At the risk of alienating our readers and losing my high paying position here at the site (for those callow atheists who claim cash flow is the true ambition of the apologist – that was a joke), I want to write something a bit less related to apologetics and a bit more personal. It should be noted, however, that what I reveal below applies in the case of this site every bit as much as it does anywhere else.
Lord willing I will graduate from seminary today with a Master of Divinity degree completed this past summer. There are many, many people to thank, and obviously nothing is possible apart from Jesus Christ, but there is one person in particular I would like to publicly thank for seeing me through these past two years, and that is my wife.
My wife and I had plans to move in order for me to attend seminary before we were even married. Like many other young men who make the decision to attend seminary I was anxious about how we would be able to work things out financially. On the one hand, there are concerns about bills to be paid, and on the other hand, there are concerns that working to pay those bills might lead to poor academic performance. When I mentioned my concerns to an online friend who had attended the seminary I wished to attend, he gently, but firmly answered me with a quote from Matthew 6.24-34. He was right to do so, though I did not know at the time how much wisdom there actually was in his response. Still, I wanted further counsel of a practical nature from my pastors and mentors, many of whom had attended seminary long ago.
One pattern I quickly noticed is that my mentors’ wives had worked to put them through seminary. For various reasons, including my understanding of Titus 2.5 at the time, I was not very comfortable with the idea of my wife working while I went to school. However, after my wife and I discussed it for some time, one of my mentors telling me that if I tried to work and go to school I would fail, and hearing a sermon from John Piper wherein he talked about his wife also having put him through school, my wife and I decided on what we now refer to as “the deal.” My wife would work while I focused completely on seminary. We recognized that this arrangement was not normative or ideal but temporary and practical.
Let me take a moment to say that the last thing I want to do here is cause someone to stumble. The ways that students get through school are as varied as the people who become students, and there is no one right answer to the difficulties of pursuing higher education. Just because something is right or has worked for one person does not mean that it is right or will work for someone else, and we should not be so naïve as to think that things would be better if this were the case. God knows what He is doing, and He works very differently in and with the lives of His people for His glory and their good. (1 Corinthians 12.4-6; Romans 8.28)
But I do not want the awkward tasks of explaining personal details and conceiving of suitable disclaimers to prevent me from extending my deepest gratitude to my wife in this post. I do not envy what she has gone through for the last two years. After marrying me, she chose to leave her family and her friends and move far away from them. This separation resulted in her missing important events in the lives of her family members. She has missed the births of two nephews and the early years of her niece’s life. Due to unforeseen circumstances she has missed spending three Thanksgivings in a row at home. She has had to deal with a problem that rendered our residence virtually unlivable, excruciating migraine headaches and a tumor/aneurysm scare, a miscarriage while I was out of town, a surgery and a large amount of physical pain related to it. She has endured all of this while working full time and living with a husband who, for the first semester and a half of school, plus the ends of semesters and in between semesters, was busy with school work such that it significantly cut into the time she was able to spend with him. There have been numerous other hardships she has had to face. Perhaps you did not believe me before when I said that I do not envy her! I was telling the truth. But she has done all of this willingly. She has not complained. She has been faithful in everything. And because of that I am not only exceedingly grateful, I am quite honestly awestruck.
Other people may claim that they have the best wives in the world, but I do not believe them. When I read Proverbs 31.10-31, I only see my wife, and I praise God for her. So I want to thank her and credit her for all of my recent apparent accomplishments. If you read this site, then even you have benefitted from what she has sacrificed.