Finding "A Good Thing"

When folks ask me how long my late wife and I were married (almost 37 years in March, 2013), the pronouncement is frequently met with a sort of goggle-eyed astonishment. Often the look is accompanied by a question: “How in the world did you live with the same woman for that length of time?” The following are five contributing factors to our longevity as husband and wife:

1) “But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord (Joshua 24:15) —  A determination my wife and I made at the beginning of our marriage, was our unswerving commitment and service to God. There have been directions we haven’t gone and roads we haven’t taken because to do so would have impeded our Christian walk. This has been especially true in terms of the career paths we’ve followed. Neither of us has ever taken a job that would separate us from God’s work or from one another. Those choices have surely cost us money over the years, but they’ve never cost us anything that’s really important — being faithful to the Lord (Matthew 6:33).

2) “Above all things have fervent love for one another, for love will cover a multitude of sins” (1 Peter 4:8) — Any two people living in close quarters will have differences. The trick is not allowing those differences to act as a wedge. My wife tolerated my eccentricities and weaknesses with uncommon grace. She rarely goaded me about any frustrating quirks of my personality — and they were numerous. Neither of us brooded long over slights — we worked at forgiving and forgetting. (Ephesians 4:26,32; Colossians 3:13).

3) “He who finds a wife finds a good thing, and obtains favor from the Lord” (Proverbs 18:22) — The relationship with my wife was a blessing — not a handicap. I appreciate how much better my life was with her than it could ever have been without her, and I often times let her know that sharing my life with her was “a good thing.

4) “This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast” (Hebrews 6:19) — Our marriage survived challenges that might have divided other couples simply because of our commitment to one another and our faith in God’s unchanging promises (Hebrews 6:13-20). Whatever we faced in light of illness or reversal of fortune, we knew our Lord would never let us be opposed by an obstacle His grace wouldn't enable us to surmount together (2 Corinthians 12:9).

5) “Live joyfully with the wife whom you love all the days of your vain life which He has given you under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 9:9) — I’m indeed thankful to the God of heaven for the loving wife He provided me. She brought me much joy throughout our married life. Praise God for Him finding that “good thing” in my life — a loving, caring, and honorable wife.

Mike Riley, Gospel Snippets