Happy Birthday, Steve: Real-Life Strengths I’ve Found in My Husband


I’ve known Steve Douglass for about 44 years.  We’ve been married for more than 38 of those years.  So I think I’m qualified to define some of his strong points—which may or may not be what his Strengths Finders list named.

Here are just a few of his amazing strengths:Humility—Steve lives out of a humble spirit.  I think he’s one of the smartest people I know, and it shows when he analyzes situations and solves problems and comes up with ideas.  But he never makes anyone feel “less smart” and he never puts himself above others.  His humility is deep and genuine.

Believing the Best—He always believes the best about me and about others.  Whenever I might find something to criticize—or “edit”—in someone else, he is quick to point out that “surely his/her heart is right.”  He consistently gives the benefit of the doubt.

Serving—This man is always looking for ways to serve me:  my morning coffee, washing dishes and doing laundry, picking something up at the store, helping me up from our very deep sofa, brainstorming ideas for talks or blog posts.  He serves our neighborhood by picking up trash as he walks—everyone in the neighborhood knows him.  He is quick to drop what he is doing when someone has a need.

Following up—I know this is a helpful strength.  It grows out of his desire to make sure everything is done well and nothing needful is forgotten.  But still it isn’t my favorite strength, because he does practice it consistently, always checking to make sure things are done.

Partnering—Oh how I love how we partner together—in our marriage, in parenting, in ministry. Our values and commitments are so compatible and our strengths and weaknesses seem perfectly complementary.  He makes shared leadership an easy reality.

Coaching—If God had not called him to lead in ministry, I think he would be a coach.  He has coached sports for much of his life, most significantly Debbie’s soccer team.  I think the girls on his team and their parents would say he was great at coaching each girl to develop her strengths, to contribute her best and to grow into an amazing woman.  He was able to assess strengths and weaknesses of opposing teams and help our team make adjustments to play the game where we were strongest.

Trusting God—Sometimes this one makes me a little jealous.  I have many conversations with God about things he is working on in my life or asking me to do. I eventually come around.  Steve, though,  reads it in the Word or hears it from God and he does it.  He trusts God’s character, His goodness, His sovereignty—and lives accordingly.Of course, he has been a loving husband and dad and now “Papa.”  And there are many more strengths I could name.  But these are ones I have seen him live out day by day and even moment by moment in his family, in the ministry, with friends and strangers.

I often ask God to grow some of these strengths in me.

What about you?  What are strengths you see God growing in you?