Do you know what I consider the best present he ever gave me? Security. I am not talking about money. He never promised me a lavish lifestyle. He never promised me a big home, a bottomless bank account, vacations all over the world, or even all over this country. What he did promise was “for richer or poorer, for better or worse, in sickness and in health,” and he has kept those promises.
We have had our share of “poorer;” we’ve certainly had times of “worse;” we have dealt with the “sickness” aspect longer that most realize if you count our increasing disabilities. But he is still here. I can still see well enough in the mirror. Despite bulges, surgery scars, wrinkles, once tight skin that now flaps in the breeze, long black curly hair that is cut short for ease and has turned gun metal gray, and eyes that are now constantly swollen and squinty, and sometimes black, purple, or red, he still tells me I am beautiful. And you know what? Somehow, he makes me believe it.
In spite of his own handicap, which few view with any understanding or compassion at all and which grows worse every day, he pampers me, takes care of me, serves me, guards me, and puts me on a pedestal I don’t deserve. I know he will never leave me, and that is a gift of comfort beyond all measure.
Yet we do not take each other for granted. We both work hard to make this marriage commitment not just a responsibility but a pleasure as well. Forty years ago we made promises not just to each other, but to God. We both believe those promises must be kept, and in keeping them, we laugh and love more and more every day.
Being several years older, he frets about who will care for me when he is gone. But we have two sons who have seen his example their entire lives. I don’t worry one bit.
Do you young husbands want an example for your marriages? Do you older husbands want to give your wives a wonderful gift? Here it is: security in your love. It will make all the difference in the world.
Husbands love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church and gave himself up for it. Even so ought husbands to love their wives as their own bodies, Eph 5:25,28.
Enjoy life with the wife whom you love all the days of your vain life that he has given you under the sun, because that is your portion in life and in your toil which you toil under the sun, Eccl 9:9,