We thank and praise Him for giving us to each other and for helping us through these last forty years. He gave me a man who has the just the right qualities in him that I need in a husband. Bob is dependable, faithful, generous and good, and my biggest supporter. He makes me laugh! He is the best father to my children that a man could be. I have in me the qualities that he needs in his helpmate, as well—a listener and encourager, a soft place to land when he comes home, a helper and someone who loves and understands him. We thank Him for helping us to grow in love for one another.
We thank and praise Him for the beautiful family that He has given us, as well, and that our home and family have been solidly planted on Him. Our children and their spouses know and love the Lord and are serving Him. Our grandchildren, so far as they have grown old enough to understand, have each accepted Jesus as their Savior and love Him. What could be better than that? Our family has been blessed with the precious gift of Robbie and the Lord has used him, as well, to mold us all into the people He wants us to be.
We thank Him for the joy and laughter that have echoed through the walls of our home, and for peace and comfort when our hearts were breaking. We thank Him for carrying us through the floods and fire of testing and trials, and for refining us and helping us to mature in Him. We thank Him for providing for us, for protecting and leading and blessing us all these years. There have been difficult times but He has always, always been there for us. Yes, God has been good to us these last forty years, and I look forward to whatever He has for us during the next however many years He gives us together!
Laurie’s family called this morning to wish us a happy anniversary. I told them how excited we were to reach our fortieth and I mentioned that my grandparents had only celebrated their forty-sixth anniversary before the Lord called Grandpa home. I said, you never know—we might not reach our fiftieth, either, so I am really rejoicing in this milestone. Melissa piped up, “Oh, you’ll reach your fiftieth, Grandma!” and Katie added, “You might even reach your sixtieth!” I laughed. “I don’t know, Katie! Sixty years married to one man? I don’t know if I can take it!” (Just kidding, of course!)
As much as I love Bob, though, I am glad there is only one of him! I’ve been reading about Solomon this week, and I have to tell you, I simply do not understand how the man who was blessed by God to be the wisest of all men could have had 700 wives and 300 concubines!!! “So King Solomon exceeded all the kings of the earth for riches and for wisdom. And all the earth sought to Solomon, to hear his wisdom, which God had put in his heart… And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines: and his wives turned away his heart. For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father…And Solomon did evil in the sight of the LORD, and went not fully after the LORD, as did David his father…And the LORD was angry with Solomon, because his heart was turned from the LORD God of Israel, which had appeared unto him twice, And had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods: but he kept not that which the LORD commanded.” (I Kings 10:23-24; 11:3-4, 6, 9-10)
Seven hundred wives??? Even for that culture, it seems a bit—shall we say—excessive? Yuck! And then even worse, to allow those women to influence him to turn away from the Lord to false gods—after all he had seen God do. After the Lord had actually appeared to him twice. After God had blessed him so abundantly, more than any other man on earth. It is just incomprehensible to me. What happened to his wisdom? It doesn’t even take a wise man to see and understand what God had done for him and for Israel—any dolt would have realized how God and God alone had so abundantly blessed him and been grateful. Shouldn’t a wise man be able to think for himself and not allow his wives to draw him away?
I simply cannot understand the extent of Solomon’s lack of wisdom and how he turned away from the Lord, but I know we have all allowed things or other people to come between us and the Lord from time to time. I may not have the great wisdom or riches of Solomon, and perhaps I have not forsaken the Lord to the same extent that he did, either, but that does not make me any better than him. Solomon’s story makes me so sad. When we allow other things to take priority in our lives it draws us away from God and obedience to Him, and He cannot bless that in our lives.
I mentioned a number of qualities about Bob that bless me as his wife. There is another one that is perhaps the most important of all. Bob is a godly man who encourages me in my faith. I am so grateful for a Christian husband who puts the Lord first and foremost in his life. He may not have the wisdom of Solomon, but he tries his best to serve and honor and obey the Lord, and he has led me and his children to do likewise. He tries to encourage and teach us, and he sets a good example by the way he lives his life.
Thank You, Lord, for a godly husband! Thank You for forty years of marriage and for the beautiful family You have given us! We are not wise like Solomon was, but help us in our simplicity to simply love You above all else and follow you obediently all the days of our lives. May our children and grandchildren find us faithful in our love for one another and for You and may they follow behind us in love and faithfulness, as well. We love You, Lord. Thank You!