Oh, how wise God is and how foolish we are!
Forty-eight years ago today I was excited but scared. Was I doing the right thing or had I made a terrible decision that would mess up my whole life?
I had always believed that my Heavenly Father would give me the perfect husband. Yes, I always tried to clarify, "perfect for me", but, in my imagination, that had a very specific meaning.
Naturally I expected him to be dedicated to God. There never was any other option with that, but there were other values that I believed would be part of the perfect man for me.
I knew I needed a husband that would be strong. I was convinced that as long as I had a strong husband I could be a good wife.
Of course he would be intelligent with a good sense of humor. I was used to being around intelligent men; I had three older brothers. Our daily table talk was always intelligent and usually hilarious as well.
But there were many other characteristics that I was convinced would be part of my perfect husband's character.
First of all, he would never get angry. I was blessed with a gentle father, and I took for granted that the man for me would never raise his voice. The strange thing was, I didn't want someone like my softhearted Dad. I didn't want a man who cried. I hated the fact that I was a cry baby, and I didn't want us both getting blubbery.
I wanted someone who was firm, but, naturally, I expected that he would always see things my way, because without that trait, I didn't think he would be perfect for me.
He would love everything about me, but wouldn't act like a puppy dog about it. He would be the one that I would look up to and adore.
He would be punctual, but he would never be impatient.
Oh, and one more thing. He would sing like an angel, and we would spend our lives traveling and singing together.
And then I met Bruce, and I knew that he was the man for me. He knew it too.
Within a couple of months we were engaged. There had been no time to compare him to my list. The next two months were busy with preparations, but during that time, my "perfect man for me" list would flip up occasionally and I would try to tuck it back down.
But by February 3rd, I knew I would have to face it. Tomorrow I would be getting married and I was scared.
It wasn't that he wasn't a good Christian; I knew that he was. And I was quite aware of his high degree of intelligence; there was no question about that. I had even seen that he had a sense of humor, but that left me with a certain foreboding; it was much different than mine, and I wasn't sure I could handle it.
He was strong; that was obvious, but his strength left me feeling very annoyed, especially when he didn't agree with everything I said or believed.
I had also heard him raise his voice. True, it wasn't at me, but the very idea that it could be me the next time, left me frightened.
I wondered if, on that day two months earlier, I shouldn't have refused the diamond when he had arrived at my home an hour late to offer it to me.
But I knew it was too late to back out. Besides, in spite of my fears, I loved him.
As our honeymoon ended and real living began, there were more days when I struggled with those unwanted thoughts. His single-parent home had been so different from mine, his walk with God so new, his background so very much in contrast to mine.
The perfect helpmeet I had been so sure I would be, turned into a nagging, arguing, crying wife.
It is a slow process this business of iron sharpening iron. Only God knew how long it would take to smooth our jagged edges. All I can tell you is that it didn't happen over night. But it did happen.
It happened when we started really putting God first. It was only then that I totally realized why Bruce was the perfect man for me. In my dreams of the perfect marriage, I had been looking through the self-centered lenses of how my husband would fulfill my wants.
God was looking at how he would fulfill my needs, my need to mature, my need to see my own weaknesses so I could cry out to God to change me, my need to know that I really was very self-centered and to let God become the center of my life. My need to go through some major refining.
And while our Father was using Bruce to gently work on me, He was also using my weaknesses to make a giant of a man out of my husband.
Those doubts that had plagued me 48 years ago are long gone. God did give me the perfect husband. The best in the whole world.
No, he never did learn to be on time, and he never did learn to sing on key, though he did love to listen. But when he answered God's call on his life, we did travel to various churches around the continent. And where ever we went he would preach, and I would sing with our daughters.
And what could be better than that!
This will be my first anniversary without Bruce and I may need your prayers. Thanks.
For the next post see: The Path
For the previous post see: Never Alone