About the Author

Amber C Haines, author of Wild in the Hollow, has 4 sons, a guitar-playing husband, theRunaMuck, and rare friends. She loves the funky, the narrative, and the dirty South. She finds community among the broken and wants to know your story. Amber is curator with her husband Seth Haines of Mother...

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  1. Thanks for this reminder about sticking with our husbands through thick and thin, as they change and evolve into the men that God is fashioning. My husband is also a different man today than the one I married 16 years ago! I’ve decided that lifelong marriage commitment is a grace gift from God, not something we can do in our own strength!

    I’m not always good at following either, but my husband is wonderfully free about encouraging me to be the woman God created me to be and to grow in my gifts.

  2. Oh, girl – this is such worship, what you’re written! You’re deciding to let Him build up your groom and that’s worship. It’s scary and it’s humbling and it requires must trust and faith in what we do not see.

    I’ve been learning how to follow in the past few years, and I’m seeing how it respects my groom when I do that. It’s hard, though, when I really believe with all my heart that God is calling us to something {more} and my groom just doesn’t see it. I have to trust Him, ultimately, and wait on Him. What He promises must come at His time, for I am Seeing how this *process of {my} waiting* is a necessary time of God building my groom up and preparing him, changing his heart (perhaps), and for just so much purpose. Even though I don’t See the evidence of God’s promise for this *more* by the words my groom speaks, I have to trust in following my groom and in the Now.

    Rich blessings to you, Amber, as you model that sacrificial love…

  3. This is so beautiful – how you haven’t expected much of what you’ve become, how in your youth you thought you married a man of constants, but the mystery has shown itself after years of love and work.

    Love this. Can so relate.

  4. this line resonates: “I thought I knew what our days together would look like. I thought I knew a lot of things.” i had no idea that i was getting on a wild ride when i said yes. i thought i was getting “safe”. and then he began listening and answering with faith to amazing god calls and it was hard for me to follow. because it wasn’t safe. it wasn’t what i had planned….yesterday was our 19th anniversay. he’s on mission in guatemala and found a phone to call me and talk for 37 minutes. and i love him. LOVE him. i am constantly surprised by how our love grows and morphs into stronger and moer beautiful.

  5. My husband is not the man anyone would have picked for me (especially my parents) and he is quite the opposite of the type of guys I dated before him. And even though we’re still at the beginning of this journey (we just celebrated 6 years), I have been AMAZED to watch God working in his life and making him the husband and leader he is intended to be. I honestly never thought this “good ol’ boy” would never be the spiritual leader in our home, but boy, did God surprise me! When I quit trying to change my husband (which is a long, slow process of letting go that I still cling to now and then), God showed me how he could transform him into the spiritual leader that I NEVER would have been (or should have been). Now, his faith, daily witness and knowledge of the Bible astound me and drive me to be a better follower of Christ. What more could I want in a husband?

    P.S. As to my parents, after some family drama recently, I finally heard them tell my husband face-to-face “we don’t want another son-in-law” and “you’re the best thing that’s ever happened to our daughter”. GOD IS GOOD!!

  6. I can soo relate to this piece. Your line “He was not a “bad boy.” It shocked me, and I thought to myself that it would be hilarious if I were so immediately attracted to him because he was supposed to be my husband. Indeed, he was.” I thought those exact same words when I met my husband.
    And am now learning who he truly is and not just the labels I put on him.
    Thank you for the post

  7. thank you for sharing this 🙂 when i met my husband we were 15 and 16 in high school. he was greasy, long haired, and foul mouthed and i fell hard. somehow the cheerfull pomp-pomp yielding, flag twirling, bright gal of me saw in this quiet, aloof artisty, dark guy of him, a future husband, even when he was everything opposite of what i wanted out of a man. we grew our high school days together and gave my parents the headache of a lifetime. our senior year was, i thought,our graduation into a life apart. tired of being the one who encouraged him to do right i broke it off. eight years later i got a phone call from him, having not really kept intouch and not running around in the same crowd i didn’t believe him when he said, ” God is my everything now. ” i thought yeah right! he must have heard that i love Jesus and am now choosing not to date anymore until God places my husband before me and asks for my hand. having just learned of courtship and tiring of the loneliness of it, and turning down seemingly nice enough date prospects, i told him if he wanted to take me out he could bring me to the next church service, wich turned out to be a christmas eve service. we were married the following may! he has been surprising me ever since by showing me his trusting and obeying and being a man of God =) my love for my youthfull mysterious man has bloomed into my love for the mysterious man chasing the God of Mystery. i so apprciated your post! it has reminded me how blessed i am to have the man i have. thank you so much for sharing this beautiful post and for reminding me of wonderful mysterious man in my life =D

  8. Amber – this is just AWESOME. As a natural “leader” early in my marriage it was so very difficult to follow my husband. I thought I knew what we needed, and I thought I knew the direction we should go. But the more control I’ve consciously surrendered, the more he steps up to become the true man of my dreams. I am amazed at how my choice to follow him, builds his sense of purpose and worth. Thank you for sharing!!

  9. Seth is a good man. We love you and him and you’re four. My Mark is a good man too–I tell him he has his feet on the ground so I can keep my head in the clouds. I’m glad to walk beside those feet wherever God takes us.

  10. I met my husband when I was in 8th grade – he was in 9th – I came home and exclaimed to all who would hear “I met the man I’m going to marry!” I have never loved anyone else, I have never been interested in anyone else, and although I’ve been on dates with other people (2) I have never “dated” anyone else. In fact, after 3 dates with a guy when I was 19, I said “This isn’t going to work. Someday, we might get married and have kids and then HE will call me and I’ll leave you faster than I can hang up the phone. I don’t want to do that to you or the kids. So, this is goodbye” He was hurt, but not surprised.
    I stalked my man, I drove by his house, I called and hung up, I found out where he was and drove by. I wrote him letters. He finally answered and we went on a date – our second date in 3 years. I was in HEAVEN! We got serious, I got pregnant. I thought he would leave then, he actually packed stuff to leave, then I told him that I didn’t want or expect anything from him. I was happy to be pregnant and if he wanted in or out, either was fine. He said “I don’t know what it is about you.” we’ve been together since. Through good and bad, rain and shine, his father’s sudden death, my mother’s cancer fight and her death, through terrible jobs that we hated and years of unemployment. We’ve made it because we wanted to – no matter how much we wanted to strangle each other or how goofy in-love we felt. We never wanted to split up. I told him in the very beginning that if God wanted us together, what we wanted would not matter one tiny bit – and I truly feel that God wants us together until our last breaths – and hopefully beyond. He’s my best friend, my protector and provider. My rock, my heart and my biggest fan. I thank God every day- even the bad days – that He put us together.

  11. Oh, so many words come to mind about my man. We met when I was 18. He had much to learn, but I could see the man he would become. We often laugh because my dad first didn’t approve because he didn’t want me to make a “mistake.” So now i often call Andrew the “best mistake I ever made.” And my dad, eventually, came around. I secretly think he likes Andrew better than ME now. 🙂

    Turns out, Andrew became very much LIKE my dad.

    Second, I’ve learned that following means doing so even when it hurts. Even when I think he’s wrong. I trust him enough to believe that he has wrestled with his decisions. That he knows when his decision will hurt me. But if he chooses to make that decision (because he still believes it’s in the best interest of me and our family) then he will make it. He will be sad, his stomach will tie in knots, but he will do what is BEST. He will protect me. Even when it hurts.

    I love him for it.

  12. I met my husband only 4 months after the sudden death of my first husband. It was a connection at first sight, how can that be??? God meant us to meet that is all I can say. Now 23 years later I look back at some of the crazy things we have done and wonder how I could have lived without him in our life. Even buying a childrens ferris wheel and traveling to Arizona to spend time one winter! I was not a “carnie,-woman” but God brought us there to spend the last months of my sisters life with her using that goofy ferris wheel. That is only one of the many adventures he has taken me on, but by far the most far out to many on the outside of our marriage I am sure. He listened to God and followed His nudge, which gave me the joy of spending quality time with the one that influenced me more in my walk with Jesus than anyone in my life.

  13. Every day, still surprising me…the boy I married, ever becoming the man God created him to be. I said “yes” without question, without analysis – passions burning, better-to-marry, guileless in love – naively trusting without even recognizing the trust that resided. So much fear, so much doubt, imprinted from too many years of father-hurts. And even so, God gave; my beloved held strong, inviting trust, igniting covenant to endure the years and trials and sorrows and joys.

    Wrote about our renewed covenant, here (guest posting for Laura Parker, Life Overseas):
    http://freeagentmommy.typepad.com/blog/2011/06/being-fed.html

    Thanks for the confirmation, the encouragement – to practice gratitude for the gift of my man!

  14. Many times over the last while, I have questioned God as to why he has given me my man as the one for me. I struggle with our differences and our circumanstances. Thank you for the reminder of the perfect fit my husband is for me. God has given me the right person for me and I thank him for that.

  15. I met my Marty when I was nineteen and we were both college undergrads. I really relate to how you were immediately attracted to your husband because he was indeed meant for you. I felt the same thing when I first locked eyes with my sweet husband. He is the answer to my girlhood prayers and I believe God made him just for me. Three kids, a move out of state, and nineteen years later, he still makes my heart smile.

  16. What has surprised me most is his great need for me. Mine is a man of strength and determination, and that he needs, wants and loves me most sometimes steals breath. Sometimes it’s even too much.

    What a pitiful complaint!

    “God is faithful to lead surrendered hearts” gives me hope time and time again.

    I love the way you write your love for your man :).

  17. Some of us are not blessed with Seths. Some of us have husbands who leave.

    But God, man of mystery, always stays, always remains in love with me, always sees my flaws as opportunities, and always surprises me with grace.

    He makes all my tragedy into possibility. God’s vows to me are eternal.

  18. Wonderful, Wonderful…..most wonderful wonderful…..yet again wonderful…..and then astonishingly wonderful. In Std IX , I started praying for the man who would be my hubby…God assured to bring a man in my life who would be beyond my imaginations and my dreams. I blindly trusted in God.

    Today am totally dumbstruck !!!

    We share a life filled with love and joy. Every day unfolds beautifully.

  19. The best romance is the one God gives.

    I read this story like its Jane Austen here and now.

    You move me as always.

    Love you so very very much,
    Sara Sophia

  20. I had to consider your question carefully, and, even now, I’m not entirely certain I’m answering it or still thinking about answering it — it took an entire book for me to tell what my husband has done for me.
    Following my husband does not seem to be following to me. My husband does not lead through demanding or cajoling. He does not lead through decision-making or assuredness. He does not exude confidence or even certainty at times. He leads through doing. Many times he had surprised me by admitting his weaknesses and failing and repenting sincerely. He leads through example. And as I watch him striving to become a better person, trying to follow God as best he can, I cannot help but want to be a better person too. This is how my husband leads.