The following is an excerpt from the book, Real Life Moments, by J. Mark Fox.
(She is) “A fountain of gardens, a well of living waters…” (Song of Solomon 4:15)
I have been married to my best friend now for nearly half of my life. Cindy stole my heart the minute I laid eyes on her in Chapel Hill in 1981. I asked her to marry me on our second date; I was that sure that she was the one. She was, ahem, not as sure as I. Cindy needed more time to think and pray about it and make sure this skinny kid (that was pounds ago) with a dark tan and a loud laugh was the right one for her. She was worth the wait.
We got married in the summer of 1982 and lived on love for the first few years. As an advertising sales representative for a newspaper, married to a stay-at-home wife, I wasn’t exactly known for my financial prowess. I remember our first Christmas together. I gave a $10 bill to her and one to myself. We separated in the mall and shopped until we had each found the “perfect present” for the other (meaning, “under $10”). We didn’t mind that our little Christmas tree we had cut on a friend’s farm had only a few, inexpensive presents under it. That was perhaps the simplest and the sweetest Christmas of my life.
As the years rolled on and children came into the picture, and life got busier and crazier, Cindy and I have maintained one simple practice that has made all the difference in our marriage. We have kept the weekly date alive.
Every week, usually on a Friday night unless it is softball season, you will find us out together for a few hours. In the days when our oldest child was under 12, it was difficult sometimes to find, or to afford, a babysitter. But God supplied. One year there were two teenage girls who offered to come every Friday afternoon and watch our children and even do some housework, while Cindy and I went on a date. The Lord knew just what we needed in that season of our life, and He provided. Since our oldest turned 12 more than 9 years ago, we have had live-in babysitters. The children look forward to when Mom and Dad are going on a date, because they usually fix a simple meal for themselves and watch a wholesome movie together while we’re gone.
Our dates have not always required money. I remember many times when we just went to the nearby university and walked on the campus and talked, or we played tennis somewhere, or we even prepared a special meal and had a “date” together at home!
One thing I have learned over the years is that what my wife needs more than anything on our dates is to know that I love her and that she is my number-one priority. If our dates end up being a problem-solving session with something that’s going on with me at the church, then one or both of us come away feeling like we didn’t really have a date at all. One thing my wife has learned is that most of the time the last thing I want to do on our dates is shop. My idea of a good time does not have Wal-Mart or T.J. Maxx anywhere in it.
Solomon called his bride “a fountain of gardens, a well of living waters.” Amen! I am thankful for the beauty and the refreshing that comes from being married to my precious bride. There is nothing so satisfying on this side of heaven.
Prayer: “Lord, You have given me a treasure in my wife. Help me never to take her for granted.”
Action: Plan a date with your wife for sometime this week. It doesn’t have to cost anything except the time you give to it, and that will be a treasure to her.