Ministerial Meanderings

God centered theology in a man centered world.

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Location: Springfield, Missouri, United States

I was born in Washington D.C. and raised in Laurel, Maryland. I served in the United States Air Force for 20 years then retired. Then God led me to become a pastor. I was converted to Christ in the summer of 1966. I enjoy the company of my wife, children and grandchildren. I live with my three cats Taz.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Ode To A Virtuous Woman

In 4 days it will be my anniversary. My wife and I will have been together 24 years. Wow! It hardly seems so long, yet, at the same time, it seems to me like I can't look back and remember a time when we were not together. My wife, Aleta, said something like that when we got engaged. She said that she felt like we had been friends forever, though we had known each other only a few weeks.

Yes, I only knew her 2 weeks when I asked her to marry me. We joke with each other now, that we did everything wrong. She was still 17 years old when I proposed and only 3 months past her 18th birthday when we were married. We did everything wrong, but God smiled on us. Now, 24 years later, we are still together. We are happy with each other. We have two children, Stephen and Hannah, who have been God's blessings to us. We have one grandchild, Naomi, and what a joy she is to our hearts.

Over the years, I suppose we have given each other lots of reasons to want to leave the other, but we never did. When we were first married, we said we would never consider divorce as an option for us. And we never have. We have always worked out our problems within our marriage. We have never abandoned each other. We try to find ways to show the other how important they are to us. (Did that make sense?)

I remember, when I first started at Liberty University, a lecture by Dr. Falwell, where he laid out a Christian's priorities. He said we needed to have God first above all else. His view was that if you were not right with God, you couldn't be right with anyone else. Next, under God, was our spouses. Our spouse is half of our own person. He or she is part of us. Under our spouse was our children. They are given to us by God for a time, about 18 years or so, then they go onto their own lives apart from us. But our spouses remain till death do us part. Under our children came our ministries, those tasks entrusted to us by God. Under that came everything else. Dr. Falwell wanted us to realize that our relationship with God was most important, but next to that, that there is no ministry without being one with our spouse. No person could abuse his spouse, or neglect his spouse, and hope for any kind of ministry success. I took that message to heart.

I have not always put my wife above everything else but God. In that, I have not always been the husband that I should be. But I have put her above everything else consistently, I think. In that, I think I have tried to be the husband I should be. I realize looking back, that we have forgiven each other a multitude of faults and failings and hurts. We have a lot of water under our bridge. We really don't hold any past wrongs (that I know of) against each other. We've let them fade into the past. We have had our ups and downs, but in the end, we also have each other.

I am writing all this to say these things. I rejoice to celebrate my anniversary with my wife. She is a gift to me from God. I know she is part of me and I would not live well if I did not have her around me and in my life. She has done me good all the years we have been together and forgiven me often when I have not done the best for her. Very few women I have known would have been good wives for me. Not that there was any failing in them, but rather that I am a difficult old curmudgeon and few of them would have lasted very long if they had to put up with me. But Aleta has done it all these years and still loves me for who I am. Next to God, she is the most important person in my life. I know that without her, I would have no ministry and that I would be a very different person than I am. And not different in a good way.

She loves me very much. And I love her very much. My wife, my partner, my friend ...


Blogger Dr. Paul W. Foltz said...

And such should be the attitude of all Christian men and women.


3:56 AM  
Blogger Dr. Paul W. Foltz said...

And such should be the attitude of all Christian men and women.


3:56 AM  
Anonymous Pastor Jeff said...

Aleta is an absolute sweetheart. And a good cook, too. That's important . . ..:0)

4:39 PM  
Blogger Baptist Girl said...

John and ALeta, Congrates on 24 years. It will be 25 years for Jim and I in December and we also have had our ups and downs. The Lord has got us through too. We are not a perfect people but we are surely blessed to have a Savior that loves us so much and helps in our times of trouble and rejoices with us in or times of rejoicing. May the Lord give you many more years together.


5:45 PM  
Blogger Mark said...

Praise God for such a wonderful testimony of devotion to Him and each other. May God give you many more years together to bring glory and honor to His name and be a light to the younger generation, they so desperately need it.

Mark aka TruthMatters

7:41 AM  
Anonymous James said...

That is wonderful. Congrats to you and Aleta!

2:41 PM  

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