Feel­ing a bit mar­ried

Siloam Springs Herald Leader - - NEWS - Ron Wood Columnist

We just passed a high­wa­ter mark, my wife and I. We’re at 48 years and count­ing. The younger years were ex­cit­ing but the sur­pris­ing thing now is how our mar­riage has ma­tured like a fine wine. Some as­pects of be­ing mar­ried for decades is how so many things get bet­ter as time goes by.

In our early days, we never con­sid­ered di­vorce. Mur­der, yes, but not di­vorce. The truth is, our mar­riage has worked be­cause one of us de­cided to change to be­come com­pat­i­ble with the other one. Which one was it?

Well, my name was Wood. Her name was Stone. Which gets whittled on the eas­i­est? Yep. The stone sharp­ened the knife. The steel blade be­gan to cut on the wood. There’s less of me now than there was be­fore. The fact is, most of us men weren’t ready for mar­riage. We men fin­ish grow­ing up when we take on the re­spon­si­bil­ity of hav­ing a wife and rais­ing chil­dren. I dis­cuss this more in my new book out for Fa­ther’s Day, “Pow­er­ful Fa­thers.”

Whose hand held the knife? God’s hand! He re­moved a lot of rough edges from me. He cut away dead wood, sawed off im­ma­tu­rity, and dug out my self­ish roots. Though I like to say that it was me who de­cided that I loved her enough to change, God didn’t give me much of a choice. It was, “Treat her right or you’ll wish you had died!” I dis­cov­ered she was her Fa­ther’s fa­vorite. God wants His daugh­ters cher­ished.

Did you hear about the man who heard a ser­mon on mar­riage? The preacher said the hus­band is sup­posed to be the head of the house. So, he went straight home and told his wife about this new truth. He de­clared, “I’m the new boss around here!” Strangely, he didn’t see his wife for a week. And then, just a lit­tle bit out of one eye…

An­other man got ex­cited when he read a verse in the Bi­ble, some­thing he rarely did. He found a verse about the man be­ing the head over the woman. Not be­ing very knowl­edge­able about the word’s con­text or how to rightly ap­ply the truth (be­ing un­able to even pro­nounce “hermeneu­tics”), he took the verse to mean some­thing it didn’t. He even bragged on his new power to his buddy at the bar, right be­fore he went home to try it.

The next week, he was back at the bar again. His buddy asked him how it went.

“I had her down on her knees!” he said.

“What was she say­ing?” his buddy asked.

“She was say­ing, ‘Come out from un­der there, you cow­ard!’”

I re­ally do be­lieve the Lord had a sense of hu­mor when he joined to­gether wood and stone. More than that, the Lord knew pre­cisely what kind of part­ner I needed for a team-mate. I wasn’t smart enough to choose wisely so I had prayed for help.

I re­al­ize now more than ever that the Lord knew ex­actly what was good for me. God was an ex­cel­lent match­maker when he put the two of us into our dou­ble yoke. If I could send a let­ter back to the naïve, know-it-all, con­fi­dent, skinny young preacher that was me at age 21, I’d say to him, “The best thing you ever did was to marry Lana!”

— Ron Wood is a writer and min­is­ter. Con­tact him at wood.stone.ron@gmail.com or visit www.touchedbygrace.org. The opin­ions ex­pressed are those of the au­thor.

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