RITE OF PASSAGE: Dear Caleb
In a few days, you will stand before me in one of the most solemn ceremonies in which a person can participate: your wedding. You will share vows and exchange rings. Those few moments will alter your life . . . forever.
It is a mystery, this thing called marriage. One moment, you walk in your singleness. The next moment “until death do you part,” your needs and desires come second to those of your bride.
I would like to say that 33 years of marriage have made me an expert, but . . . they haven’t. I am learning as much today about being a husband as I did the day your mom and I said “I do.” So I want to give you some wise counsel based, not upon my experience, but upon the Word of God.
I point you to a tiny, wonderful book written by one of the wisest men who ever lived. You may not have heard many sermons from his book, The Song of Solomon, but it gives us incredible insights about how to treat women.
It also says some really weird stuff like, “Your eyes are like doves . . . your hair is like a flock of goats . . . your neck is like the tower of David” and other things that I cannot print here. Your first response might be that this Solomon guy is one sick dude. Your next thought might be the same as mine: if I ever said things like that, the doors would be locked when I came home. Put all that aside. Look into what Solomon is really saying and find some real wisdom about being a great husband and partner.
Solomon teaches about a progression, an ancient path that we must discover about the marriage relationship. He says we must touch our spouse’s mind first. We must remind her that she is a person of worth and value. Jesus was great at touching women’s minds. Look at the way they responded to . . . Him.
Every day, remind your wife of her uniqueness. One of the joys of marriage is that you will discover something new about your mate every day. This gives you a fresh way to touch her mind. Caleb, I admire your bride so much for the way she took care of her dying father, giving up so much of her own life to meet his need. Very few people your age would make that kind of sacrifice. Remind her every day of how smart she is and what a willing servant she is. When God led you her way, He gave you . . . a precious jewel. She needs to see her value every time she looks into your eyes.
Secondly, Solomon teaches us to touch our mate’s heart. Remember the part about her hair looking like a flock of goats? Solomon was reminding his bride of her great beauty. I am glad we didn’t live back then. I can’t imagine looking deep into your mom’s eyes and telling her that her teeth look like a flock of newly shorn ewes.
Still, a woman needs her husband to remind her of her beauty. As you know, I married the most beautiful woman in the world. I tell her over and over that I still see her as the same gorgeous woman who walked down the aisle and became my wife. Adrian will always need to know that you see her as the beautiful bride you married. And you will remind her that . . . she is.
Satan will try to destroy your marriage, and I want to warn you about one of his ploys. If you don’t touch your wife’s heart every day, another man . . . will. Guys like this are lurking around every corner, so protect your wife from them and their smooth words. Don’t let the enemy meet your wife’s needs through another man. You alone are the one to touch her heart.
Very soon, you will be able to fulfill something else. Solomon talks about: touching your wife’s body. Yes, we Baptists give the impression that everyone comes from an immaculate conception, but that is not true. God designed our bodies to be touched-especially in the sacred bonds of matrimony. May you become a lifelong learner of your wife’s body.
Remember Solomon’s wisdom. Take time to touch her mind first and her heart second. Then ,and only then,will you gain the right to touch her body.
Again, your mom and I are proud of your choice of a lifelong mate. She deserves the best that God has for her, my son. And as a husband, we believe that you will be . . . the best.