Sunday, August 3, 2008

Happy Anniversary to Me (and my beloved)!

(I originally wrote this in honor of our 21st anniversary. Today is our 24th! I thought I'd run it again anyway. )

Pearls for the Strand

When my husband and I first married, we had each other and not much else. We lived in a less than desirable single-wide mobile home that wasn’t even ours (It was the parsonage.) with second-hand furniture that was hideous. It didn’t matter; we were young and in love. Through the years, though, we have amassed quite a few treasures (you can tell by the ever increasing size of the u-haul each time we move). Baby teeth, trimmings from first haircuts, bursting photo albums, bookcases brimming with such items as Bible helps, Max Lucado, and Dr. Seuss, all the paraphernalia that goes with having three children, and tons of happy memories flood our home and our lives. Oh, yes, and we still have each other. What more could we want when we truly have all we need?

OK. The truth is, sometimes I do want more. Sometimes the “Discontents” invade my thoughts causing desire for that which I do not have. I wish I had more closet space, more books, more clothes, and a strand of pearls. “A strand of pearls?” you ask. Yes, a strand of pearls. I’ve never been big on jewelry, but for some reason I’ve often wished for a strand of pearls that could be added to yearly. I want a pearl for each year Raymond and I have been married; this year would make twenty-one.

Pearls are the perfect symbol of a good marriage. Just as an oyster turns life’s irritations (a grain of sand) into a beautiful pearl, so a man and wife should coat their frustrations with love, allowing them to grow into a beautiful, caring relationship. A pearl is a “Redeemed Irritation”, so to speak. That’s what good marriages are made of.

I’ve all but given up on the pearl necklace. Not that I wouldn’t like it, but after twenty-one years of marriage I have a better handle on what’s truly important. And I’ve come to realize that my dear husband has given me “pearls” of much greater value. He’s given me:

1. Acceptance
2. Affirmation
3. Attention
4. Care
5. Comfort
6. Counsel
7. Courtesy
8. Devotion
9. Encouragement
10. Faithfulness
11. Friendship
12. Help
13. Himself
14. His Tootsie Rolls and Hershey Kisses
15. Honesty
16. Leadership
17. Love
18. Praise
19. Protection
20. Respect
21. Security
22. Strength
23. Support
24. Tenderness
25. Three wonderful children
26. Time alone when I need it
27. Trust
28. Understanding
29. Wisdom

Ooops! That’s more than 21! (How blessed I am!!) Each is a beautiful, priceless pearl for my strand – gifts from my husband. What more could I ask for?

The Bible says, “The price of wisdom is beyond pearls.” (Job 28:18) and “…wisdom is gained by those who take advice.”(Proverbs 13:10) That is the purpose of this book – to give you little pearls of wisdom for your marital strand. Each has been harvested from your church family and the Bible – from which all true wisdom has its roots. Make sure the strand you string them on is Christ, for “by Him all things hold together.”(Colossians 1;17)

My prayer is this: when death parts you, may the pearl necklace you leave behind you leave behind for your children and future generations, be long, pure, and beyond earthly value.
“Never let loyalty and kindness get away from you! Wear them like a necklace…”(Proverbs 3:3)

Longing for heavenly “pearls” with you,

Drewe Llyn Jeffcoat
© Drewe Llyn Jeffcoat 2005


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