My wife and I recently celebrated our thirteenth anniversary. In reality, it feels more like our twentieth if you consider all the years we’ve known each other. We’re like that “Dawson’s Creek” couple, not that I’ve ever even watched an episode. And through it all, this many years later, I wake up each morning feeling as though I’m the most incredibly blessed man in the world. As I’ve said before, “I’ve married the girl of my dreams.”
My wife has a lot of fine qualities about her, all of which make her a great wife and an especially great mother. She’s kind, caring, faithful, loving (I may as well just write down the fruit of the Spirit), and most importantly, fun! That’s what my kids would say. “Umma’s fun! She plays with us.”
Sure, we all have those moments after a hard day’s work where we just need a few moments to relax and do some Instagram or ESPN vegging. My wife is no different. For her, however, those moments are few and far between. For her, it’s not Instagram, Netflix, or Riesling which marks her time at home after a long day, but Monopoly, brownies, and crafts with the kids. It’s not uncommon for me to walk through the door to see cards, crayons, papers, and sprinkles scattered across the floors and tables of our home. I used it mind it, but not anymore. For from them spring the laughter and delight of children who know what it is to have a fun time with a mom who loves them enough to play with them.
Of all her Christ-like qualities, it may just be her desire and willingness to play with our kids that shines most brightly. For it is in play (as I’ve written about here) that she both embodies and seeks the incarnation of Jesus – in pouring herself out and into the magical world of their minds, hearts, and imaginations.
I write this as a way to celebrate the blessings of a “fun” wife and mom but also as a nudge and reminder to myself to continually enter more fully into the lives of my kids. Even if it requires emptying myself of my own desires, ambitions, and comforts. Even if it means playing Clue (Hate board games). Sometimes, that’s what it takes.
5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. (Phil 2:5-8)