This is my husband, Bill’s, birthday week. We have celebrated 36 happy years together—and the happy part is largely due to the great guy I married. Since Bill is the creator of the 7 Simple Skills series (for men, for women) I thought I would use 7 of his best qualities to show how ANYONE can hold on to Jesus and create a life to look forward to living.
When we met at a leadership conference at Campus Crusade (CRU) Headquarters in Arrowhead Springs, I am not sure anyone would have predicted we would go on to marry, write 44 books, (most on relationships), and raise 3 godly sons who married 3 amazing gifted and godly wives and have 4 precious grandchildren who all are following Jesus with whole and happy hearts.
The statistics were stacked against us: me, a daughter of an alcoholic abusive dad and Bill the son of a brilliant but busy father and a mother who then and now struggles with fears and emotional trauma.
These 7 of Bill’s best traits surrendered to Jesus helped us break the dysfunctional cycles and build a foundation that our own grown children are building even stronger, better lives on.
Maybe reading through these traits will help you cultivate growth in some of these areas to move your life, your marriage, and your family and future forward too!
Simply put Bill is:
Surrendered- Bill’s goal is to keep 100% of his life is under God’s leadership. Now, he is, like all of us imperfect, but the moment he sees an area that is not reflective of Christ, he works hard to learn new skills, dig in God’s Word to discover new truths. Bill also looks up experts in that arena to learn new tools to shore up those areas and bring them back under Christ’s control.
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.. . (Romans 12:1)
Kind- My guy is just really, really nice! He is kind, thoughtful, attentive, forgiving and caring. I fell in love with the way he cared for my heart. I call this compassionate trait his “Superman” quality, so because of this there is always a line waiting for Bill’s help— so l must be willing to share him with the world. (Which is a small price to pay to be married to a really great guy!!)
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you (Eph 4:32)
Intellectual- Bill is smart. In high school he only missed ONE answer on the math SAT test. (I had to marry a math major to pass college math!) He can figure out an answer to almost any problem.
I call him “Superman” because he can fix almost anything: cars, the house, people’s traumas, the kids’ dilemmas, etc.
People call themselves experts even if they have not spent any time researching, studying or interning in that field. People today have a bent toward narcissism and pride so they think their idea or opinion has equal value to leaders who have spent decades working in a field of endeavor. My Bill was humble enough to know he needed to pay the price to be heard by studying HARD. He first thought he would be an architect and build houses, but God turned his heart toward the people who lived in those houses so now he helps families build happy homes—on the inside! He got his undergrad in Math because it was the quickest route to seminary where he got a Masters of Divinity (studying the original languages of the Bible: Hebrew and Greek) and his emphasis is in Practical Theology and counseling. While we were at Biola, Bill cultivated mentoring relationships with some of today’s best leaders.
I believe it is because Bill walks in humility that God has entrusted him with the gift of taking complex topics and synthesizing them to make them simple enough for everyone to understand and implement.
“The one who gets wisdom loves life.” (Proverbs 19:8)
Loving- One of the goals Bill had for our sons was to help them become a skilled lover as a husband. He has now developed a phone APP: Her Best Friendwhich sends one romantic idea a day to a man’s phone to help him romance his wife. That means 365 ideas a year! (And I have been the blessed recipient of many of these simple yet preciously wonderful ideas!) In addition, Bill loves his sons, their wives, and our grandkids—and his friends sense his commitment by the loving things he says and does.
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:24-25)
Listener- Bill is one of the best listeners. He is patient, empathetic and wise, so after listening carefully, he often knows just the right principle from God’s Word to share and how to apply it to move a life forward.
My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry (James 1:19)
Enthusiastic- Bill sings in the grocery line, is quick to offer a funny joke or humorous story to lift the heart and his laugh is hearty and contagious. His positive attitude and steady, calm pace makes life more enjoyable—and somedays, his humor makes ME more bearable! He is a shepherd, encourager, and motivator in the gentlest of ways.
Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up (Proverbs 12:25)
Dedicated- Bill goes the distance.
One of my favorite examples is when Bill built the home we raised our children in. Our wonderful (then small) church volunteered to offer their skills in plumbing, carpentry, roofing, cabinetry, etc to help hammer up a home because it sweat equity was the only way their pastor would be able to afford a home in expensive Southern California. I was pregnant and Bill was racing the stork to complete the home so we could bring the baby home to our new place. Even the local news was reporting on the race!
To get final approval, all the hills must be planted and all the sidewalks must be in and all the details signed off on by an inspector. The last two days before my scheduled C- section Bill got zero sleep. After I delivered our healthy son, Bill fell asleep on the fold out chair in my room. In the middle of the night, after I had nursed our bundle of joy and placed him in the bassinet, my VI came out and blood was splashing out so I tried to wake Bill—but to no avail. I ran for a nurse and discovered in the mayhem, the call button was unhooked as well, so I waddled slowly down the hall to the nurse’s station only to be chastised for being up and walking before I was cleared.
The nurse also began a “Can’t trust a man” tirade and asked me why my husband wasn’t helping me out. When I explained his heroic marathon of sleepless nights she quickly changed her tune. When she saw Bill collapsed in a deep sleep snoring, she simply said, “Oh, what a good man! Let’s just let him sleep—he deserves it!”