manandwomanA WIFE…is for life; children are temporary residents! Sounds cruel to say that about your ‘yunguns’ but it’s true. The vows you take on your wedding day before man and God is a binding covenant. You remember; ‘better or worse, richer or poorer, in sickness or in health, till death do us part’. See, that’s an earthly lifetime commitment. It does not provide for a term like your children. A good, solid eighteen years is normal for them. They can visit after that, and you hope they will, but they are designed to grow up and move on. But, hubby, not you!

And one of the greatest stabilizers in their lives is to see that covenant being lived out everyday between you and your wife. Same goes for you ladies! Dads, have you ever told your wife and each child that you will never leave them nor forsake them, no matter what, and dang well mean it? Maybe it is time, like today. You can screw up just about everything else, but if you are loving your wife as Christ loves the church, his bride, all can be forgiven by your kids. It is the strongest witness to our heavenly Father.

Why? Because his love is eternal, everlasting! Your children will get a glimpse of his perfect, enduring love for them. There are two ways to look at our marriages. One, I have an obligation to stay the course, love my wife. And the other is I freely love her and only want the best for her. It really is both / and. She doesn’t get warm and fuzzy about the ‘obligation’ side, but as humans, we tend to at times get drawn into the trap of ‘there may be something better out there for me’. So, nothing wrong with this compulsory decision! But, combined with loving her in freedom, it’s the best.

Love is more volitional than it is emotional. Jesus ‘gave’ his life for us. That showed his obedience to his Father. It was an act of his will. Not an emotional ‘syrupy’ decision. He gave because he loved! And that is where we men differ from him. Too many of us want to always be emotionally and physically satisfied and if we are, we can love. But woe to the wife who is not meeting these unattainable expectations! Did we as sinful humans make Jesus love him and his Father by our actions? Did he go to the cross because we pleased him? You know the answers to these.

Men, she is your life mate; your children are there temporarily. You have the responsibility and privilege to disciple them. And the message you send them out into the world with will significantly impact their marriages and the rearing of their children (your grandkids). I have often said, ‘life is an echo’, and I believe it. As I look back on the countless mistakes I have made in every arena of my life, there is one decision and joy that overrides it all—I love Joanne. After fifty-eight years of marriage, I am still trying to get it right. Not that I ever will, but the pursuit of it is worth every ounce of energy and courage I can muster. We both get our marital strength from the Lord; his grace, mercy and love.

If I am loving the Lord with all my heart, soul, mind and strength; then I can be a conduit of his love to her, and her to me. It ain’t easy in today’s counter-marriage world—but neither was the cross. Jesus died that we might live and be overcomers in our marriages. Trust him alone for your marital relationship. Your children will rise up and thank you for loving their mother. That’s really all they need to see.

“My covenant I will not break, nor alter the word that has gone out of My lips” (Psa. 89: 34 NKJV).  I say, let’s go and do likewise.

Life Today
Bill C. Dotson
www.abidingfathers.org
bill@abidingfathers.org