Today marks 14 years of marriage for my wife and me. A few years ago, on her 30th birthday, I wrote her a poem… which is to this day still the only halfway decent poem I’ve ever written. I share it today in honor of the occasion, as a small way of “calling her blessed” (Prov 31:28).
A Poem for Leigh On Her 30th Birthday
A poet I’m not known to be
Though writing’s natural to me
An essay or a speech is normal
But rhyme and rhythm seem so formal!
What is it, then, that makes a man
Unknown for rhyme pick up his pen
And turn his back on lucid prose
A thoughtful poem to compose?
It must be love, the skeptic says
And right he is. For I confess
My heart is captive to a girl
And in her orbit spins my world.
Yet no trite love story is this,
No hollow plot or one-night bliss
This is the surest of all love
Ordained and kept by God above.
Eight years ago our eyes first met
Love’s flower then was planted, Yet
Some time would pass before it grew
But even in those days, we knew.
Six years and more we’ve now been wed
And each night when I lie in bed
The things which, nascent then, I treasured
I cherish now in fuller measure.
For godliness comes not from naught
And character cannot be bought;
The culture’s beauties rise and fall,
But my fair bride outshines them all.
What man would not his money give,
Or pledge his soul, his life to live
With one who loves to be alive
And on companionship does thrive?
Who would not be the first in line
(If so bequeathed the God Divine)
To take from Him a wife of mirth
Whose laugh can ease the pains of Earth?
And would we not call him a fool,
Who’d send his children off to school
Without the guidance of a wife
Who’d help them learn by living life?
And in a culture starved for trust,
Where loyalty’s more “might” than “must,”
A lover who is faithful, pure
Must be a gift from heaven, sure.
When sin and brokenness abound
And truthful sources can’t be found
God’s greatest gift would be a wife
Who on the Bible stakes her life.
Though feminism’s voice is shrill
Creation’s rules are truer still.
Would he who seeks his God’s design
Not want submissive love to find?
As history and time do tell
A healthy home makes children well.
What better woman could there be
Than one with this priority?
And what of beauty? It is fine
But good is she who knows the line
Between what’s pretty and what’s vain
Her worth and beauty will remain.
My wife is all these things and more,
And with each passing day, her store
Of wisdom and of honor grows
It blesses everyone she knows.
And so, on this, the day that marks
Three decades since her life did start
I laud her with the poet’s art
And recommit to her my heart.
She is the fairest of the fair,
A life as one, in Christ, we share
May God who has our union made
Increase her joy with each decade!