Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies. The heart of her husband safely trusts her; so he will have no lack of gain. She does him good and not evil. (Proverbs 31:10-12,NKJ)
I woke up pretty early this morning well before the alarm went off which would tell my wife that it was time to get up for work. As I looked over at her it would be an injustice to try to explain the thoughts that went through my mind and how something that felt like more than love go through me. As I looked at her sleeping, the Holy Spirit softly whispered to me:
"She deserves your honor and your praise."
This is something that I recognized a long time ago, but hearing those words this morning greatly increased what I already knew. I have to tell you that in spite of dumb things that I have done over the years, especially the earlier years of our marriage, my wife has intended "good and not evil" for me. Kay is an incredible woman.
Because of my wife's faithfulness and belief in me and for her desire to follow God completely, we are about to step into some incredible new things that God has prepared for us. Things that even our own dreams and imaginations could not have scripted. I want very little about this blog post to be about me, so I will just say that because of me we have experienced major changes in our lives this year. Please understand that most of these changes were preceded by much prayer, occasional times of fasting, reading the Bible and words of confirmation spoken through different people. Still our daily lives were radically changed. If I were writing a book it would take at least a few chapters to journal our journey. Until recently, I had not been gainfully employed since March 19th. I started making trips back and forth to North Carolina and we all went in late July to see if God was putting something together there for us. We believe that one day we will be called to that state, specifically Wilmington and for ministry purposes. We have felt that way for several years. While the possibility that this was the year for that to happen seemed very strong, it didn't. While this went on into the summer, I spent many days in prayer, reading and preparation for something that was yet to come, but as days turned into early fall, what that something looked liked was remaining very much a puzzle. On top of that I was not working and at times would put pressure on myself that I wasn't being the provider. As financial pressure mounted, however, my blue eyed wife never thought about bailing. Instead she seemed to become stronger. Kay just kept believing in me. More importantly she believed God wanted to do something amazing in our lives.
Backing up just a little bit, there was a day last December when I was asked to a meeting. While it didn't happen that day, we were very certain that I was going to hear in that meeting that I no longer had a paid position due to the increased financial strains have filtered into many churches. You have no idea how much confidence and reassurance that it gave me to have my wife say to me that morning, "You know I was just thinking. I think that this is just part of a new great adventure that God has for us." Do you have any idea what that meant for me as a man? It certainly did seem that God was putting together a new plan for our family.
The great adventure did begin in late March of this year. While for the most part my faith is extremely strong, there were some days mixed in here and there where I would question myself and wonder if I was really hearing from God. It was on those days when my wife would be at her best. She made it very clear that she was in this journey with me, no matter what. She would remind me how God had done amazing things in our lives already simply because of obedience and trust. She had a way of being subtle in order to challenge me that I had no business to even think about doubting what God was doing. I even remember a couple of days to where I said that I just needed to go out and find the first job I could find. Want to know what my wife would say to that? "Do you really believe that is what God wants you to do right now?" Just the way she said it made it very clear to me how much she believed in that idea. She was letting me know that getting ahead of God and His plans was the biggest mistake I could make. Here was my wife working everyday while I was sitting at home reading, studying and praying. There were a couple of days where I felt pretty insecure in what I was doing while trying to hold onto the words, "I know the plans I have for you.............." I can honestly tell you that even when things were at their most difficult point my wife never even came close to complaining. Not once! I did.............she didn't. My "help mate" from God. My wife, my best friend. I could not have stayed the course like I did without her unending love and support.
God sustained us in some amazing ways. There were several times where He would supernaturally provide at just the right time as only God can. Going through this only increased our faith. I have spoken of some of my weakest moments, but those days were very few. For every difficult day, there were 30 or more good days. A pretty decent ratio. When I had those bad days, though, now you know how I made it through. My wife was a pillar of strength in keeping me on course.
And now? Maybe in the coming weeks and months I will be able to tell you of how blown away we are at what God is doing. It really has been an incredible journey which I know has really only started. For now though, I just had to dedicate some well deserved time here to my wife. I wouldn't be half the person I am without her incredible love and devotion.
I want to encourage other married couples, too. Don't you dare ever underestimate the importance of your spouse, or your importance to your spouse. A spouse can be the deciding factor between success or failure for their partner and for their family.
To the man I say:
Remember, we are to love our wives as Jesus loves the church. He gave His life for it. Will you resolve in your heart, along with me, that even if it meant dying that we would do that for our wives? Let us build up our wives so that they desire to remain pure and holy before the Father. If you have a godly wife, understand the value of the gift that God has given you. Thank God daily for your wife and your marriage. Constantly point out her strengths and only pray for that quality which might be weak in her. Be thankful! The next thing you should do is hold your wife by her shoulders and look straight in her eyes and tell her how very appreciated and loved she is. It will make her fall in love with you all over again.
Read the SONG OF SOLOMON
Now..........if your marriage is troubled. If your wife is not the godly woman that you would hope for her to be, that is still not an excuse to not love her. She is still the woman that you took vows with before God. Look for the good treasure in her, even if you have to look hard. God sees it. God looks for the treasure in all His creation. You need to do that, too. Pray for her. Thank God for the treasure in your wife. Ask him to bless it. Ask him to help her produce more of it. Commit your wife to God that He would help her to want to rid herself of any ungodly ways. That He would change her and in doing so maybe there would be things about you that would change, also. Then watch what God does in your marriage. You also should take your wife by the shoulders and let her know that you will do everything within your power to get your marriage back on solid ground. Look at her like you did when you first fell in love with her. You might be surprised how even a look like that could change a heart.
To the woman I say:
Honor your husband, especially if he is a godly man. Choose to recognize his strengths and remind him of them. In doing so you will cause him to grow in confidence. You will help him to continue to become the leader, man and husband that God intended for Him to be. Instead of talking about, or pointing out his weaknesses, pray over them. Give them to God and watch what He will begin to do with them. Those weaknesses were not intended for you to harbor or bear. They are for God to handle.
Read Proverbs 31:10-27
Now..........if your marriage is troubled. If your husband is not the godly man that you would hope for him to be, that is still not an excuse to not love him. He is still the man that you took vows with before God. Look for the good treasure in him, even if you have to look hard. God sees it. God looks for the treasure in all His creation. You need to do that, too. Pray for him. Thank God for the treasure in your husband. Ask him to bless it. Ask him to help him produce more of it. Commit your husband to God that He would help him to want to be rid of any ungodly ways. That He would change him and in doing so maybe there would be things about you that would change, also. Then watch what God does in your marriage!
"Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken." (Ecclesiastes 4:12, NKJ)
When you allow Christ to become the unbreakable strand, it can't be severed!
To my wife Kay, I just want to say with words that will now be read in literally dozens of countries around the world.......
I LOVE YOU WITH AN EVERLASTING LOVE. I THANK GOD EVERYDAY FOR YOU. WITH EVERYTHING
INSIDE OF ME I WANT TO THANK YOU FOR BEING MY WIFE.
Living for the King,