Sunday, May 13, 2007

Wisdom: A Good Wife

An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, but she who brings shame is like rottenness in his bones.
-Proverbs 12:4
I met my wife, Lesa, in a college German class. She was shy, but very friendly. We slowly became friends. Time went on and I began to think often of her. We would run into each other after classes and around campus. I finally got up the nerve to call her, and after missing her several times, I finally arranged to go out with her. Now, there will be some disagreement about whether or not this was our first date. I say it was, she says we were still “just friends.”

We started dating seriously shortly after that first “date.” I loved being with her. I loved seeing her smile. I was falling in love with her. And what a great love it has been!

We dated about 2 months before we started talking about marriage. We were both in favor of it and eventually I got around to asking her officially. We were married about 15 months after our engagement and shortly thereafter we moved away from everything we had known in Indiana to make a life for ourselves in St. Louis.

To say an excellent wife is the crown of her husbanAd in no exaggeration. I could not have made it through the seminary without the constant and faithful support of this beautiful woman of God. She knows my weaknesses and my strengths. She knows when I need to be lifted up and when I need to be brought down to earth. She knows how to make me laugh and how to make me behave. She is the very picture and embodiment of love and grace.

I can sympathize with Luther’s feelings for his dear Katie.
“I wouldn’t give up my Katy for France or for Venice—first, because God gave her to me and gave me to her; second, because I have often observed that other women have more shortcomings than my Katy (although she, too, has some shortcomings, they are outweighed by many great virtues); and third, because she keeps faith in marriage, that is, fidelity and respect.”*

Wisdom teaches us to recognize and give thanks for those wonderful gifts that we so often take for granted. And how easy it is to take the good gifts of God for granted? It is always easier to focus our attention on the bad. But Wisdom is not foolish or ignorant. It realizes that life is not all rosy. There is the excellent wife, of course, but there is also the wife who brings shame. Wisdom calls a thing what it is. Wisdom calls our blessings blessings and our sins sin. Wisdom tells us the truth of our situation in all things and gives us the all-sufficient answer in Christ and Him Crucified.
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O Good Lord, I give You all thanks and praise for setting that most excellent crown of my dear wife Lesa on my head. You have strengthened me in my love and faith in You through her faithfulness and excellent character. And in this wonderful blessing of an excellent wife, You have shown me more clearly the depth and strength of Your love for me in Christ. Keep us ever faithful to each other as we grow in faithfulness towards You.
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*Luther, M. (1999, c1967).
Vol. 54: Luther's works, vol. 54 : Table Talk
(J. J. Pelikan, H. C. Oswald & H. T. Lehmann, Ed.).
Luther's Works (Vol. 54, Page 7-8).
Philadelphia: Fortress Press.

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