A couple of weeks before Christmas I had the pleasure of accompanying my new husband, Randy, to his holiday work party. We had a great time. We were able to meet a variety of fascinating people and even reconnect with one of my former colleagues. During one of our conversations we were having a light-hearted chat, and someone referred to me as Randy’s “trophy wife!” We all had a good laugh because honestly there is just no way that this term fits me, or our relationship. Randy was quick to say, however, that I was his “ultimate prize” in life—sweetest husband ever.
The phrase set the wheels of my mind churning though…never in a million years would I have imagined anyone ascribing the phrase “trophy wife” to me in ANY situation. The photo of me in the polka dot dress above is the outfit I wore to the party that night, an early Christmas present from my beloved. If you have known me for longer than five minutes, you know I LOVE polka dots. Maybe it comes from my grandmother Ruby, or maybe I was just born with the affinity; either way, I am pretty excited about that dress. When I look at this picture, however, the woman I see takes me by surprise.
For most of my life, I have not felt very comfortable in my own skin. I wish I had some pictures of my early years here at my house (they mostly reside with my parents). Let’s just say the 1990’s hit, and they hit hard y’all. I’m glad those years are in the past. I struggled to find my “style” for a long, long time especially in my teen years:
I searched for my “outer” identity for quite some time. Oh, and the hair…I had every possible style of short hair you can imagine. I don’t know why I thought it was a good idea, but I definitely thought that was the RIGHT way to go. I was wrong, so very wrong. Not that short hairstyles are a bad thing, they just aren’t good for me. That young teenage girl would never have thought that one day someone would call her a “trophy wife.” In my mind that term was reserved for a very Barbie-like woman that looked nothing like me.
In those days though I was not particularly focused on being a wife, and I never thought I could look like a Barbie doll. I was more concerned about God, studying the Bible, and how I was going to change the world. Don’t get me wrong; I wanted to find love. I ached to find a partner in life, just like most teenage girls, I imagine. I just never thought I would be wearing polka dots and pearls one day while being compared to an inanimate object given to winners at awards shows, which brings me to the scripture verse found in Proverbs (see above).
Unfortunately, Proverbs chapter thirty has too often been used to keep women in a position of unjust submission to their husbands. But I do not think God intends for women to be subjugated in marriage. In the best sense, a wife is a treasure for her partner in life. According to the author of Proverbs, the best virtue of a wife is one who fears the Lord. Let me share one final picture:
The women in this picture are amazing, my godmother, my mom and my childhood pastor standing beside me at my college graduation. Thankfully my hair grew out by then! More importantly, though, these women loved me and mentored me through all my haircuts, awkward moments, great victories, tearful days, and years of growing into a woman. They taught me what it means to “fear the Lord.” Fear of the Lord is a deep reverence and recognition of our place in creation and gratitude that we have access to the love of GOD. Experiencing the love of God during my life, primarily through the love of others, has given me the ability to love my husband. Without the love of God and others, I could not be the wife I am today.
Beauty has already been been fleeting for me; some years I look better than others, but the ever-present love of God sustains me. I know that my husband loves how cute I am right now (he tells me pretty often), but he also loves my heart. My heart is the result of the women and men who have loved me from birth through every moment of my life until now, especially my family and friends. To all of them I say thank you. If all that love has made me “prize-like,” then I will take the word “trophy” and own it with joy!
Lauren seeks to inspire others to live passionate, authentic, joyful lives every day. She loves spending time with God, listening deeply to others, and pondering the mysteries of life. She is grateful for her family, her friends, and the amazing opportunities she has had in her life. On the lighter side she enjoys most anything that sparkles, great handbags, fine china, cute puppies, smiling babies, dark chocolate, and a great movie on a Friday night!