Keeping the flame of love alive in your marriage through the years, is the best gift you can give your children — a daily example of how to cherish their mother, no matter what life brings.
“It will never happen to me”; “No way — too much fun to have”; “Hey boys, did you hear about Johnno getting hitched? (cue gasps of shock and unbelief)… he’s mad.”
Who can remember as a young guy repeating the above sentiments? We were so preoccupied with living life to the fullest, no sleep, partying hard, fast cars and empty wallets — there was no room for permanency when it came to female friends — never!
Well, for many of us, the opposite happened. We meet a beautiful young woman, she tugs at our heartstrings, we need to spend every minute of our lives just gazing at her perfection, her smile, her undying devotion to her newfound prince (she told me that!). And then… the permanency issue is mentioned — wedding bells??
Standing at the altar, sweaty palms, only 22 degrees outside — feels like 42 inside the church… why is this tough guy so nervous? The wedding march sounds on the three-hundred-year-old organ, all eyes turn to the back of the church. Slowly, the bridal party enters the church building; you don’t even see the others, only wanting to set your eyes upon your future spouse.
As she enters the aisle, you are amazed at how the most beautiful woman in the world suddenly looks more stunning than ever… your eyes lock, you can’t believe today this woman is yours… forever! Wow, so long ago, yet so vivid.
You Made Her
Some years ago I went to a men’s conference in Sydney. There were many notable speakers, all talking about the importance of men’s role in the family, with topics ranging from the duties of a father to the expectations of a husband, with speakers ranging from church ministers to parliamentarians.
I remember that the key speaker at this conference, Mr Ed Cole, spoke on how time has the saddening effect of causing men to lose the love and respect of their female partners. Hearing many different speakers over two days, you are bound to forget much; however, I will never forget something that Ed Cole mentioned. He said:
“When you were married,
you married the most beautiful woman in the world.
What she is today, you made her.”
That statement really struck a chord with me. After the conference, I made a conscious decision to remember, to rekindle and to relive those precious moments shared between two people who are in love. It shouldn’t have to be something you write daily in your diary: “Buy milk and bread, pick up kids, and love my wife.”
It should be a natural, heartfelt occurrence, just like those early days. I have been married since 1989, and every wedding anniversary since, my wife puts on our wedding video, fondly remembering and reliving every moment, laughing at the fashion, marvelling at all of those since separated, and always shedding a tear at the beauty a wedding ceremony brings. It truly is a special time.
If we only remember one thing from the wedding ceremony, it should be this — the vows you shared on that altar. I made a vow to honour my wife, and I believe in doing this, we display to our children an image not soon forgotten.
So, thank you, Mr Ed Cole, for helping me receive the revelation of how to be a better husband and father, and I thank my lovely wife for being the most beautiful woman in the world.
So my tip for young fathers today — remember the words of Ed Cole… love and honour your wife… be the father God wants you to be.
Photo by Vlada Karpovich.