a love song for a quiet man

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I remember the exact moment I knew.

We had been dating for less than three weeks, and an old flame had just arrived in town. The old flame was exotic and romantic, a dancer and sonnet-quoter. He said wild, passionate things which made me feel wild, confused things. And then, there was the quiet, new guy – who didn’t say much, who didn’t quote poetry, who didn’t dance. But he was present. And he encouraged. And with him, I felt at home. He met Old Flame’s verbal barbs with gentle words. He waited patiently while the storm raged on.

And so it was, driving past a windmill on the leaward slopes of Table Mountain, that I knew. This, THIS, was the man Ephesians 5 was talking about: the one who could love self-sacrificially, whose behavior was not selfish but aimed at the other’s flourishing.

This was the man I should marry.

Ten years ago today, we did just that. The quiet man and I said our “I do’s”.

It didn’t take long before the quiet man’s quietness became frustrating. It seemed passive; neglectful even. For a chatty girl who placed a high value on “talking things through”, his silence in the face of conflict was infuriating. His quietness was sometimes hurtful: I felt unseen, dismissed, forgotten at times.

We faced decisions, and I wondered whether we were on the same team. We faced opportunities, and I wondered how he could just let them pass by. His quietness seemed like a failure to lead, and I feared it would result in a failure to thrive. He is a gifted man, a brilliant thinker – but his quietness meant he was slow to assert himself. In his quietness, he was overlooked – by others, and by me.

(Forgive me, love.)

But the years have gone by, and the children have come, and on this tenth birthday of our little family – I am overcome with gratitude for his quiet strength. His quietness has meant our home is a harbor: where the waters are still even when the surrounding waves are unrelenting. His quietness has meant safety: I do not fear caprice or wrath or selfishness from him. His quietness is not weakness, it is meekness: a willingness to change diapers at 2am, to weather my moods without snarky retaliation, to return kindness for insult, to serve rather than be served. I know now I was called to love and serve a quiet man, whose passivity in some things does not mean he lacks passion in others.

I do not love him despite his quietness. I love him all the more now for his quietness. This quiet man has been as Jesus to me: a stalwart, an anchor, a bulwark; and I am so very grateful to the God who saw fit to entrust us to each other.

This is my love song for my quiet man, whose kindness has spoken louder than words ever could.

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29 thoughts on “a love song for a quiet man”

  1. What a beautiful and un-asked for, but surprisingly needed and uniquely brought together, gift for YOU! God is all knowing, good, and loves to surprise us with GREAT gifts.

  2. What a lovely tribute to Jeremy and your life together. I, too, married a quiet man. Happiest of anniversaries!

  3. We recently took a trip to cheer on a cousin who ran a marathon. We so love and admire your marriage, and, given the geographical distance, I suppose this ‘virtual side-line’ is one of the better ways of cheering you and Jeremy on in your marriage! Happy anniversary:) We will always root for Team Lea:)

  4. Happy happy anniversary! As one also married to a quiet man I resonate with your thoughts so well expressed. It’s been my observation that quietness is a misunderstood and undervalued quality in this very noisy and culture. For some excellent insight into this, I recommend the book Quiet by Susan Cain. Have you read it? Enjoy your day!

  5. Ciska Longland Barry

    Wow, sista, what a gift you have… so well written! God’s richest blessings on your family! Enjoy your special time away!

  6. I also love a quiet man – a rock to my extroversion and a guide to my learning the value of stillness and being earthed. A beautiful tribute to the Observers.

  7. A wonderful love song! I’m trying to figure out who the old flame was … And the “LEAward” slopes – hee hee 🙂

    1. The Old Flame was from the USA (does the hint help?), and I’m so glad you noticed the leaward slopes – that made me chuckle too, as I really was on a lea-ward slope both literally and figuratively 🙂

  8. Wow, love this, Bronwyn. I have a quiet but intense man. I know that feeling of peace and at-home you’re talking about. It was in the first week I felt, like for the first time in my life I had an anchor. You’re inspiring me to write about my guy too. Thank you. 🙂

  9. Pingback: “I need a jacket” | bronwyn's corner

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