Back when Tim and I were dating, in the long-ago days when rock music had a electronic disco sound but I didn’t know that because I never even listened to Michael Jackson, we played a lot of table games together.

“How quaint,” you say. Yeah, well. Tim was a pretty incredible game inventor. He made up a hilarious one he called “Road Rage” in which everybody is trying to get to the one parking spot, and another one later called “Treasure Island” that’s a combination of luck, strategy, and memory game with several ways to win, which is still a favorite of family and friends when they come to visit. . . .

Tim and me in our honeymoon cabin in Helen, Georgia, playing one of the games he invented. This one is called “Slide.”

But I digress.

At some point in those dating days I got the bright idea that together we should play the Ungame. Now, if you’re from our generation, you might have heard of this super-cool Christian icebreaker game.

The board part of it was dumb, so we put that aside and just used the cards, which were basically a set of questions designed to help you get to know each other. Perfect for dating, I thought.

Now, 34 years later, I remember only one of the questions, but that one is burned into my memory. I picked up a card and asked him,

What quality do you admire most in a person?

My memory is that Tim didn’t even hesitate in his response. In fact, he leaned toward me, into my personal space, even, and enunciated one word extremely clearly.

“R E A S O N A B L E N E S S”

I pulled away, a bit taken aback.

Ok, I thought. I’m going to try really hard to be reasonable.

He went on then to explain how much he was bothered by unreasonableness, but I don’t exactly remember that part. I remember my initial response, and then my follow-up thoughts, the thoughts I was thinking while he was explaining himself.

To be quite honest, I was a bit disgruntled.

Shouldn’t he have said something like “godliness”?

Shouldn’t he have said something like “Christ-likeness”?

Maybe he wasn’t the God-pursuing man I was looking for.

Well, about 34 years have flowed under that bridge, and here we are. I’ve never forgotten Tim’s emphasis on reasonableness, and I’m so thankful for it. While wolves in sheep’s clothing have told their targets they valued “godliness,” my husband has never wavered from being Mr. Reasonable. As we’ve worked through some tough stuff together and gone through difficult times together, he has always been a man of wisdom and insight and always, always reasonable. Even though we both believe in appropriate Biblical submission, Tim made a discerning observation about marriage that distilled into my own brain as something like, “Having a good marriage is less about one spouse ‘yielding’ to the other than it is about both spouses simply being reasonable.”

In getting to know him, of course, I found that Tim did love the Lord and followed Him (and as a side note, never tried to take advantage of me, which at the time I was too naive to appreciate). Even as a young man he had insights into both the Word of God and people that were immensely helpful to me, he became a respected Bible teacher when he was in his mid 30s, he eventually followed a call into the ministry, and he was asked to leave the church for being a near-heretic.

But oops, that’s another story. I’m digressing again.

Tim and me at our daughter’s wedding in 2010.

Happy anniversary, Mr. Reasonable. I’m so thankful for you, and I love you.

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