Marriage

There is a wife that every man dreams of and many never find. You look in every direction but the right one, for many reasons you are sure many men can relate to. You go through childhood either unloved by a woman that has never learnt to love or over loved by a woman who never wants to let go. Or it can be a combination of both, a woman who knows no love and cannot bear to see her son marry anyone where he might be happy.

 Many men grow up never learning of true love as they are seen but made very sure they are never to be heard. When you come home from being involved in a serious school bus accident and there is no, "Why are you late,” instead “You are late hurry up there is worked to be done”. You get a little hardened to what is expected of you. This mother is there and that is about all. She makes it very clear that you are not really wanted and is the only model of a woman you know.

 Sisters can help but the eldest dies at a very young age. The other sister is fostered out and you never live with any female company other than a mother who seems to have a personality for those she liked and a completely opposite one for those she didn’t. Yes there were Aunties to show young boys that there are others of the opposite sex that are very different, but you are only in these houses for a short time so these times had little influence on your thinking of the situation that you lived under day after day.

 Even in a Christian home that you might visit, the action of the female members were not able to take away the picture that had been engrained within. Jesus said to let all the children come to Him, but growing up in those first few years of life you could not read and had little understanding of the scriptures. Even if you did have an understanding, what power did you have to change the attitude?

 Boys may have teased the girls but in some cases this resulted in an introduction to the leather strap. At other times you could see a picture of an angry mother when you found yourself in trouble. Even though we did not realise it our mind was being formed into a certain way that would influence your thoughts towards girls in the years to come.

 Even girl cousins, which some had many of but others may have had only one that they ever had any contact with. Whatever the situation you thought girls were from a totally different planet. Then came the first girl friend, six years old or ten years old it did not matter. What mattered was that you had a girl friend. At this early age this new friend was just that - a friend. Then there were the girls on the bus that you started to notice but in most cases they were there to be teased. Some of these girls were well behaved while others got you to stand before the head master for such little things; you wondered what was going on.

 All these girls, no matter who they were, a relative or not, in some way affected your attitude towards the weaker sex.

 Teenage Years

 As the years pass and we reach our teenage years, girls can start to replace your sport or work or even your schoolwork. In just a few short years, girls have gone from ugly ducklings to beautiful swans. But in the meantime you are still living with the one lady who has the biggest influence on the decisions you make as you start to notice the beauty of the girls around you.

 You spot a girl you want to be friends with; you go out of your way to speak to her. But when you stand in front of her you are stuck for words. This is not a problem you have created but what has been created by your home situation over many years. In today's single parent homes where the mother is bringing up only boys, you never get to see how a man can talk to a woman. The situation in the home that caused your father to leave the home can be a starting point for you to go down the same path.

 Now there is no mature man in the home who can show you how to talk to a lady. You were not around when your parents first met and how they acted together that caused your father to ask your mother to marry him. You did not see the joy on your mother’s face when the question was asked and how happy she was that day at the church. All you can remember is the fighting and arguments that in the finish tore the family apart.

 You can only remember the fainting spells your mother threw when she could not get her own way, a bit like a two year old. You remember the day she started to walk home when you are having some fun, as she did not like fun. The walk home would have taken several days to complete so there is no option but to go after her and convince her to get in the car.

 These are the sorts of memories that you grow up with and you hope things will improve. But alas they don't! In fact they only get worse when you finally find a steady girl friend. Your girl friend’s mother becomes the focus of attacks and you spend your time trying to protect your girl friend from what is being said. This has the result of no matter what girl you go out with, you are always on edge of what could be said in front of her about her parents or family.

 Through all of this you become very protective of other people rather than seek the Lord as to whom you should be with. The result? You are messed up and have no idea of what a good women should be or is.

 Young Adult

 You are now of the age where male peers are influencing you in your selection of which girl to go with. There are the girls who are running after all the top sportsmen and make it very clear you will never be in their sights. Then there are the beautiful girls that do not chase but are not interested in someone like you for whatever reason, which they alone know about.

 Then you spot the girl of your dreams but try as you might she does not know you are alive. You speak to her and as far as you are concerned you might as well have been talking to the wall with the response you received. But of course you have been so groomed by your experiences you do the same to any girl who shows any interest in you. Because of your attitude that has been shaped through the years by the women in your life, nothing seems to be going very well.

 When a girl shows interest in you, she approaches and wants to sit and talk. She is beautiful and nice to sit and talk with but your background has you totally unprepared for such a situation. You don't know what to say or even how to carry this meeting on into the future. The only thing to do is to run and run we do. Leaving forever wondering what might have been if only.

 Married

 Then you reach your late teens and you meet a girl who wants you to take her out. You are not really interested but you have nothing else on so you agree. Before long you are seeing each other on a regular scale. The months go by and she starts to treat you in a way your mother did, do as I say or I will have a “fit”. You think this normal because in all of your childhood this is all you knew and you do nothing except to try and keep the peace.

 As time goes by you get engaged to this girl because you think you will never marry if you don't take this person who has at least shown you some affection. All is going well, the word love is spoken but deep down it does not register because you have grown up in a loveless household. So you have no idea what the word really means as it has never been mentioned in the same sentence as your name before.

 You do marry as you have ignored the signs that all will not last. The problems come and all you see is your childhood flashing before your eyes and you say nothing. One of the worse experiences you ever go through is when you try and protect your sister from your mother’s tongue. You are screamed at and treated like you have just committed the worse crime in history. So now this lady you have married starts treating you in the same way, you say nothing, just another time to take it and be quiet.

 As a child you are spoken to as if you are nothing by the one woman who is suppose to care and look after you and do I dare say, love you. Now you are married to a lady who could have a taken a page out of your mother’s book. It is as if you went looking for a newer model of what you were used to.

 When this lady stands in front of you and treats you in the only way you know will happen, your self-esteem takes another crash. So when the day comes when she finally leaves, all you have known and suspect about women is confirmed, or at least in your mind. It is time to decide what you are going to do with what life you might have left. There are decisions to make about your future. There are other women that come across your path but nobody can fill that void and the feeling of being a nobody. Even some thoughts about life itself may have crossed your mind but that is not the way. You have been through many situations and you have always seemed to come through them. It may not have been about women but in many other areas you have done all right. But in your loss you can't see successes.

 Your anger levels go up and it takes very little to upset you as the entire world is against you. Well that's what it seems like. The little things at work that would once go right over your head swell up in anger. To add to your problems the courts seem to be out to get you. There are decisions made against you that seem to have come from Mars as they are so far from the truth. Nobody believes you even though you are determined to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Sometimes this does not seem to be enough as nothing is going your way. And some women even lie to the courts about you.

 A future revealed

 Then it seems nothing else can go wrong but you are convinced it will. You find things can change in an instant. That night in your darkness you see a light, a light that you never thought existed. She is a picture of loveliness she is tall but not as tall as you. She is slim and beautiful and you cannot take your eyes off of her. All your training by the women in your life hold you back from approaching. But something inside you keeps pushing you forward, but then there are all those times of rejection nailing your feet to the floor. But you know that if you do not move someone else may step between yourself and this picture of beauty.

 So you take a few steps forward and the smile on her face draws you closer. But is the smile for you or someone else? You step up to her and she is nothing but politeness and the beauty you thought she was from afar. You ask her to dance with you, she smiles and answers “Yes”, your world is made. You take her in your arms and you dance. Just the nearness of her is making you forget the troubles of the past in just a few moments of nearness to this lady you see a future. The music plays on and you dance until it is time to leave. You have danced every dance with this picture of loveliness so nobody could hold her as you have done as you danced.

 Then the old training from your youth returns and you think only of the past. You are so unsure of the situation that you let her go home with her friends, but promise to see her at the dance in the week to come.

 All week you can think of nothing else but this lovely lady you had the pleasure of meeting a week earlier but it feels like you have known her forever. The days go slowly, in fact too slowly. It is, you feel, probably the slowest week of your life. You know her first name but you have no idea where she lives. She works at the council but that is a big place and you have no idea where to start in searching for her. You just have to be patient for the end of the week to come. Something you find difficult to do, as you have never felt the way you do about any lady you have ever met before.

 Finally the week comes to an end and it is time to go to the dance. You arrive early, as you do not want to waste a minute of the night that you might be able to spend with her. After all you have been waiting all week for this night and you are hoping, even maybe praying that she will be there, waiting for you to arrive.

 You walk in and slowly look around expecting to see her beautiful smile at any moment. There are her friends so she must be here somewhere but you still cannot see her and your heart sinks to the lowest point within you that it has ever been, even through some of your darkest times. You don't really know what to do, did she not come this night because of you or has she found someone else?

 You can stand it no longer so you approach her friends to ask her whereabouts not really wanting to hear the answer. It was bad but not as bad as you thought it might be, she was ill. You might not think this was not bad at all but you could not bear not to see her for another week. For this to happen you could not understand how you could work as the teacher for another week in a job that takes all your concentration. Just how could you get through another week without seeing the most beautiful woman you have ever met? Not only met but who showed you much kindness a mere seven days before, but not seeing her for that time was torture itself.

 Her friends tell you her address and then you have the internal struggle of whether to turn up on her doorstep unannounced, would she close the door in your face or even open it in the first place? You stand at her door and hesitate for a moment but you are here now and there is no turning back. If you walk away now you may never see her again and this would be your last chance, knock on her door now or never.

 She opens the door and she is truly sick, this itself is a relief, as you know she had a good reason not to attend the dance. She invites you in and asks you to sit. Even when she is ill she remains the beautiful lady she is. You are happy you have seen her again but you know you cannot stay long in her company, as she needs her rest. You arrange to meet again, you exchange phone numbers and you leave.

 You phone her the next day to she if she has improved. You then phone every morning to show her she is not alone in this world. Every day is like a new day it is like each new sunrise is better than the day before and you cannot bear for her to be out of your sight. The brightness of this lady is better than life itself. People you know show their absolute approval which makes you very happy indeed, for then you know she is the lady you thought - the lady you know she is. They say beauty is only skin deep. That may be so with some but with this lady you soon learn her beauty goes all the way to her heart.

 The days pass and the love you felt for her that first night when you took her in your arms a few weeks earlier and you danced the night together, when you walk hand in hand wherever you go, that love is growing stronger with the passing of each day. Someone tells you not to let her get away, this is all you need to take the next step, so you ask her to marry you and your life changes for the good forever, as she answers “Yes”.

 You soon find that she is as honest as the day is long and puts you to shame in this area. She never lies not even in the telling of a joke on someone you know. You can trust her with anything and in every situation because that is just what she is, a very trustworthy lady. When the dark clouds gathered she was there, when the clouds turned into a storm she never fails to support you. When people try to pull you down she is there to lift you up every time.

 You never thought marriage could be like this. You had witnessed marriages and they were very different. You both talk about love, a word you never heard as a child and very little as an adult. A word that every man and woman needs to hear to help them cope with life and here you are hearing it spoken to you every day; may be several times a day. Life has never been so good.

 Of course there is the odd small disagreement as you settle in to each other’s ways but they always end with a smile and a hug. You remember in the past how they ended and it was never good. Now there are no troubles between you both and life continues like some sort of fairytale but there is a difference, this life you have is real. So real that every day you wonder what you have done to find in life a love so strong; it hurts to be out of her sight.

 Walking together in the Lord.

 Then one-day things go up a step you have this internal calling to go to church. If you were asked how things could be any better you would say it couldn't. But now you both start down a path that has no exit and there is no turning back for you both. You take communion with this lady and you use this word LADY with capital letters, by your side. You soon find out through a health scare she is with you through all the ups and downs. Soon it is time to walk through the waters of baptism and this you do together. After several years you arrange to redo your wedding vows, as you are so happy in this marriage that God has given you. This is something you believe after the event that all married couples should do, repeat their vows to make the bond that God has placed around you even tighter.

 But God has even greater things for you to do within His Kingdom than to allow you to just go to church and to go to work every week. Before long you are telling your beautiful wife you have to give up all you have and leave the country. Your wife soon joins you with her full support, as she loves God as much as you do. A few short months later you are on a plane heading into the unknown, you are a team; the team God made you and once more your wife is going to show her love for you and what you mean to her. Life was meant to be this way between a man and a woman, it was decreed in His Word.

 People say you have to work at your marriage. This may have been true for some but in many there is not the love that should be between a man and a woman who have decided to marry. You had a Christian wedding before but you did not invite Jesus to the marriage. Now you have remarried and the invitation to Jesus extends in to the marriage as well as the wedding. She has become your best friend, a friend like you have never had in your entire life. In this marriage you have, there is love between a man and a woman but that love is tied together with the love of God.

 You are called by God to read the book in the Bible called the Song of Songs together and you just know those cords will never break. They will never break because they are renewed every day through your prayer together and your love is built stronger each day.

 You think back over your life and all the things you have been through but then the Lord brought that wonderful lady into your life, your life has never stopped flowering. Summer, Autumn, Winter and Spring there has always been blossom even in the dark nights that always turned into sunshine because of two events in a very eventful life. God found you lost and broken with no future pictured in your mind but then God brought this angel across your path. You look back at all she has meant to you over the years and know that growing old with this lady was what God wanted for you. You look back and see how you nearly gave up when the darkness surrounded you. You look back at the day you set your eyes on this beautiful lady and you know God brought her into your life.

 No woman can fulfill Proverbs 31 completely but they can cover the essence of this Proverb. This beautiful lady has done just that, she has been there for you and nothing has been too much trouble for her when you have needed her help. She has been loving and caring and you just know that she really is an example of Proverbs 31.

 For when your eyes close to this world and when they awaken in the world to come, you will have no regrets. First you will praise the Lord for who He is. Then you will tell Him just how grateful you are for the life He gave you especially after you met, married and had a wonderful life with such a beautiful lady. The lady you danced with that night that seems such a short time ago, and remember how you danced through life arm in arm with the most beautiful woman you ever met. Yes, it has to come to an end one day; but the knowledge of what you and your wonderful wife had in your marriage will remain as a testimony to those who are to come for many generations, you are sure.

 All praise must go to the Lord because when you were down He did not allow you to give up. Just think what you would have missed if you had had given into despair? Only One knows the future so whatever happens always give all things over to God as He has a future for all. You just have to be open to receive it. Amen.