” as I publicly thank him for the way he loves us and as I share with you how you can pray for me to love him well. What better blessing to him than to have all of you praying for me to grow in ways that will benefit him for his birthday.

I hope that this doesn’t come across as boasting in anything other than our Lord Jesus Christ for the new life He gives and I hope you don’t think that I am seeing my husband through rose colored glasses, ignoring the weaknesses and sins that he DOES battle in his life. This post is just not for that. Today I am choosing to focus on my husband’s many commendable qualities.  In one of her books Elisabeth Elliot shares something from her husband for wives and it expresses part of my heart in this, “A wife, if she is very generous, may allow that her husband lives up to perhaps eighty percent of her expectations. There is always the other twenty percent that she would like to change, and she may chip away at it for the whole of their married life without reducing it by very much. She may, on the other hand, simply decide to enjoy the eighty percent, and both of them will be happy.”

I want to encourage Aaron for his birthday. “Biblical encouragement involves actively looking for areas where God is at work in your spouse’s life and drawing attention to the grace in operation there. To encourage someone is to see and rejoice in God’s grace being displayed. To withhold encouragement despite progress—even if it’s just a glimmer of progress is to rob God of glory, who is always faithfully at work to conform us to Christ” (A Love That Lasts by Gary and Betsy Ricucci).

I have had a front row seat to the work of God in Aaron’s life. We have known each other for almost sixteen years. I knew him before he loved God and I can honestly say that the changes that have taken place in his life have been nothing but evidence to me about the new life one has in Christ. I feel so blessed that God used this spiritual new birth in Him to turn my own heart towards the Lord almost ten years ago. There are many Christians whose lives before Christ were ones lived in moral uprightness, but with Aaron the contrast was much more outwardly apparent. Most of you reading this blog wouldn’t believe the things he had done and said before being gripped by the grace of God but trust me when I say it is the polar opposite of the man you know today. We praise the Lord for this work of grace.

 

Evidences of Grace

Let me now direct my words to Aaron for a moment as I thank him for just a few ways he brings glory to the Lord and cares for our family. In no particular order…just writing as each thing pops into my head…

Thank you, husband, for being a man who loves God’s Word and seeks His strength and power to do all that you cannot do on your own. Thank you for humbling yourself before the Lord in prayer continually so that you may grow and love others better (even when others, AKA me, are not loving you well). Thank you for showing us how to bring things and people before the Lord in prayer, always. Thank you for that example…always stopping to pray for someone else when requested. Thank you for being an example to us of what it means to “love your neighbor”…the ones that live WITH you (me and the kids) and those God has placed near you (friends, family, neighbors and all the 10,000 random but not random people God has put in your path over the years.  Thank you for confessing your sins to me and seeking my forgiveness so quickly. Thank you for your patience with me when I am slow to seek forgiveness from you. Thank you for sacrificing your needs and desires to meet my needs and desires, especially in this long season of chronic illness I have been struggling to get through. Thank you for NEVER questioning or doubting my unseen physical pain or making me feel like it was in my head. Thank you for never complaining to me about my current physical limitations but looking for ways to help me IN them. Thank you for every encouraging note you have left me…in my planner, on the coffee pot, next to my bible. I have them all tucked away (well not all of them because there have been a lot). Thank you for bringing me coffee almost every morning for the last four or so years so that I could get in every minute I could of quiet time before the demands of the day hit. Thank you for telling me I am more and more beautiful as time passes even though I know time has had effects on many things. And thank you for saying I am beautiful at my most unbeautiful times…stinky feet, breath and underarms…no makeup after obsessively messing with a spot on my face that has been there for three months because I can’t leave it alone…when I am big and pregnant and when I get fixed up (because I really do like it that you notice when I do, hahaha)! Thank you for how hard you have worked over the years to help provide for this family and for being faithful with the doors the Lord has opened for you to provide for us even if that meant scrubbing toilets and cleaning up child vomit…and doing so without ever complaining. Thank you for being mindful of your family (me and the kids) when making commitments, especially those “good things” that can be a source of division in a family when those good things are to the detriment of those closest to you. Thank you for being a “present” husband and father, when you are here…you are here loving us and serving us and not in some faraway place thinking about everything but us and not all up in your iPhone. Thank you for asking me what I think about things, especially things that don’t even pertain to me necessarily- it shows me you care what I think and value my observations. Thank you for all the diapers you have changed, kid baths you have given, dishes you have done and housework you have done….WITHOUT me even asking you to. Thank you for making me laugh— with you and AT you, it keeps things interesting. Thank you for those times you let me sleep in while tending to every need that arises while I rest so not to disturb me. Thank you for all those times you asked if I would like to go have some quiet time with the Lord while you “manned the fort”. Thank you for all the family devotions you have done even if it seems like NOBODY is listening— you have been faithful! Thank you for staying home with sick kids so I can attend church and feed my soul much needed nourishment. Thank you for the grace-filled reminders of who I am and where I have been when I forget to show others the same grace I have received. Thank you for always pointing me to Christ and reminding me of who I am in Him. Thank you for loving our children enough to do the hard parenting things. Thank you for all this and so much more. You are a treasure. A gift to me and to your children. I praise God that he chose you to be my husband…even with the “twenty percent” of things I didn’t mention that drive me nutso sometimes. I pray that you know how much I love you and how grateful I am that God saved you and brought us back together. Would you ever believe all this would be so sixteen years ago? Or even ten years ago? Or even five years ago? But for the grace of God…

 

In Their Words

So I asked the kids what was their favorite thing about their papa and Titus said, “Blue”. I’m afraid he wasn’t understanding the question. I repeated multiple times and said it louder and slower thinking that would help…but he’s two. With a little encouragement I got “play”. One word, I know, but it says so much. What I do know, he loves his papa putting him to bed at night. Salem on the other hand said her favorite thing to do with papa was “go eat donuts” and “ice cream” (definitely her mother’s child). I think their answers say they appreciate time with papa. And that blesses my heart. They WANT to be around their papa. They enjoy him.

I know the kids and I aren’t the only ones who appreciate the work God is doing in Aaron and so I decided to ask some others to describe Aaron and share a way he has been a source of blessing to them, below are their responses…

In their words…

Attentive, thoughtful, guileless, wholesome, encouraging, wicked dance moves, humble, servant-hearted, grateful, faithful, compassionate, patient, considerate, friendly, fun-loving, joyful, funny, good listener, caring, devoted, sincere, authentic, leader, committed, honest, passionate follower of Christ, loves his family, loves others, wise, diligent, honest, thoughtful, broken, genuine…

From an 8 year old boy: funny, hairy, Jesus-lover

From a 10 year old girl: hilarious, caring, generous

“Aaron, loves God and loves people. He has always loved me and been a selfless friend to me. I know he really cares for me and is interested in me. Today, so many friendships are focused on what I can get from someone. Aaron isn’t like that; he gives. There have been many moments. One particular was in the London Heath row airport. A conversation we had there was a huge encouragement in me pursuing full time missions. He has always been someone I can come to about anything and he never judged me about anything but met me in my weakness.”

“Whenever I’m struggling in some way (sin, failure) he always finds a way to show me how Jesus’ work meets that particular struggle. His constant desire to apply the gospel (Christ’s finished work) to every situation I’m facing has been one of the biggest sources of my sanctification over the past 8 1/2 years, and I am more like Christ because of him.”

“I appreciated Aaron’s ability to open up my heart and encourage me to love others deeper.”

“Since the first day my wife and I met you and Andrea at Olive Garden for dinner, I have been blessed by your friendship. I remember thinking about how “on fire” you were for God. I love your heart Aaron. I love your tenderness. I love your desire for holiness. I love to hear you talk about being a godly father, and husband. I’ll never forget the Saturday morning prayer times in our sunroom. I loved how you  would softly, so sweetly, sing a hymn that touched your heart.  I cherish those times and I cherish your friendship. I know God has great plans for you and your family. I’m so proud of the godly man you are.”

“A couple of weeks ago I was overwhelmed with my studies and was absorbed by self-pity. Aaron came in and looked me in the eyes and preached the gospel to me and told me my worth because of the finished work of Christ. I have approached my studies and workload with a different mentality after that conversation.”

“One time that Aaron really blessed/encouraged me is when we were
neighbors this summer, Aaron was upstairs helping my husband clean our gutters and took a tiny break – and really spoke to my boys about when he was
growing up and how important it is for (my boys) them to make good
decisions and listen to their parents and show respect.  I could tell my
boys were really listening and I was impressed and happy that Aaron wasn¹t
afraid to speak LIFE and Christ¹s admonitions into the lives of MY boys.
Only a true, godly man would do that.”

“Aaron will never under-think anything spiritual, and never over-think anything practical!”

“Aaron has encouraged me too many times to single one moment out.  Personally, he has stopped me many of times to pray with me whether things were going smoothly or not.  It has always encouraged me.  He just always demonstrates true compassion or love for people.  He not only wants whats best for others, but he wants the best for their soul.”

 “I would describe Aaron as a joy-filled, meticulously manicured (what is up with his nail fetish?), stylish, effervescence of God’s word, who’s heart beats for the cross and for more people to come to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Aaron is bold and unafraid to stand for Jesus in the most awkward situations. Aaron is humble and honest in his weakness. He has confessed sin on multiple occasions about areas I was completely unaware that he was struggling with; he has a Spirit sensitive conscience. Aaron is a faithful friend. He remembers when he says he’ll pray and he follows up with you. He patiently listens, earnestly pursues, and faithfully directs those he loves to the gospel for fresh grace. I can’t wait to him shepherd God’s flock because he already demonstrates so many of the characteristics of the great Shepherd, Jesus Christ. It feels like there isn’t a day that goes by that I see Aaron and he doesn’t encourage me. From the material things like new shoes, or spiritual things like my marriage, he is faithful to point out God’s grace in my life. He genuinely rejoices when something good happens to me and sincerely is grieved when I struggle – he sympathizes like his savior. Aaron goes way out of his way (maybe to a fault…. but this is an encouragement so I’m gonna stay on track ;)), to buy things, plan things for others because of his generous heart. Honestly, I don’t think Aaron would have any money or possessions if Andrea didn’t hold him to a budget – his heart is that huge! I love this dude! Finally, Aaron is passionate about God. He sings loudly (with a subpar voice ;)), he prays fervently, and he studies hard to learn more about God. I see him stay at the office until hours of the night striving for excellence so that he might know, worship, and delight in his savior more. Aaron loves the Lord. There are many ways that I really wanna be like you Aaron – no lie. Seriously, thanks for giving me a tangible example of what it looks like to live Jesus, to work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, to walk in the Spirit. And thanks for letting me be your friend; I cherish our friendship!”

“Aaron is like a bag of Chex-Mix, a great combination of savory goodness. Some of my most hilarious moments at the Pastors College have involved him just being his entertaining and crazy self. While some of my most meaningful ones have occurred because of his Barnabas-like qualities; able to teach and encourage at any opportunity he can. I cannot imagine this experience without Mr Beane.”

“I remember sitting at the kitchen table, hearing him talk about his past. I remember looking at him and being unable to reconcile the two people he represented, the one in front of me and the one in the story. And I realized the power of the gospel all over again. The fact that Aaron would have been unrecognizable to me in those days, because what I see in him now is so the opposite in every way, it’s purely amazing grace. And I fell in love with Jesus all over again listening to him share his testimony, because the same Christ that transformed Aaron is at work in me, and everyone I know who he is bringing to himself.”

“Aaron exudes humility and gratefulness. He is ALWAYS expressing gratefulness for even the small things around the office. And this is because he is a humble man, aware of his sin and even more aware of the grace that has been shown him through Christ. He is always looking for needs around him, whether it be helping load a heavy item, opening a door, etc. One day I was struggling to take down Christmas lights and he jumped up and did it for me. No fanfare. Even when I said I was fine, he saw the need and met it. Though this may seem like a small thing, it isn’t. For it’s another expression of Aaron’s eagerness to serve.”

“Aaron has blessed, encouraged, and served me: i) in his prayers, ii) in repenting of his pride to excel, and, iii) through his passion for sharing the gospel with the unsaved.”

“I remember a time when we were in life group together that I invited him over to talk.  I confessed some sins to him and asked him to pray for me.  He was so compassionate, loving, encouraging.  It was like I was confessing to the Lord!  He just has such a big heart for the broken and desire to see others turn from sin and run to Christ. Just love that about him!”

 “Aaron has always been genuine. He has indirectly blessed me for the numerous times he has talked with my husband, encouraged him in the Lord, prayed over him and just loved him as a friend. My husband has mentioned several times how much Aaron means to him because he has always been there. As a wife, I really appreciate this.”

“I really can picture Aaron as a servant, who definitely cares more about everyone else but him. I remember when I was struggling with Greek, as he was, and he invited me to his personal tutor hour with the Greek teacher even though that was going to go against him because he was going to have share the tutor in his personal schedule. There are many times like that, (offering serving coffee, asking to give a ride, etc).”

“Generous (especially to his wife), patient father, disciple, disciple maker, faithful, a man of understanding and counsel. Honest and empathetic. Points me to Christ. Gift of encouragement. Can dance like he is made of rubber, and has the gift to make people laugh.”

“Aaron is a godly man who knows how rotten he is as a man but knows how awesome his Savior is. Aaron loves his family and has a passion to serve them and others in a manner that is pleasing to The Lord. Aaron encourages me just by watching him live. The knowledge of his freedom in Christ encourages me.”

“Aaron is a humble servant and a loyal and approachable friend. He has a way of assuring me of his brotherly love and care for me. One of the most encouraging things that’s happened to me at the Pastors College is that he showed up to move me into my house- to be there to support me in prayer and actually give up his day, when he was busy moving in, to serve me. In the midst of that he was both a humble guy and gospel guy. He was missional with our movers and this was beautiful. And I have to say that I was nervous as to how I would fit in and all before I came to the Pastors College. Our conversation that day, which was so marked by his transparency and humility— sharing weaknesses and concerns ect. — was very  instrumental in encouraging me that the PC was the place for me. It was the most encouraging initial moment in Louisville where I was excited that this is where God had my family and I this year.

“A time when Aaron has encouraged me the most is pretty obvious. During the season of when my marriage was struggling all the way to when it ended he was there to be a good brother. He listened when I needed to vent and encouraged me when I needed that. He also was willing to be honest with me to tell me things that I had examine and work on that was hard to hear but was the truth and needed to hear it. He just didn’t tickle what my fleshly ears wanted to hear, he loved me through what the truth of the Bible through what Christ speaks about! Aaron Beane has, is, and always will be a special person in my life. I miss all you guys tremendously but Aaron, with all the time we spent together, I miss all the time.”

Friends (old and new), thank you all for sending me these beautiful expressions of how the Lord has touched your life through Aaron’s. It has served me well just by reading them— increasing my love for Aaron and my love for God!

Honey, look what the Lord has done. Ain’t He good!?!?!?! As I sit here and reflect on what our friends have said above, I just agree wholeheartedly. You are the same man behind closed doors where nobody else sees you. God saved you and has used your willing heart so much as He conforms you into the image of His Son. I can sit here without a single hesitation and know that you are pursuing a call from God to pastoral ministry. I know you better than anyone, and I would say that over and over. I am so proud of how faithful you are being right now to better equip yourself to serve God and the Church in the future. One of my favorite old timers, Matthew Henry said, “Good knowledge without a good life will not profit. Our understanding is then a spiritual understanding when we exemplify it in our way of living.” We all continue to pray that this would be the heart you keep as time moves forward!

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17

“We therefore were buried with Him through baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may walk in newness of life.” Romans 6:4

“As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:1-9

 

How Can You Pray?

Today, I am asking, as a birthday gift to my husband, that you (anyone reading this) would pray for me as his wife in ways that would benefit him. “The best remembrance of our friends is to remember them at the throne of grace” (Matthew Henry). Below are some specific things you can pray for but please pray as the Lord leads you!

Pray that I would daily depend on the Lord and draw close to Jesus in order to be who God has called me to be and do what God has called me to do.

Pray that I would honor my husband with my words, countenance, and my actions.

Pray that I would not get so caught up in the day to day that I forget to love him, serve him and enjoy his friendship to me.

Pray that I would love him well in the ways he most receives love…tender love and affection…words of affirmation.

Pray that I would be faithful to pray for him.

Pray for me to humble myself and confess my sins against him quickly and sincerely.

Pray that I would know how to lovingly encourage him, being faithful to the Word of God, as he battles with his weaknesses, internal struggles, and his personal sins.

Pray that I would bear with him in an understanding way.

Pray that I would use the gifts God has given me to serve Aaron, my family, and the Church well.

Pray I will be discerning and give wise counsel when he seeks my guidance or thoughts in ministry matters.

Pray I would have a joyful heart as I go about each day and greet him when he returns home in such way that he is so happy to walk through that door.

Pray that I would respect him, not just outwardly…moreover— inwardly.

Pray I would focus more on the evidences of grace in his life than on the areas he falls short.

Pray he would remain first in my heart and in my care. That God would increase my love for him.

Pray that I would continually direct him to the work of God all around us. Pointing him to Christ. Reminding him of the Gospel.

Pray that our marriage would reflect that which God intended it to reflect.

 

Happy Birthday, honey! I love you.

Advertisements