My Main Men

Updated: Oct 26, 2019

This is a story about the two most important men in my life -- Jeff and Jesus -- and how they are pretty much on the same page when it comes to me.

There's been a few things on the internet about the roles of Christian women this week. Which is what is making me think about this.

When I was 21 and still a senior in college, we got engaged. In the course of our premarital conversations, Jeff told me he would like for me to stay home with our kids when they were little. I thought about this for a few days, and eventually said something like this:

"I'm 21 years old. I cannot, at this moment, commit to never having a profession if we have kids. I haven't even gotten to use my degree yet."

Jeff's response was something like, "Okay. We'll figure it out as we go."

That's it. Really.

On my graduation day, three weeks before our wedding.

And for the last 20 years, that's just about how Jeff and I have settled matters of my career and role in our family. I say what I want to do, and what I think God is calling me to do, and Jeff says, "Okay." And he absolutely means it.

Because my degree was English Literature, there was a good chance I was never going to get to use it. But I landed a part time writing job, and Jeff supported me taking this small thing I could get for now, and we trusted that God had something else coming for us. He did. While we were on our honeymoon, the magazine's Executive Editor quit, and they gave me -- for some crazy reason -- a full-time editor position.

Seven years later, we had a two year old kid, and I was still working. And then I heard God tell me that I had to quit my job and stay home full-time. He also said, "I've got you covered." I told Jeff that I heard God's voice tell me to give notice, and Jeff said, "Okay." I gave notice. I didn't work for years, and we came out of a recession still owning our small house and without debt. God had us covered indeed.

And then when I felt God leading me to start teaching young moms groups, Jeff again said, "Okay, go for it." We both felt that, though I could certainly earn more if I ran hard at pursuing secular journalism again (which I still do now and then for fun and a check), that this was where Jesus was calling me to spend my energy.

On it went. When God prompted me to write a book, and then another book Jeff said "Go for it." He okayed giving up the living room when I had test groups come over and give me book feedback. He okayed me signing with an agent based on my instincts, teaching almost every week, and being gone on the weekends when I started booking women's retreats.

He doesn't call it "babysitting" when I'm gone; he calls it being a father. When someone in his family said something to us about me being "gone so much" if this thing "really takes off" Jeff said, "If this thing takes off for Amanda, we are going to ride it as far as it will take her." He spends occasional Saturdays and date nights working my book table. He joins the audience when I teach co-ed groups in Recovery. He just totally and completely has my back.

We have never had a conversation about whether or not I should be teaching because I'm a woman. We just know Jesus said to me, "Go where I send thee." And he's sent me to audiences of both men and women, both of whom have lovingly taken the time to tell me that what I said blessed them.

Before speaking at Awaken, we smile. Listening to me on stage, Jeff gets very serious.