Today was Janet’s birthday. It was a pretty good day. It started out with opening all her gifts, down to breakfast and then we spent a little time out at the beach. Now after all these years, I know that Janet likes to open her gifts first thing. That’s one of the ways that we are different.
I don’t like to open everything all at once because the rest of the day I have nothing to look forward to; but Janet wants it all up front. That way, she says that she can enjoy her gifts all day. And I swear that she has been this way as long as I have known her. She is just like a little kid when it comes to opening gifts.
This year I didn’t have too much for her to open – just a few, but they were good ones 😉 I learned my lesson years ago when we were first married and I got her eighteen gifts for one occasion. I was running low on ideas and actually gave her a bag of dirt for a flower pot and macrame plant holder that I got her for two of her other gifts. It didn’t go over so well, so I learned not to sacrifice quality for quantity.
One of the cool things about Janet is that she really doesn’t buy too much for herself; and she firmly believes that birthdays are for receiving things you wouldn’t ordinarily get for yourself. So I can pretty much let my imagination run wild and know that I’ll have great fun choosing her gifts.
The truth of the matter is that I am the one who keeps receiving gifts on Janet’s special day. Those gifts are the years that I have been privileged to be her husband. Sure, there have been tough times, very tough times, but in the ultimate analysis, both of us feel that we are soul mates with each other. And neither of us can even begin to imagine what it would be like to not grow old together. So each year, I thank God for creating Janet and putting her in my life.
You would think by this time that we pretty much know each other and there isn’t too much more to learn when it comes to our relationship. But that isn’t the case. I don’t know anybody who doesn’t like Janet and every year it seems that her kindness and compassion grow even more than the year before. I just don’t see how one person can embody so much kindness and humility. I know that I’m not wired that way…..
Each year holds new surprises and adventures. Our habits of travel and the things we appreciate are changing a little year to year, but we both seem to be in tune with that so it seems natural to us. Her recent medical troubles have weighed on her mind a tad and we are learning to adjust to little changes that we know we will have to get used to if Janet isn’t having a real good day with her arthritis. But that goes with the territory as well.
I also think that she has had a profound impact on me as a person. The longer I know her, the more she rubs off on me and the more I want to be a better person. Now that doesn’t mean that we never disagree – like all married couples we have different thoughts on ways to handle certain situations. However, most of the time, we are in total lockstep about our beliefs and the way we handle the regular events of daily life.
It is also important for me to stress that Janet has had a profound impact on the way I have operated in the business world. I know that she is not overly social and so it would have taken her way out of her comfort zone to have played the role of “corporate wife.” She enjoys the family and could live the rest of her life without any notoriety in the corporate world. So rather than join some big company that would have required both of us to be engaged in the entertainment of clients, I started my own businesses. It ended up easier on both of us.
That brings me to the verse of the night, one of the many in the Proverbs about the value of a great wife. From Proverbs 12:4, we are told, “A wife of noble character is her husband’s crown, but a disgraceful wife is like decay in his bones.” How many times in your life have you looked at the character of someone’s wife when judging if they are right for a job, or a special project you have in mind? I know that I have done it hundreds of times.
My encouragement this evening is to make sure that you realize what a terrific blessing a great wife is. She can make all the difference in the world to the life of her husband. And my prayer is that if you don’t have a remarkable marriage yourself, then you should look in the mirror and see if you are being the best spouse you can be. Because there is only one thing more important than marrying the right partner; and that is being the right partner. Thanks for another great year, Janet. You are truly my gift from God that keeps on giving year after year….