“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”
I shared this picture a few weeks ago in a completely unrelated post. But on this Saturday 4/12, it’s extremely special. This year, is our 6th anniversary. The 6th anniversary also happens to be the ‘iron’ year, following the traditional anniversary gifts.
Some of you might be thinking, “Wait, but how does iron sharpen iron? That’s not possible.” And well, you’re right, it’s not possible. You need a harder metal or a stone to do it, so basically, you can’t. When sharpening knives/swords if you rub two of the same metals together it just creates friction and heats them up, doesn’t sharpen them, but potentially gets them ready to be molded. On a metaphorical level, I think relationships are meant to have friction, and every person is meant to challenge our thinking about the world around us. So, that we challenge ourselves to thinking deeper about all that we’re told or all that we see, other people help prepare us to be molded. On a spiritual level I think since God is referred to as a rock, or stone many times in the Bible, we need him to sharpen us into the perfect shape:)
Just as the act of iron against iron heats up with each movement, so the exchange of ideas, morals, thoughts, opinions makes people more alert in their thinking. Together, Kyle and I have promised each other that we will be devoted to sharing ideas with each other and offer new insight and clarity into our constantly growing minds, and that in the end we cannot do it alone but with the help of The Big Man Upstairs. We have vowed to be the best versions of who we are both mentally and physically for one another, as well as for ourselves.
We haven’t exchanged presents just yet, and since we’ll both be busy Saturday celebrating, I thought an early blog post would do. So, for this year, I thought I would share the Top 6 ways Kyle has helped sharpen me during the past 6 years of our marriage together. In no particular order, here they are…
1. He compliments me constantly
No matter whether it’s my snowboarding, my hair, my Tahitian dance, my voice, my teaching, or my craftiness. With the exception of video games, Kyle always has something nice to say about something I’m doing. More importantly, it’s incredibly sincere. This makes me want to compliment other people on what they’re doing too. I want to make other people feel as good about themselves as Kyle makes me feel about myself. I cannot count the times that I have heard “Babe, you are a really talented person, I think if you want to do it, you’ll do it and do it well.” It doesn’t even matter what it is. He truly truly believes I will excel at whatever it is I want to do. More importantly, he tells me how good I am at doing it. How does this sharpen me? Like I said, it puts my mind in check and has me constantly making sure I tell those around me how good they are at things, or what great jobs they have done. It helps me to admire those talented people I’m surrounded by.
2. He selflessly provides
I’ve gushed about this before. But for almost 6 years now, I have had a job where I wake up before Kyle to go to work. Kyle, bless his little heart, gets up every day at the same time as me to cook me a balanced breakfast and send me on my way. I cannot tell you how much this small gesture means. Not only that, but he enthusiastically rides his bike with me 4 miles to my workplace, and happily rides home another 4 miles before getting ready for his work day. Just because he knows how much I like spending time with him in the morning. My hosting skills and ability to help others is something that I can attribute to Kyle’s breakfast making skills. I think about all the small things I could do for people to make them happy during their day, because Kyle has been doing that for me for 6 years.
3. He makes me laugh every day
He tells me how much he likes being around me. He makes stupid jokes just to see my reaction. Basically, Kyle is always making me take life less seriously and to just have fun with it. Along with this though, is that he helps me feel like problems aren’t as big as they seem to be, which allows us to have open communication about any and all things. This directly affects my non-Kyle life by allowing me to see that sometimes, when conflict arises, the best thing to do is bring it up and talk it out. The problems aren’t as serious as we make them out to be, and how much harder is it to walk around with all that baggage anyway? At the end of the day, I want to smile knowing that I have done everything I can to make life with others easygoing and free from all burdens.
4.He challenges my beliefs
About everything really. He poses questions and brings up debates. He shares frustrations about faith, life, politics, family, and love, and is always open to discussing these things with me whenever they come up. The greatest thing about how he does it is his approach. He doesn’t like feeling attacked or like he has to defend his position, but he sure does like to debate and discuss his opinions. This has helped sharpen my wits when it comes to things that I feel super strongly about. I think of all the ways a person might disagree with my thinking, and then I think about whether or not what I believe is justified. It helps encourage me to ask the bigger questions. Not only that, but he can also agree to disagree, which I feel is an admirable quality to possess. I will keep trying my best to do so too.
5. He encourages me to have bigger health goals
So, of everyone ever, Kyle thinks I’m super healthy and in shape. Kyle also knows how much I love a challenge. So, when I was bouncing around the question, “I wonder how ripped I could get by summer…” His response? “Babe, I think you’d like the challenge of sticking to a meal plan.” He meant it and with no malice at all, and he was right. I love that he cares about taking care of our bodies and being strong enough to do the things we want to do. He knows my competitive need (whether with others or myself) and he taps into that by encouraging me to challenge myself physically. He makes sure that I am not down on myself about my health and my body, and I get to do the same for him. He loves hearing me get excited about all the friggin veggies I’m learning to cook, and tells me constantly to keep it up. When he knows it’s not my ‘cheat day’ he gently reminds me when I start talking about cookies and pizza:) Because of this, I have learned how to do the same for my friends. I have learned how to encourage them without making them feel weird or insecure. And for that, I am eternally grateful.
6. He communicates effectively
Which brings us to the last and most important way Kyle helps make me better. Communication. I have never met a person that cares so much about the people in his life. To a fault almost, because when he gets really hurt he tends to pull away. But he is always always open to communicating about his feelings if both parties are willing to truly listen and take responsibility for things. I have appreciated this very blunt description. He always talks about the importance of communicating how I’m feeling, but in times of crazybeezyemotionaltori (which rarely happens) he requests that we talk when I’m thinking straight and rationally. The cool thing about this, is that I feel safe talking about some of the most taboo subjects with him. It’s nice to know that when we go out to the club, we both can feel free to dance with whoever we want, talk to whoever we want, drink with whoever we want… because their is no miscommunication between the two of us. We understand each other’s expectations and are able to trust each other in every situation, because we are constantly discussing our thoughts and feelings. There is no room for jealousy is a trusting heart. So, once again this plays a very important role in my daily life, because I see the immediate benefits of making communication a top priority between people. I’m reminded of its importance every day I come home to a man who is willing to listen and engage. So, I want to do my best to make honest communication a top priority in all the relationships in my life. To be totally transparent with my friends and family.
And that my friends, is how Kyle helps sharpen me every day.
Kyle, you are the world to me. Happy 6th anniversary!