As I sit down to write this, I realize that Swede and I have been married twenty-one years, eleven weeks, 3 days, and 6 hours. It really does not seem that long. It seems like only yesterday that we exchanged those sacred wedding vows. Like everyone else, our marriage has, at times, been a roller coaster ride. But life is sweet with Swede. She’s not perfect, but neither am I. I think, at times, she’s more perfect than I am. She might argue that. She might not. It depends on how stupid I’ve been on that particular day.
Her hair has more grey and silver today than it did then. I’ve mined a lot of silver myself since then. Seemingly, she has maintained her weight better than I have. I think she is only like two or three pounds heavier now than she was when we married. I on the other hand have grown somewhat more portly. We won’t discuss that now. That’s another story. We both have a few more wrinkles and scars than when we married. But I still see the fire in her eyes when she looks at me. Yeah, life is good.
The five words that I dread hearing most coming from her are, “You know, I’ve been thinking.” When she begins thinking, and that’s quite often, I know that Lonnie will soon be working. I say that as a joke. However, to some extent it’s true. But you know, that’s okay. I enjoy doing things that make her happy. I love seeing her happy. I know some of you are thinking, “Yeah, ol’ Lonnie’s learned, ‘Happy Wife, Happy Life’.” No, it’s not that at all. The saying around our home is, “Happy Spouse, Happy House!” There’s a life lesson for you couples. We each sacrifice and do things for each other. Sometimes, I do things for her without her having to ask. There’s a Life Lesson for you fellas. Do something for your wife without having to be asked and you’ll be a ROCK STAR in her eyes! The brownie points meter will spin beyond her ability to keep count. But then, why should either of you be counting?
Swede has been around me for over two decades now and I can say that we’ve never had a fight. Honestly, that is the truth. We’ve had maybe three or four intense discussions but never a fight in all that time. We have agreed that it is okay to disagree. We make our disagreement known to the other, then we talk about our feelings, weigh the facts, and draw conclusions based on the facts with respect to each other’s feelings to arrive at a solution that is the best benefit of the whole. You see it’s not me and Swede. It’s us and our household.
Swede is a Godly woman. At least, I believe she is. She digs in deep to understand scripture, to gain wisdom and knowledge, and applies what she learns as she chases after God seeking HIS face. I’ll let you in on a secret. Swede loves God before me! That’s fine. I approve. I encourage it! The other day an elder cited that God had shown Swede to him as a stalwart. That’s an immovable object. And, it’s true. Swede can be stubborn but she’s not so proud that she can’t be moved. But when she stands where she is supposed to be in her faith, and I believe she’s there, you will not move her or shake her. She is rock solid. That’s a good thing. She gets me back on track when I slip off the rails and sands the rails so I get traction again.
You will never know how good a woman you have until things get tough. We’ve had tough times, Swede and I have. In 2016 she stuck with me through knee replacement surgery and open heart surgery. She took me to therapy every day with the knee. She brought me home and iced the knee down. She encouraged me to walk, stomp, and move. She saw me in my darkest hour after heart surgery. I was hooked up to a ventilator that breathed for me and a machine to caused my heart to beat. She watched as my heart began beating on its own and I struggled to get the nurses’s attention to remove the tube from my throat and lungs so that I could breath for myself. Those are memories I wish I could erase for her. But she was there. She never flinched. That’s love.
Swede was with me when I possessed a considerable fortune. The events of 9 1 1 saw all that go down the drain in the stock market and certain investments that I’d made. She’s with me now and we’re working paycheck to paycheck. She has never blinked, not once. That’s love.
I’ve watched her change a lot over two decades. She has changed for the better. I’d like to say that I’m responsible for most of those changes but I’d be lying. I’ve watched God do amazing things in her life. I’ve changed a good bit myself. I admit God did most of the changing. Sometimes, Swede had to push me in general directions before I could see the light.
I want to express something to all you married couples out there. What Swede and I have is a rare thing. Certainly, it is more rare now than it used to be. We’ve replaced words in our relationship like “I”, “ME”, “MINE” with words like “US”, “WE”, and “OURS”. We compliment each other in our means of thinking, our worship, our skills, our talents, and our gifts. We are not separated by parts but rather we are one cohesive unit devoted to God, each other, and family.
Another thing, that woman is MY woman! I am HER man! I LOVE HER AND I PROTECT her! She is NOT under my feet! She is by MY SIDE and UNDER MY ARM! She SUPPORTS me! That means, literally, she lifts ME up! I love her for that! God gave her to me! God gave me to her. Just so you know how I feel about that, Swede got the short end of the stick. I got the prize of a lifetime.
I just wanted to boast in the Lord about my wife that He has given me. Question to you fellas out there. Do you ever brag about your wife? In front of her? In the presence of others?
Ladies, do you boast about your husband to others where he can hear you?
Perhaps neither of you feel as if you have anything to brag about. YOU do something about that! Brag anyway. Do you know what that means? It means that YOU should take the initiative and do something SPECIAL to let your spouse KNOW how much you love them. Maybe, you don’t think you love them anymore. Maybe you think your relationship is not worth the effort. It is worth it. It is not worth it only if you say it’s not worth it.
But MY woman is quick to pray. Quick to praise. Quick to be thankful. Does that give you any hints? Does she get tired? Yes. Does she get discouraged? Sometimes, yes. Does she feel the pangs of frustration? At times, yes she does. But, that’s what I am for to lift her up when she needs lifting!
My woman is beautiful. She is extremely intelligent. She has a gargantuan heart for God and family. At sixty-one years of age she is (dare I say it? Yep I’ll say it!) still the sexiest thing I’ve ever laid eyes on. She is small in stature but she is a great warrior at heart. I’ve watched her face Goliath and seen the faith of David pour out from within her to overcome. She is not fearful. She is not weak. She is my wife, my friend, my lover. She is God’s woman.
I just wanted to brag, a little, on my wife. Give honor to whom honor is due. She deserves much more than I will ever be able to give her but she seems content with what I have. I love her for that.
Maybe, you should brag on your spouse, so that they can hear, today. Go ahead. Do it.
LIFE LESSON: HAPPY SPOUSE; HAPPY HOUSE it can’t get any more simple than that.
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