Letter to a Wife – Proverbs 31

From a guy’s perspective, a man who values his wife more than riches or the great coupons she finds. My brother has consented to let me post his anniversary letter this week. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

A great woman is hard to find, she is worth far more than pearls, opals, topaz, or great coupons. Her husband trusts in her, if he is smart. Never spiteful, she treats him generously all her life, with the exception of sharing from her large chocolate stash in that desk drawer.

She constantly shops for the best values, found in high-end stores (just looking), or second-hand boutiques. Her second-hand is as lovely and her first, by the way. She works hard to keep her husband looking sharp, which can be a challenge.

She is like a Trader Joe’s buying rep who scours the country looking for yummy surprises and hard to find finds. She is up before 10, preparing mochas when her husband doesn’t have time. Otherwise, she gladly accepts his breakfast while she reads the paper, with still more scouring.

She looks over a field, discovers that her husband has grand ideas concerning it, and says, “You’ve got to be kidding.” She lets him landscape and plant a garden anyway. God bless her.

First thing in the morning, she dresses, always styling, rolls up her sleeves and gets to work. If she is wearing short sleeves, that means its July. She keeps work in balance, and really knows how to juggle. She puts the home in homemaking and gladly works side by my side.

She is quick to help anyone, anytime. She doesn’t think twice. She quietly challenges her husband to put compassion over practicality.

She doesn’t worry about her family when it rains or snows, because she has already found great deals on winter clothes. Her own clothing is always sharp and classy. And unlike her husband, she pulls off retro.

When her husband deliberates with city fathers, they roll their eyes and look to her, knowing they’ll now get the real story. Her children know and do this too. She keeps an eye on her household and keeps them all productive. Especially her husband.

Charm can mislead and beauty fades, but seriously, how does she still look so good? Colby is to be admired and praised (she is wincing right now but I tell it like it is).

Her life secret: She humbly and wisely walks before God. My decision to link up with her 32 years ago was the second best decision I ever made.

Happy Anniversary, Sweetie.

Terry Sheldon, guest blogger. A letter to his wife, Colby Sheldon, as they celebrate their anniversary 2017. Terry also blogs periodically for City Salt Church in Eugene, OR.
Note: Slightly modified from Proverbs 31:10-31 TUV (Terry’s Unauthorized Version)

Marriage and the Great What-If Question – Daniel 3:16-19

Grandma Morrison loved her husband like a newlywed, with playfulness and affectionate squeezes. Grandpa reciprocated by teasing, or startling her just to hear her grunt. He also enjoyed encouraging her to not worry about things so much.

Grandpa was a retired pastor and she, the mother of the pastor where they attended church. They were faithful to be there every week, but one day their car needed a longer stay in the shop for repairs. She asked, “What if the car isn’t fixed by Sunday?”

Grandpa’s eyes glistened. “Oh, what if . . .

Grandma shrugged her shoulders and giggled, accepting his loving reminder that they could trust God in every detail of their lives. Could I do the same?

love. couple takazart. free pixabay

Finding Love – my Biggest What-if

As a teenager I took walks around town. I loved the exercise and the adventure of exploring new sights. It was also prime time for praying. Sometimes I sang to God, relinquishing my concerns to his care. Other times I struggled, talking out loud like Reb Tevye from the movie, Fiddler on the Roof.

My biggest concern was my lack of direction for the future, especially regarding whom I would marry. I desired a husband, a man to love me like no other, but nagging my mind was the thought marriage might not happen for me.

What if God says no?

In the book of Daniel, the story is told of how he and his friends were challenged by a ruler to bow to an idol or be killed in a fire. His reply included a strong answer to a what-if.

“O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up” (Daniel 3:16-19 ESV).

A few blocks from home I stopped in the intersection and looked at the sky. It was the moment I muted my what-if questions and declared my resolve.

“Lord, I have asked you for a husband, but I understand it may not be your will. I put my life in your hands, and I trust you to provide what I need. If I must wait for years, or if marriage never comes, I will trust you.”

It may have sounded easy, but I knew it would be work. I added, “Help me do this, Lord.”

Trusting God continues to be work, but I enjoy the rewards when I watch my husband napping on the couch or playing with our grandchildren. And when I have concerns to work through? Taking a long walk still works for me!

by Kathy Sheldon Davis

I Lied to my Husband – Psalm 51:6-12

My husband and I are finding our first love again, after dragging some dark secrets out of the closet and exposing them to the light. Oh, how that hurt, but how beautiful is forgiveness and truth.

Jerry Kathy 3-2014

A little lie

Several years ago my husband and I decided to live within a set spending limit, and it has worked very well for us. If one of us wants to purchase something over a certain dollar amount, we will talk it over together until we agree on it, before proceeding with the purchase. If we don’t come to an agreement, we won’t buy it. This worked well for us until a few years ago when I chose to go a different way.

We’d moved into a new home and I felt I should have a new set of silverware (flatware, tableware, whatever you call it). I justified my purchases by buying used pieces on eBay from several different sellers, and concealing the total amount I’d spent. And when the packages arrived, I opened them in secret.

The next deception was easier

“Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow” (Psalm 51:6-7 ESV).

For years I’d told my children that if they felt they had to sneak something, it was likely wrong. I cited the example of Adam and Eve hiding in the bushes after they disobeyed God.

I’m the sneaky one

After the children left home we set a new goal of paying off our mortgage. We sacrificed and saved for the day we would have no debts. We followed our plan faithfully, until we came to the final months and I became impatient. I didn’t like making small payments when our savings were robust enough to finish off the debt, but my husband disagreed.

Our plan had been to celebrate our financial freedom with family and friends after making the last payment, but I went against our rule about coming to a consensus first and chose to go my own way. I paid it off early, robbing my husband of years if anticipated joy. It’s a point of grief to me that, though he doesn’t hold it against me, still hurts.

“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit” (verses 10-12).

Living in the light

Lies can grow like cancer cells, multiplying in hidden places. My husband came clean recently with some things he had hidden as well, and we are both determined to walk humbly before God so we don’t have to go through such excruciating stuff again. We are experiencing sweet renewal in our marriage now, since walking in the light with repentance and forgiveness, brings cleansing.

I made some vows as I watched him sleeping last night.

  1. My love must be without judgment, following the rule to “love him as I love myself.”
  2. I will not question his motives.
  3. It’s not my job to change him. He belongs to God.
  4. I’ll show him my respect, and love him above all others.
  5. I will forgive as I am forgiven.

 Thwarting future lies

One way I like blessing my husband is by fixing meals he likes. He responds in a positive way when he walks in the door to the smell of dinner cooking. I think it’s because my efforts make him feel loved.

Preparing meals stirs up different responses in me, however. My kitchen work helps me keep the light on and shadows at bay, because handling my silverware reminds me of my distaste for deception—and I don’t ever intend to go there again.

by Kathy Sheldon Davis