Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Praise him

When everyone else praises him for how much money he makes, praise him for his devotion to Jesus, and for how he treats you as a wife.

This is what our friend and pastor Kyle Easley said to me on my wedding day. I was reminded of it the other day when I was reading through my favorite quotes on Facebook.

This weekend Jack attended a national taekwondo tournament in downtown Dallas, and he returned with tales of sitting at the Master's table for the first time and being recognized by high-ranks and instructors in his region. He's being noticed on a wider scale now that he is a Master Nominee, almost-school owner, and world champion, and it's kind of an odd and amusing experience for him.

"People knew my name," he told me, laughing. "That's never really happened before."

I love that he's being recognized for his 25 years of hard work at his craft. I love that he has a reputation in our region for being kind to his students, a fabulous instructor, a fair judge, and an impressive competitor. He deserves every compliment he has been given. He is a really, really good guy.

(Please don't think he's at all arrogant about any of this attention; these are all my words.)

I mean, I know. You guys are vomiting in your office trash cans right now. Because, gross. You get it. I adore him. I'm crazy proud of him. He's fan-freaking-tastic. Move on, already, Mandy. Don't you have a gecko to catch?

But this is one of those moments Kyle was talking about during our wedding ceremony, I think. The moment when everybody notices Jack and praises him for his accomplishments (even if it's not about the money... which... HAHA! MONEY! Yeah, right.). The moment I'm supposed to praise him for how much he loves Jesus (check) and treats me as a wife (check).

But here's the great thing about that attention from everybody else: I believe that, from most people, it's based more on Jack's character than his accomplishments. The kinds of things his students tell me about him usually don't have a lot to do with the kicks or punches he teaches them. They have to do with the amount of respect they have for him. They have to do with the sweet way he focuses on their kids when they talk to him. They have to do with his, patience, humility and respect toward others.

As I am focusing on how he treats me as a wife instead of how much money he makes, they are focusing on how he treats them as students and friends instead of how great at taekwondo he is.

And I don't blame them. With him, it's pretty impossible not to notice what's most important.

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