“An excellent wife who can find?
She is far more precious than jewels.
The heart of her husband trusts in her,
and he will have no lack of gain.
She does him good, and not harm,
all the days of her life.
She seeks wool and flax,
and works with willing hands.
She is like the ships of the merchant;
she brings her food from afar.
She rises while it is yet night
and provides food for her household
and portions for her maidens.
She considers a field and buys it;
with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.
She dresses herself with strength
and makes her arms strong.
She perceives that her merchandise is profitable.
Her lamp does not go out at night.
She puts her hands to the distaff,
and her hands hold the spindle.
She opens her hand to the poor
and reaches out her hands to the needy.
She is not afraid of snow for her household,
for all her household are clothed in scarlet.
She makes bed coverings for herself;
her clothing is fine linen and purple.
Her husband is known in the gates
when he sits among the elders of the land.
She makes linen garments and sells them;
she delivers sashes to the merchant.
Strength and dignity are her clothing,
and she laughs at the time to come.
She opens her mouth with wisdom,
and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
She looks well to the ways of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children rise up and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
“Many women have done excellently,
but you surpass them all.”
Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
Give her of the fruit of her hands,
and let her works praise her in the gates.” (Proverbs 31:10-31)
“Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her”. I am long over due!
The 13th of next month I will have been married to this wonderful woman 11 years. How do I describe her? In a word, Amazing!
If I chronicled here all she has accomplished, just since I have known her, most of you would applaud and perhaps a few of you would grumble that a woman has that much influence. Much of what she initiated, suggested, or orchestrated behind the scenes, she will not be credited for. But she didn’t do those things to improve her ego, trust me when I tell you, she doesn’t have a self-esteem problem.
When I read the passage where Paul mentioned and commended those “women who labored with me in the gospel” I always think first of Carol. I know no person with more ambition and determination to get things done for the kingdom. She is a driven lady who is just as ambitious in her singing, preparing for a house party, or getting help to people in need, she is an equal opportunity enthusiast. Only God can anticipate what she can facilitate!
Carol is a woman of vision. I have never known any person, man or woman, who can see the end of a dream long before I start to think. She just assumes nothing is too hard and if something is worth visualizing it is worth realizing. Again and again, I’m thinking, “That will never work!”, but it usually does work.
Hard work is her gait. God made this gal with her cruise control set on about 85. She thrives on getting tasks accomplished. And she is not bashful about recruiting others to help. I lovingly gave her the nick name “The Little General”. She has come close to making grown men run away screaming. As I told one friend who was her pack mule for the hour, “Just do what she says and everything will be fine”.
She is generous to a fault. Her heart and her hands are always open to those in need. Again and again I have seen her heart open and her hands busy to meet someone’s needs. I have seen her reach out in tangible ways to scores of people in amazing and creative ways to simply help. Her care for others is one of her traits I admire most.
Her ear is tuned to that still small voice. It is not uncommon to hear her say to me, “I just said that before I even thought about it.” Or “I believe the Spirit (of God) wanted me to do….” or “say ….”. And there is a couple with an adopted child, a husband with a godly wife and a one time widow with a godly man, and ….well you get the point I hope. From babies to marriages, singers and church vans, new ministries, and saying exactly the right thing to inspire hope in the hopeless, I am married to a woman who ‘walks in the Spirit”.
Loving is as natural as breathing. I have been loved in an amazing ways by this great woman, my wife. She loves her children and especially her grand children, nieces and nephews, aunts and uncles, old friends and new friends, the grieving, the poor, the lonely and the list goes on… They all are the objects of this great lover, My Carol Jane.
Am I bragging? You bet I am!
(Carol, when you read this, please know that I love you, honor you, respect you, and am excited to see what unfolds in all of our shared tomorrows for God’s glory. Happy Anniversary!)