Father to six month old Liam, Andrew is currently attending Pacific University to get his masters as a physicians assistant. He and his wife, Tabitha, live in Gresham, OR.
I am currently commuting to school as I write you this letter. One hour and forty minutes by train each way from our home in Gresham to my school in Hillsboro. This is typically my time to study, as there’s not much studying to be done at home right now with you, a six-month-old, but there is also plenty of time for thinking. There are so many things to ponder: life, purpose, love, family, friendships, faith, joy, and sorrow. Well, you get the idea. I don’t know if your mind will work the same way as mine or not, but mine tends to just skip from place to place, and that can get me in trouble at times, particularly when I’m driving with your mother. You see I tend to let my mind wander too much for her comfort as the passenger. Just yesterday we were coming home from a great day spent picnicking and swimming at Trillium Lake. I was just on cloud nine, dreaming about the adventures you and I would go on and marveling at the beauty God has put on display, when your mom grabs her grab-bar and says in a firm, but not angry, voice, “Okay you’re going too fast for me.” Of course she said this while simultaneously bracing herself with the characteristic stomp of her foot on the floorboard that acted both to give her a sense of security as well as to alert me to my error. This probably seems benign but as you will learn, or already know, you were born to two rather spirited, opinionated, and stubborn people, which unfortunately meant that this was the beginning of a battle. As your mother’s stress continued to rise with each infraction I committed, my arrogance and ignorance as to my driving skills followed. We eventually ceased communicating all together aside from the occasional exacerbated sigh from your mother and my similar responses.
By the time we arrived home, we were both more than a little agitated. Your mom promptly started putting you to bed which, consciously or not, served as a break from me. At this point I remembered that I want my life to be the example for the way in which my words tell you to live. So, I chose to love your mother. To be frank, at that moment I did not want to, but that didn’t matter. I had made a commitment to her and God to love her. That is, I will choose to love her even when I do not want to. So I began to do all the chores that we neglected over the weekend, not because I wanted to, but because it was the only way, at that time, that I could think to love your mother. By the time she was done putting you to bed the house was basically ready for the next week. Now take careful note of this son. That simple act, done out of a commitment to love, meant more to your mother than 100 passion filled, emotionally driven kisses. It said to her, “I am in this with you forever, even when we are at each other’s throats.” Marriage is not about romance or “being in love”. It is about commitment to that one person regardless of what life brings. That’s not to say that being passionately and emotionally enthralled with your spouse is not important because it is, but it is not the hinge of your marriage. What holds a marriage is the choice to love. As a husband, choose to love your wife completely and fully each day.
Christian, husband, father, and pastor. Also a proud and dedicated nerd. One of the dads at TheDadLetters.com and author of TheLivesIHaveLived.wordpress.com.