Far Above Jewels

The Herald News
March 13, 2012

“An excellent wife, who can find? For her worth is far above jewels.” Proverbs 31:10

I recently posted a mushy comment: “Every day is Valentine’s Day with Cheryl.” It is true and the whole year feels this way—maybe because we are intentionally celebrating our fortieth anniversary all year. United on St. Patrick’s Day, 1973, we are doing special things not only this week but throughout the year, including a worship/concert this week and a cruise later. We are grateful and hopeful at forty, and don’t want to miss this milestone—or assume another one is God’s will for us.

Effie, a terrific writer and smarty mouth friend replied to my post: “That’s sweet, but I’m curious: when you say things like this to her, do you get a mushy, heart-felt response back, or does she raise her eyebrows and say, “‘What did you do this time?’” I’ll admit Cheryl does have a certain look when I say or do boyish things. Don’t tell Effie.

Seriously, I am getting mushier; Cheryl is getting wiser. The rhythm of our mock-teasing and real admiration for each other is quite a dance. I don’t think newlyweds can imagine the sheer delight we have in each other’s presence, or the secure and safe place of forty years together in a committed union. Nor can newbies know the give and take and growth and patience and unbridled joy all wrapped together in a gift we exchange back and forth daily.

I think Cheryl and I are now most appreciating the spiritual dimension and center to our relationship. Followers of Christ are portrayed as His bride; He is our Bridegroom. God chose marriage to illustrate Christ’s love for us. For example, when we are apart overnight, we don’t moan (much). We pray—and Cheryl’s are some of the sweetest prayers ever.

Cheryl and I were in a store last week and I, noticing a band on the clerk’s left hand, asked her how long she had been married. Being an impetuous braggart, before she could answer I gloated it is our 40th anniversary this year. Without thinking, the twenty-something gal blurted out, “Oh, I’m not married. Marriage is for whimps.” I wonder: this lovely, personable young lady that can turn heads everyday has no idea what she is saying. Whimps? Maybe someday she’ll know the glorious marathon of grit, sacrifice, bliss, change, and God it demands to grow in oneness. Cheryl and I have our second wind and we’re loving it. Pray for Amberlee.

Clarence and Marylou are with Christ now. Even after six decades of marriage Clarence always talked about Marylou as his bride. I like that. Clarence is my hero. Like him, I am incredibly honored with one woman, one life together immersed in the riches and jewels of Christ.

“An excellent wife, who can find?” I did! And so can everyone—married or single—when wedded to Jesus Christ. Are you?


1 Response to “Far Above Jewels”

  1. 1 Gam-ma McDaniel March 30, 2013 at 3:33 pm

    A little late, but nonetheless, wanted you to know that a parent’s dream is that their child would marry someone who would cherish and treasure them in both the short, and the long term.
    You have fulfilled that dream for us! We revel in your joy!


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