July 4, 2018
CELEBRATING OUR DEPENDENCE TODAY!
There was a terrible thunderstorm this morning at our home in Indian Harbour Beach, Florida. The storm knocked out our power for a while and our internet is still down, so I decided to put my “disconnected from the world time” to good use by writing this Blog Post.
My wife, Maria, is out of town this week visiting some of our family out West. Being home alone has reminded me of just how much I depend on my wife for so many things. I am especially reminded of how much I depend on my wife for my daily supply of love, honor, and respect from her as my partner in life. Today is the 4th of July, and besides it being our son Ryan’s birthday, it is also the holiday that we as a nation have come to call, “Independence Day.” As I sit at home in solitude, except for our scared to death little doggie, Angie (she is always scared during thunder storms), I find myself pondering the perceived value of personal independence. We all want to think and defend that we are very independent people, but what about the people who depend on us? What about the people that we depend on? Don’t we have a responsibility to surrender some of our independence to them? I think we do, especially if we agreed and promised to love, honor, and respect those people with our hearts and lives. In a world full of people demanding their need of, or right to their “Personal Space,” maybe it is time for we who have surrendered our lives to Christ, to show a demanding world of seemingly independent people a better way…a more excellent way (1 Cor 13). Maybe it is time we started celebrating and showing a world bent on demanding independence, our joy at being totally “dependent.” It is time to teach the world what true freedom is all about, by our example of joyful dependence in our relationships with God and with each other. Especially in our marriages!
On the 5th day of my mission trip to El Salvador that I have been relating here for the past few weeks, a very weird thing happened during a time of ministry that included a very poignant testimony from a woman in our group of mission mates. Her testimony was gut wrenching and very hard for me to hear personally, but hear I did. I believe I heard something in her testimony that most folks there did not. Throughout this woman’s tearful testimony of pain and loss, she spoke lovingly and respectfully of her husband who was not on the mission trip with us, but who was obviously a loved, honored, and respected part (a very big part) of this woman’s life. Of that, there could be no doubt! As a husband, I was deeply moved by the words this woman spoke boldly and openly, for all to hear, about her weaknesses and her dependence on her husband’s strength. In my journal that night I wrote these words, “(her) testimony was peppered with unintentional praise for her husband. She commented that the hardest part of this trip was the lack of closeness and, because of our remoteness, her inability to communicate with her husband each day.” I went on to write, “without saying the words exactly, there was no doubt that she was saying just how much she loved her husband and how very important and respected he was in her life. In a way, she was saying just how dependent she and her spouse are on each other. It was amazing to witness the awesomeness of true love between a husband and a wife, even when only one of them is present.” Then I penned this line, “I wonder what my wife says of me to others. Do other people know that I am a good man and husband just by what my wife does and says to show the world how important and respected I am to her.” Then I wrote, “I hope so.” I still do.
Truth is, God designed a man and woman to be knitted together into one unit through marriage. In the same way, when we accept Jesus as our personal savior, we give up a lot of our independence to willingly become dependent on our Lord when we choose to become ONE with Him. Through the commitment of marriage, a man and wife agree to give up a lot of their individual independence to become willingly dependent on each other, to choose to become ONE through marriage. That is called trust based on love and commitment. That is what we have from God, and it is what we should be showing the world that we have for God. Trust based on love is also what we should have and showing the world that we have for our spouses.
Men, here is a way to have a lasting positive impact on your marriage and your wife at any time. Just call her when there is a crowd around you who are busily talking sports, politics, or fishing videos. When she answers, tell her loud and clear for the whole world and your buds, or co-workers to hear, “I love you honey and I am never happier than I am when I am with you, I can’t wait to get home to your arms!” Ladies, how would that make you feel?
Wives, next time you are with your family, friends, or co-workers, do your marital relationship a favor, and instead of discussing the latest dancing cat video on Facebook, or whatever else seems important at that moment, show everyone that your husband is vital to YOU! You could do that by calling him when he knows you are with people that are important to you, and you loudly proclaim (so that you are louder than the cat video music) just how much you love and respect him and how much he means to you. Men, wouldn’t that make you anxious to get home and show your wife how much you love her?
Giving up that smallest of piece of our independence, by letting the world know that we are dependent on the love, honor, and respect we receive from our spouses and from our Lord, could be a powerful testimony for the world to see and hear. Husbands, wives, and believers, it is time to celebrate our “Dependence Day!” I pray we will.