Today is Friday. It’s hard to believe the week has gone so fast. Last Friday I really had a hard time. Today has been different. Why it is different, I don’t know. If I knew, I’m sure I could make a fortune as a counselor. But I haven’t felt the deep sadness that I felt the last couple of Fridays. Jennifer emailed me tonight and basically said what I had been thinking. It’s been 4 weeks ago today that Julia died. Four weeks that sometimes feel like forever, and sometimes feel like an instant. So here I am, sitting by the fire, listening to Love Came Down. Today has been pretty busy. I did get to the YMCA to work out. I’m still not running yet because of my tooth. It’s still healing well. I have been blessed with a great recovery. Then tonight we had Sozos, so I met the teams and got everything situated and then met with 3 new team members introducing them to the ministry, and watching Danny Silks message on “Culture of Honor”. It is a great message, I must have seen it at leads 8 times, and I get something else out of it each time I see it. Russell Black was spending the night with Terry Cantrell before he flies back to FL in the morning, so I went over there for desert after Sozo was over. It was good to see Russell one more time before He goes back. It’s been raining off and on all day today, and it’s still cold. I sure will be glad when spring comes.
Tonight while watching “Culture of Honor” I began to think about my relationship with Julia. We had something special, very special. I wish that every married couple could have what we had. But how does one define or quantify a relationship. How can you say in a few words what made it different? There are so many things. I know that one was that we had a passion for God and the things of the Kingdom. I’ve talked about this before, and probably will again because it was such a core value for both of us. But what I want to reflect on tonight is living and loving with honor. As Danny Silk talked, I realized that Julia and I both made the decision, somewhere along the way to treat each other with honor, no matter what the other one did.
In his message, Danny talked about how we are called to honor all people, whether they deserve it or not. It’s not about them deserving honor, it’s about our willingness to give honor because we are honorable. Looking back I can see thousands of decisions that I made that could have been made differently. Decisions that if they had been made differently, would have jeopardized our relationship instead of strengthening it. Somewhere after that first year, I started making decisions based on Julia’s needs and the needs of my family. As a man, I had to choose to make my wife and my family more important that myself, or my job. My priorities had to be to God, and then to my wife. So choosing selfish choices became a rare thing for me. I loved being with Julia. I loved being with my children. So what if that meant I didn’t play as much golf as others. It wasn’t that I didn’t like those things, it’s just I wanted the other more. Believe me, I made plenty of mistakes, and sometimes I did make selfish choices. But most of the time, I had my priorities straight.
So what does it look like, a couple who honors one another. First, you have to learn how to fight fair. Words do hurt, and the sting last a long time. When you fight, don’t turn it into a personal attack. If you do, it will last a long time, and will be hard to recover from. Secondly, you have to try to understand where your spouse is coming from. Why does he or she feel that way? What is triggering their feelings? If you can find this out, you can see if you can work through it together. Communication is a big key to success. To communicate, you have to keep from getting angry. Anger just shuts everything down, and then you are not going to get anywhere.
I’ll end tonight with this. You have to choose to love. You have to choose to make their desires number one over yours. It doesn’t have to be all the time, but you should be willing to do it all the time. You need a common passion that draws you together. It really makes it good, if that common passion is your love for God.
So here it is 4 weeks later. I’m not sad tonight, just a little lonely and empty. She’s here with me, along with Holy Spirit. It’s been a good day.