We have very few important items in our home. We try to be pretty low maintenance people, especially when it comes to things. We’re church planters, missionaries who have invested everything we have in people, relationships, and church.

However, while unpacking after our most recent move, I reflected on one piece of crystal that means quite a bit to Brooke and me. It’s not expensive, but 20 years ago when I bought it, it was a financial reach on a pastor’s salary. It’s beautiful, it’s important, and it’s delicate.

The Good Crystal

When I found it, Brooke and I were really struggling as a couple. We had been married just a few years, and I had just been told by a marriage counselor how the Bible talks about a wife as a crystal vase. He told me that I had been treating Brooke like a reliable buddy and not like the beautiful, important, delicate gift God gave to me. He warned me that if I didn’t treat her like she were delicate, she could break, and it would hurt my relationship with God. As a commitment to myself and to Brooke, I pulled over on the way home and made an impulse purchase that I’ve never regretted.

This is not to say that day was the end of our marriage struggle. But, it was the end of me hiding behind the idea that Brooke should be my emotional twin like we were basically the same except for our physiology. And, it was the beginning of me learning to act like something very strange and foreign had entered my life.

Trying to Understand

When a husband stops believing he already knows what his wife should be thinking and feeling, she becomes a wonder and a mystery. The Bible tells husbands to dwell with their wives as those who are trying to work hard to understand your wife. This is because she is hard to understand. She is foreign and strange. A man who marries has brought a very peculiar creature into his home. She is altogether different and delicate, and she was made in the very image of God.

Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.

— 1 Peter 3:7

Brian Bowman

Brian Bowman

Brian Bowman is the pastor of Valley Life | Tramonto, the first Valley Life Church planted in 2012. He planted his first NAMB church in 2004 in Portland, OR. Brian also writes for the Send Network Blog and Acts 29.