The Greater Gift

One of the things I’ve struggled with in my marriage is that sometimes I feel like Matt isn’t impressed with things I accomplish.

I can receive praise from anyone else, but I find myself craving a “good job” or “you’re amazing” from the person that matters the most to me—him.

But the other day, I was sitting outside on the deck and preparing to lead my small group through a study the next night. And as I was reading, I realized something that stopped me in my tracks.

The passage was talking about the difference between admiration and adoration. I read, “People can give you temporary value based on your performance. But when someone adores you, they appreciate you for who you are, regardless of what you do. You aren’t just given their momentary attention; you are given their lasting love.”

And in that moment, I felt God say to me, “Christy, this is what Matt gives you. You’ve been craving his temporary admiration based on your performance when he’s given you something far greater. He adores you for who you are regardless of what you achieve or don’t achieve.”

My eyes filled with tears as I realized what I’d been missing. Matt was sitting across from me and I told him about my revelation. He said, “Of course! I’ve loved you the same from when you were a project manager working on children’s books, to now speaking in front of thousands of people.”

Here I had been totally missing out on appreciating his unconditional love—his adoration.

Admiration is a coworker complimenting the work you did on a project. Adoration is a mother hanging her child’s messy artwork on the fridge. Admiration is being held in high regard by someone who only sees your highlight reel on Facebook. Adoration is being loved by those closest to you—the people who know your good, bad and ugly sides.

Learning this has drastically changed how I feel loved by my husband. I want to encourage you: Don’t miss what I did. The world encourages us to chase admiration, but in doing that, you may be missing what’s right in front of you. Your friends and family give you a gift much greater—their unconditional love and adoration.

Related: He Loved Me First.