Today is the 54th anniversary of the biggest change in my life. It was the beginning of a delightful life for me and for Ron too, I think. Some marriages are really difficult. I feel for people God calls to that kind of marriage. He gives grace to those who live there. But in my case, it was the beginning of a change in the way I thought, in many ways. It changed the way I looked at people (no longer suspiciously), myself (fallible), even the church (why do they do that?- “Martha, they are sinners just like us.”)
Despite the fact that we are both flawed, I have enjoyed living with a man who has a great sense of humor and an understated view of himself. It’s nice.
It has been good to live with a man who is so kind and considerate of not only others, but also his family. No, he wasn’t perfect, but he was wonderful to be married to. He isn’t married to a perfect person, so we’re even on that one. He didn’t pretend to be one thing in public and another at home. He was the genuine article. That’s what we liked about him. Not only that, he had an awesome sense of humor…very dry.
One example shows here from a comment he made when a woman made a classic one to him in one of our churches. It was very typical of what he would say. It wasn’t long after we arrived at one of our churches and he did something a little different. I’m not sure if it was in the worship service or a minor activity around the church. She told him they had never done it that way before. His comment? “I can’t think of a better reason to do it.” Then gave her a smile. She had no comment to that. I was always amazed that he would say things like that. He was kind. He was just being straight with people.
People thought Ron was a pushover. They didn’t know that he chose his battles. He wasn’t big on power struggles. But he was big on honoring the image of God in people. That was a big deal to him.
I remember when we retired from our last church after 16 years there. One person commented that nothing had changed in the years we had been there and meant it as a compliment. It was completely untrue. So many things had changed in that time it wasn’t even funny. But from their perspective, everything was the same and they loved it. It’s true that no red flags were waved during most of the changes. But to say nothing had changed was so false. People had left because of changes they didn’t like. Others had come because they liked some of the changes. It was so interesting! But that is a total parenthesis.
The past 9 years has not been easy, but we are adjusting to this season by the grace of God.
I have loved my 54 years with this man. The hardest part has been the past 9 years since his stroke as he has had repeated strokes and eventually been diagnosed with vascular dementia. It hasn’t stopped him from reading or other mental activities. But it has definitely slowed him down and made him more and more likely to fall. As anyone whose husband is failing can tell you, it is sad to watch. But he keeps fighting on.
So far, God has given us the grace to keep going in the roles we are needing to fill. Some days are easier than others. But I continue to be thankful for this gift God gave me 54 years ago.
The past 54 years has been spent learning to love my husband and family and enjoy the gifts God has given us.
I have learned what it means to love a man and a family. I have also learned to appreciate the gifts God has given us and enjoy them much more than I ever did before. I never would have if it hadn’t been for my dear, sweet husband.
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If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts
to your children,
how much more will your Father who is in heaven
give good things to those who ask him!
Matthew 7:11 ESV
Father of the fatherless and protector of widows
is God in his holy habitation.
God settles the solitary in a home;