Monday, August 22, 2011
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Now why am I writing about this? Am I wanting to "toot my own horn"? Heaven forbid! I of all men recognize that it was God's grace at work in me that brought these changes. And I also know that they were partial at best! There are many warts on this life that God is still working on! But I am writing this to men who may be sensing that there's more to marriage than what is their current experience. But please note that the last thing I want to do is to motivate any man by means of shame or guilt, so please hear what I am writing as invitation to consider things, not an exhortation that says, "You ought" or "You should." But having said this, let me tell you a few things I learned about "love and cherish until death" parted Jettie and me 10 months ago, things that by God's grace I will carry into my next marriage as well.
Third, we can learn her love language and started trying to speak it with consistency. Jettie's primary love languages were serving and giving. Thankfully, both of those are also mine, so she had been "hearing" my love for a long time. But the serving didn't really kicked into high gear until I took the time to discover it, then Papa allowed me to serve her in unbelievable ways the last months of her life--isn't He amazing! And now as I enter into another relationship I remain just as committed to speaking her love languages (which happen to be the same as mine--yippee!). I invite you to do the same in all of your relationships (our kids have love languages, too!).
Fourth, we can begin to consider how we might apply all the "one another" passages to our relationship with our wife. I think of Philippians 2:3-4: "Consider your wife better than yourself and consider her interests as just as important as yours." That one could take all day to describe, and no, I didn't live it out anywhere near perfectly with Jettie! But it's on the agenda for the rest of my life! And then there's all the other one another passages for us to grown into, eh?
Our 42nd anniversary would have taken place on the 24th of this month, so maybe that's why all of this is on my heart--I'm not sure. Regardless of the reason, I invite you men to consider new ways to love and cherish until death. As I learned so painfully, that last "qualifier" can happen sooner than we think.
Grateful to be learning to live loved and loving,
Tom, one of Abba's little boys