Ecclesiastes 4:12 (NIV)
Twenty five years ago today, I left my father and mother (and my mother’s cleaning service via UPS) to join my wife Denise in marriage.
Short of what Jesus did on the cross for me and my family, my wife has been my greatest blessing.
While she was pretty impressive at the time we married…my friends who knew me from my high school days were more than a little surprised at how well I did with a very rudimentary set of social skills…she’s far more impressive now because of her willingness to allow God to work through her.
My ability to do the stuff I’ve been able to do in my work life and through Key Ministry has been grounded in the foundation she’s helped lay for our home. She does a fabulous job of modeling for our kids what it looks like to live out the Gospel gracefully. From the time they’ve been young enough to remember, they’ve seen her extending hospitality to those in need, serving in church, and volunteering for (and leading) organizations dedicated to serving the vulnerable in society. She was patient while I was away building my career or attending meetings of my own at church. She’s very patient now when I’m spending the evening with my laptop responding to e-mails from patients or developing content for the ministry. She’s made me better. I was struck by Proverbs 31:23…the verse certainly suggests the opportunities I have to lead are built upon her virtue…
Her husband is respected at the city gate,
where he takes his seat among the elders of the land
God’s way works. I believe that God’s intention for the family is for a man and a woman bound together by a common faith in Jesus Christ to be of one mind in raising up their children to honor God and serve His purposes, establishing a spiritual legacy through their influence upon their children and their faithfulness in using their gifts and talents to serve others. Our gifts are meant to compliment one another’s. My wife is patient where I’m impulsive…disciplined with her words when I lack a filter between my brain and my mouth, nurturing when I tend to have rough edges.
I can’t do any better than the author of Proverbs 31 in describing my wife…
An excellent wife who can find?
She is far more precious than jewels.
The heart of her husband trusts in her,
and he will have no lack of gain.
She does him good, and not harm,
all the days of her life.
She opens her arms to the poor
and extends her hands to the needy.
She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.
She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
“Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all.”
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
Honor her for all that her hands have done,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.