It’s Valentine’s Day. Yes, it’s manufactured and exploited holiday that fills the coffers of the retailer and distributors of “STUFF”. Yes, I could rail on this and proclaim how important it is to celebrate your loved one every other day. Sure, that’s easy enough to do. We like to rail on things in America. That’s not what I choose to do today. I’m simply going to honor my wife and share it with you, but if you continue to read you have to promise me a few things. The first thing I want you to do is this: 1) Realize this post isn’t about you. 2) Realize that we can disagree without being disagreeable and 3) Go enjoy your loved one! Now to the post!
Proverbs 5:15-21 Drink water from your own cistern, flowing water from your own well. (16) Should your springs be scattered abroad, streams of water in the streets? (17) Let them be for yourself alone, and not for strangers with you. (18) Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of your youth, (19) a lovely deer, a graceful doe. Let her breasts fill you at all times with delight; be intoxicated always in her love. (20) Why should you be intoxicated, my son, with a forbidden woman and embrace the bosom of an adulteress? (21) For a man’s ways are before the eyes of the LORD, and he ponders all his paths.
THE WIFE OF MY YOUTH
I’ve done a lot of different things in my life. I refer to them as projects, pursuits, careers and callings. My wife probably refers to them as adventures. I’m a follower of Jesus, a husband, a father, a bivocational pastor (I have two full time jobs, 1 pastoring and 1 in a manufacturing plant), and a homesteader. All of these have pulled our life in some unexpected directions and we’ve had a lot of experiences together. My wife has been encourager, supporter, driver, passenger, partner, sounding-board, reality checker, tamer, manager, counselor, shoulder, rock, fellow-servant and Christ-follower, and even sometimes my biggest critic.
She has been my wife.
We’ve been married for over 20 years now. As we approach our middle years I truly love her more now than I even could have on the day we got married, the day we made it official and known before God and man. Like the passage above from The Book of Proverbs says, she is the water that refreshes me and I rejoice in the wife of my youth. I am intoxicated in her love and her embrace and find pure delight at her breast.
She is the wife of my youth and the wife of my middle-age, and Lord willing that we both should live long enough she will be the wife of my old-age.
So what’s this have to do with homesteading? Everything. It has to do with everything. In my 20+ years of marriage (and homesteading) I’ve seen so many people who start on the journey of building a homestead, a farm, a small holding or whatever you want to call it, who fail to build the most important thing first. Their relationship with their spouse.
I was just looking through some pictures of a meet up we had with about 30 other homesteaders at our farm in Ohio. We called it our “Bucksteader’s Weekend” (Ohio-Buckeye – Homesteaders… see what we did there?). As I looked at the picture I came across several couples (kids involved) who had strong homesteading dreams, who were no longer together and no longer homesteading.
Be careful that your desire to build a homestead isn’t so great that it outstrips your desire for your spouse. Build that foundation! I also think you need to include God in that relationship building! The bible says in Ecclesiates 4:12 And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken. The idea here is that you need a team. The Husband and Wife can stand and prevail against those that come against them. The three fold cord of God, Husband and Wife is a strong cord.
Yes, as shocking as it may seem from a minister of the Gospel of Jesus, I do believe that marriage is ordained by God and it is necessary for a fulfilling relationship. Yes, I also recognize that there people who don’t believe that. I recognize that there are people who will give me the reasons that I’m wrong. That’s ok, I recognize we can disagree and still be friends. I’m just telling you that it shouldn’t be shocking that I think the strong foundation for our homestead is the bond we have together and our faith in Christ.
So tonight, I just want to share that I love you Amy! You’ve stuck with me through thick and thin (and thick and hopefully thin again! 🙂 ) as the photo evidence with show. You are beautiful in spirit and attitude and your love of Christ, the kids and me humbles me regularly. I’m truly not worthy… and that in and of itself is such a picture of Christ’s love for us. He loves the unlovable. Thank you for loving me when I’m unlovable.
Dressed up for a night out.