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27 Years of Wedded Blissters
by Freddie Steel
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Twenty-seven Years of Wedded Bliss-ters
A word to husbands . . .
- Pastor Freddie Steel
- revfts@usa.net - 03.11.09

Well, not all of the twenty-seven years were blisters. However, the first fifteen years had quite a few blisters and quite possibly more blisters than bliss.

This Friday is our twenty-seventh wedding anniversary. How did we get here this fast? In any case, we’re here with joy, gratitude, and satisfaction. Since I now have somewhat of a credible platform provided by longevity and credentials worthy of some consideration, let me offer husbands a few insights that I have gathered over the years. These are things that I have learned by being married to the most outstanding and beautiful ladies Father God could ever give a man.

Buddies –
It took a while, but I came to understand that even though my wife shares the highs and the lows; the ups and the downs; the labor and rewards with me equally, I am not to lean on her as a co-equal when it comes to sharing an inordinate portion of the load of life.

I gain comfort and strength by walking with Mary Gaye through all of the challenges of life but I must not forget that too much stress will cause anyone’s health to break down. I have grown and learned that I must not drain her strength dry (or anywhere close to being dry). I enjoy lifting her head and her heart by being strong in every situation so she can rest and trust her future and her security.

Sticks and Stones –
Sticks and stones can break bones and a person’s spirit as well. I have never employed demeaning and degrading talk with my wife but I do deal with a lot of families who are accustomed to regularly using and hearing some of the most virile and sabotaging language.

Base, hurtful, condemning, and demeaning language should never, ever be used on your wife or children. A man’s strength is revealed when he covers and shelters his family from life’s storms rather than in creating a verbal tornado that destroys everything in its wake. There is much strength seen in a quiet, godly poise and equilibrium while life is doling out difficulties. Use your voice to bless, encourage, affirm, and assure.

Blame –
This may very well be the sneakiest, most clandestine tool used by the enemy of families to short circuit the lines of fidelity and communication.

Whenever a husband considers that his wife is the reason for his personal perplexity or unhappiness, understand that that is a sure sign of self delusion. Blaming a wife is like hiding behind a mother’s apron: it’s really cowardly. God has given us all abilities to not only cope but to overcome. Passing blame along to our wife is a way of either covering up a lack of motivation, endurance, or a commitment to be the strength of the family.

Employ a selfless and sacrificial love rather than blame a wife. Though she may deserve some of the responsibility, let her learn what it feels like to be freed from the guilt or responsibility for some certain episode of life. If you do that, then you are modeling the heart and attitude of our Lord Jesus that He showed when He let us, the sinner and the guilty, go free.

You Can’t Fix It (her) -
The only time that I see that it is necessary to step in and ‘fix her’ would be in an intervention that is required in some pending emergency. Otherwise, you have to be patient and hoe.

A husband will relate to his wife and children in one of two ways: as a mechanic or as a gardener. A mechanic will simply take the awkward tools of his trade and delve in to cut off, hammer down, rip apart, or weld together while having little or no regard for the resources he is utilizing and affecting.

God did not call us to try to fix everything we see that is wrong. A mechanic-styled husband or father will bark orders, demand results, criticize the project, and run roughshod over the obstacles standing in the way. However, a gardener is full of trust and takes a different approach.

A gardener doesn’t try to ‘fix’ anything. Instead, a gardener imagines a desired result that will come from faithful labor and patience and is able to tolerate the waiting and the seasons that mature and change which will bring a harvest and fruit.

In order to get the desired harvest and fruit, a gardener invests. He patiently provides sun light, water, and a tender care. A gardener creates the optimum environment that is within his strength to create and with joyful anticipation watches his ‘plant’ grow strong, vibrant, and eventually fruitful. He can’t demand his way or insist on much of anything. He has to trust the process. It is his commitment that brings the reward.

Your wife and your children are a garden plot. They are to be nurtured and cultivated diligently and joyfully. That is the case even when you find weeds, etc. Sometimes a gardener will let the weeds grow alongside the plants because in trying to fix the dilemma and pull up the weed you risk the high probability of uprooting and destroying the plant that holds your promise.

The first fifteen years weren’t what one would call wedded bliss for me and Mary Gaye, mostly because of my own insecurities and self-centeredness. I really believe that if I had maintained a steady and unresponsive posture and a quiet confidence during the times of tension, I would have set an atmosphere in our home that would have shortened by several years the struggles we endured.

A Word To The Wise –
There’s some truth in the corny cliché: ‘if Momma aint happy, aint nobody happy.’ A wise man will not only use godly wisdom in being a good husband and father, but because he also loves his wife, he will be happy when she is happy and a happy home is a healthy home. Here are some suggestions.
- Learn to say ‘I am sorry, please forgive me’ and never just say, ‘sorrrry’.
- Overlook her faults and focus on her strengths.
- Celebrate her.
- Do not pray about her until you have prayed for her.
- Ask God to let you be the answer to her prayers.
- Learn to be a liberal and benevolent husband.
- Don’t compete with her for preeminence or mastery; lift her to higher heights.
- Be their source of security, strength, and peace.
- Get over yourself and trust God to straighten things out if you feel you are being misunderstood or mistreated.
- Don’t let another woman turn your head or heart: that’s called treason and is collaborating with a potential enemy of your family’s kingdom.
- Use affirming words and a gentle touch every day to help ‘fill’ her emotional tank.

Remember that God gives good gifts and a wife is a good ‘gift.’ Make her your source for liberal and generous sowing and investing just because you love her and you want her life to be enriched. Receiving a ‘return’ on your ‘investment’ shouldn’t be your motivation but you will, because of God’s law, certainly be one happy man who will reap and enjoy the returns.
Pastor Freddie Steel - Life Church of Chicagoland - revfts@usa.net - www.lifeinchicago.org

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