Let My Praises Be Heard!
I PRAISE GOD FOR A FAITHFUL, HARD WORKING, AND CREATIVE WIFE!
One time, recently, ‘out of the blue’, my wife said something to me that rather surprised me! Not in anger, but, nevertheless, very emphatically, she declared: “You don’t really know me! There is so much about me that you don’t know! In fact, there is a lot about myself that I don’t know! I don’t think I even know myself!”
I sometimes think that, after my marriage to her so long ago (47 years, as of this writing), I should know her quite well, but I know that there are many things about her that are still a ‘mystery’ to me. I have said to her, at times, that I realize (rightly so) that there is an inner citadel in her soul that is reserved only for her God. God alone knows the inner thoughts and hidden motivations and undisclosed ‘hurts’ that are inside of a human life.
No person, including a husband, dare attempt to invade that inner ‘holy of holies’ where God alone resides! A wife ‘belongs’ first and foremost to her Creator and to her Redeemer, and only secondarily to her husband. ‘Belong’ to her husband only in the sense of her deep communion and her loving partnership with her husband, not in the lower (evil) sense of possessiveness and servility to her husband!
I praise God for the wonderful woman that my wife is! She is a ‘fascinating’ (though, admittedly, somewhat complex) person- full of life and full of love and full of faith and full of kindness! She is smart, experienced, versatile in abilities, creative in everything she touches, a talented artist (painter and sketcher), an excellent cook, a home decorator, a remarkable mother, an understanding and faithful wife through the changes and the chances of our long life together, most importantly she is a devoted follower of Christ, a rational thinker, a good debater, and a consistent ‘problem-solver’!
It is true that others (around us) know only a ‘fraction’ of what ‘fully defines and describes’ us! And it is, likewise, true that none of us truly knows even ourselves in any ‘complete’ sense of the term! Even though I believe that I know my wife quite well, I humbly acknowledge that it is only the One who created her who knows her perfectly.
I have ‘lived’ with my wife for nearly a half century, and I think I ‘know’ her, but, the truth of the matter is, I only ‘know’ her ‘in part’. There is a ‘profundity’ (profoundness and mystery) about every one of us human beings. God made each of us in His ‘own image’, and, therefore, because God is ‘beyond comprehension’, human beings who are made in God’s ‘image’ are, obviously, (in some ways) ‘beyond comprehension’!
Yes, I think I know a ‘lot about’ my wife her mannerisms, her tastes and preferences, her personality, her strengths and weaknesses, her hopes and dreams, her accomplishments, her relationships, a small portion of her inner spiritual life, her frustrations, her dashed hopes, her spiritual gifting (administration and wisdom), her parenting style, her communication style with all and particularly with her grandchildren!
Indeed, after living with Venita for nearly 50 years, I have a pretty good idea of the kind of person she is! I am aware of her friendships, her rural background, her artistic and creative nature, her homemaking skills, her artistic abilities, her domestic skills of cooking and home decorating, her business skills and personal budgeting skills, her compassionate involvements with children at one time in her life (daycare business) and with elderly ones at another time in her life (elderly care business), her unique communication style with me (advice, correction, insight, teasing). And other mannerisms and characteristics not here named!
A truly insightful and mature and godly woman is she! She is a high quality lady, the greatest ‘gift’ of my life whom God granted to me as His great ‘grace gift’ (‘grace’ means the ‘unmerited favor’ of God to me). Outside of God’s gift to me of Jesus Christ (in a totally different and unique ‘category’), Venita is the greatest ‘gift’ God gave to me!
Even though (according to scripture) I will not be given the privilege of enjoying her in heaven as my ‘wife’ (for there is no marriage in heaven), I look forward to continued ‘growth’ in spiritual matters with her in heaven. Surely, if not my wife, she will (if God wills) be a very close friend (hopefully my best friend) in heaven!
After I listed many of the obvious (well-known) ‘aspects’ (characteristics) of my wife, I have not ‘told the half’! She is God’s child, created in God’s image. God has willed for me to live with this delightful and godly lady, for a few decades. But she came from God (at her birth) and she will return to God (at her death).
I am most privileged to cherish her as my beloved wife (companion and fellow worker in God’s kingdom) for a few sacred years. As is true of all of us earthly creatures, from the hand of God we have ‘come’, and unto God we will ‘return’. The Lord gave, and the Lord will take away.
We are on this earth to be God’s stewards (to be stewards of everything God gives to us- our body, our relationships (especially our marriage), our children and grandchildren, our talents and gifts, our material properties, our relationships (friends and strangers), our job (employer and fellow employees), our church, our world (ecology), our government (authorities), our poor and needy associates (call for compassion and generosity)!
We brought nothing into this world, and it is certain that we can take nothing with us when we finally die! Nothing except our ‘naked soul’, nothing but our ‘bare character’, nothing but our ‘relationship with our God’!
When we depart this earthly life, we shall (at some future time in God’s eternal scheme of things) give an account before God regarding the ‘quality and the quantity’ of our personal earthly ‘stewardship’.
God will evaluate the life that we have lived – what we did with what we were given by God during our earthly pilgrimage! To what extent did we use our talents and gifts and abilities, in the service of our fellow human beings? Did we live a God-centered life, or, instead, a self-centered life? Was our life motivated by God’s love, or was our life motivated by ‘love of self?
Even though there is much that I do know about my wife, I am not qualified to be her ‘evaluator’ in eternity! Only God, who knows her perfectly, can give a ‘perfect evaluation’ of her life! But, if God would ever ‘need’ a witness to come forth in eternity to witness in behalf of Venita Ann (White) Christian, I would gladly step forth as the ‘first witness’ in her behalf. lt would be very easy for me to give my God a long litany (long list) of godly qualities that I observed when she lived with me for so very long on planet earth!
l, of course, am engaging in ‘total speculation’ (imagination) when I suggest that God might ‘need’ a witness to stand up in ‘defense’ of the godly life that Venita lived on earth. We all know that God- the all knowing God- certainly will not ‘need’ any help (from humans) when the ‘Day Of Evaluation’ (Judgment of Works) arrives in heaven!
God knows each human being perfectly, and God will (mercifully) take everything ‘into consideration’, when He makes his ‘final evaluation’ of each person, in eternity. This ‘judgment’ is the ‘judgment of works’ (only for believers), not the terrifying ‘judgment’ of damnation (only for the cursed wicked human beings). Believers will never be condemned (judged) for their sins, for (through confession of sins and faith in Jesus) the sins of believers have already (on earth) been ‘cast into the sea of God’s forgetfulness’! In eternity, those sins will never be recalled by the ‘Lord of Heaven’!
He (the Creator) who knows my wife intimately is the One who loves her perfectly (unconditionally). Venita is ‘not her own’- she is created by God and is redeemed (on the cross) by Christ! ‘By right of creation’ and ‘by right of redemption’, Venita belongs to God!
My wife is ‘loaned’ to me (for a few decades) by God, but, of course, my wife is owned by the Creator/Redeemer forever! Before I met her on earth, and after I no longer will be able to enjoy her as my earthly companion, God possesses her ‘as His very own’! She belonged to God before she was born, she belongs to God during her earthly pilgrimage, and, after she physically dies, she will continue to belong to God!
For time and for eternity, this woman, whom I have called my wife for nearly a half century, belongs alone to her Creator/Redeemer! I enjoy her on this earth for a relatively short period of ‘time’, but she belongs to God forever.
It is only because of God’s grace, I have been allowed to enjoy her as my wife (on earth), and, by God’s grace, I anticipate enjoying her in the relationship of a heavenly citizen (not as my wife, for there is no such thing as ‘marriage’ in heaven)!
If this reality was more vividly and daily impressed on my brain, I would manifest a greater ‘cherishing’ in my relationship with my wife. I would not ‘take her for granted’, and I would be more tender towards her, and I would learn better to ‘number my days with her’.
If I reminded myself daily of the special relationship that she has with her ‘Creator/Redeemer’, I would do a better job of ‘serving’ her- ‘serving’ her, not only because of her unique relationship with me, but ‘serving’ her better because of my recognition that she is a special chosen and holy ‘vessel of the living God’!
I know that my wife loves God supremely- with all her heart and soul and mind! Jesus- first and foremost in her life! She calls Jesus ‘Lord’, not casually, but most seriously! Christ is ‘Lord’ of her life, and Christ will be ‘Lord’ when she takes her ‘last breath’!
I have often told my wife that if I had ‘searched all over the world for a wife’, I could not have found a ‘better wife’. Oh, of course, my wife is definitely ‘human’. She may be, at times, ‘angelic’ in her appearance, but, the truth of the matter is, my wife is definitely not an ‘angel’. As is ‘true’ of all of us, she has her faults – but not very many of them! She is so mature, because she is so Christian in her attitudes and in her actions and in her motives!
Like everyone else, she is a member of a fallen race, and she needs, daily (like everyone else) the application of the precious blood of Jesus to her heart and mind and spirit. She, like everyone else, has her weaknesses and her faults and her failures, but, nevertheless, she is a quality woman, and, most importantly, she is a very godly woman!
My two daughters greatly admire their mother for many reasons, but mostly because they know that she has consistently lived a godly life before them! They have observed their mother in many different situations of life, and they know that their mother has always sought to live a life that is worthy of the reputation of the living Lord whom she deeply loves.
They know that their mother is a very talented and intelligent woman, highly gifted as a problem- solver (administrator), and, as a follower of Christ, a woman who also is endowed with the ‘gift of wisdom’. They highly value her insights which she lovingly offers when they, as daughters, are facing serious challenges in their own lives.
They know that their mother is a source of wisdom and of comfort and of encouragement during the times of their own trials of life. Both of these daughters have, for many years, felt very ‘close’ to their mother, and they feel ‘free’ to confide in their mother during the different episodes of their own growing life.
When my oldest daughter recently (in my presence) told her mother that she was ‘amazing’ and that’ she could do anything’, I ‘chimed in’ and I said that I agreed. I said that anything I could do, her mother could do better! And then I jokingly said, “Well, there is one thing that I can do better than your mother can do I am a better runner!” (l have run consistently – almost daily – since I was young, and Venita has hardly ever run! Ha!)
As I mentioned several previous times in this book, Venita is good ‘problem-solver’. She likes to face and to solve many different and difficult kinds of ‘challenges’ (including many business challenges). Venita’s ability to resolve problems is amazing, and her ability to ‘talk to business persons’ on the phone is remarkable. She has told me that she ‘loves’ to talk to various persons on the phone, concerning business matters. Because of this desire, obviously, Venita has made my own life ‘much easier’! Frankly, I don’t personally care to talk on the phone, except to my family members.
After many years of talking to business persons on the phone, Venita has developed considerable ‘skills’ -skills in ‘getting to the heart’ of a problem by asking the right questions and by equipping herself to understand the nature of a particular business problem – sometimes a rather complex, business issue. It may take her considerable time to find a solution to a particular problem, but usually the solution will finally be forthcoming!
Another (similar) manifestation of her gift of administration is her enjoyment (passion?) to ‘tackle projects’ of many different kinds. She has told me (more than once) that, even when she was a child she had to be involved in the pursuit of some kind of specific ‘project’.
As evidenced by the fact that she has a melancholic temperament- an ‘artistic temperament- she sometimes finds herself dealing with ’emotional low feelings’. She told me that, when she experienced rather ‘low feelings’, she (as a child) would pursue some ‘project’- rearranging her bedroom or mowing her large lawn or trimming the scrubs. She said that when she would ‘lose herself in some kind of concrete ‘project’, that she would experience a new surge of enthusiasm in place of her ‘low emotional feelings’. Venita said that throughout her adult life she knows that she ‘needs’ to be involved (at all times) in one or more ‘projects’.
It is through this creative involvement in some type of project (small or large project) that she finds herself maintaining a ‘good feeling’ inside of herself. She enjoys (to some extent) leisure and recreation and socializing with friends, but these activities do not ‘sustain’ her over a long period of time!
What brings meaning to Venita is the facing of significant ‘challenges’- ‘challenges’ which give her the opportunity (through the use of her God-given talents) to find meaningful solutions to dilemmas and to difficulties!
This dominant characteristic of my wife is rather easy to identify in concrete situations in which she is involved. During the many years that Venita served as a pastor’s wife, she involved herself in countless projects- all of which contributed directly or indirectly to the edification of many persons. As the children’s director in our local church, it seemed like she was always rearranging class rooms, or recruiting scores of volunteers to teach classes, or ordering curriculum, or making curtains to divide rooms, or a hundred other projects.
Recruitment of students and teachers, not only for Sunday school classes, and ‘Children’s Classes’, and ‘Nursery Classes’, and ‘Vacation Bible School’ programs, – not only for these ‘regular programs’ – but also for special programs, like midweek children’s programs and ‘summer Camps’. Venita had that ‘magic touch’ when it came to recruitment of scores of adults to teach classes in many different contexts.
She was ‘persuasive’, but not coercive, in her recruitment of volunteers in the local church. Scores of adults (with a variety of talents and experience) readily answered her ‘call’ to commitment! There were hardly any adults who ‘refused’ Venita’s challenge to be involved in the total children’s program at the church! Venita ‘juggled the balls’ for many years- that is, she coordinated multiple children’s programs in our local church.
Venita worked as hard as anyone that I knew. She had a clear vision for growth (numerically and spiritually), and it seemed that nothing could stop her in her pursuits for excellence in the labors of love and Christian service! Venita’s many adult recruits (volunteers for the children’s programs) greatly respected Venita and they loved to work with her.
Venita had high expectations for the volunteers, but the volunteers knew that Venita cherished each of them and that Venita would do everything she could to make their job (in teaching) successful and meaningful. They knew (instinctively, if not consciously) that they, as volunteers, were primarily working for the ‘Lord of the Church’, and only secondarily for the ‘Children’s Director’ (Venita)!
It is no wonder that God blessed the intensive efforts of Venita (and the labors of the many volunteers)! So many children grew in every way, in their lives! The Lord Jesus Christ, when He traveled the dusty roads of Galilee, loved to take children upon his lap, to teach the children, and to laugh with the children! Jesus said that anyone who accepts the ‘little ones’ (children), accepts Him!
During the several years (l think seven years) that Venita looked after pre-school children, in her ‘Home Day Care’, she, again, was doing the work that Jesus strongly commends! She lovingly cared for these ‘little ones’, in her well-organized, artistically-appealing, creatively-run ‘day care’. Again, Venita’s desire to be involved in the challenge of ‘recruitment’ (of persuaded parents with their challenging children) was fulfilled during those several years. Not an easy job, but, nevertheless, a rewarding job.
Each succeeding job that Venita received (from her Lord) seemed to be more ‘challenging’ and more ‘difficult’ than any previous jobs that she had! When Venita accepted the job as administrator of the new Christian Day School, this challenge was, indeed, rather difficult, even overwhelming, in terms of responsibilities and requirements! But Venita arose to the occasion, to the challenge, and to the ‘opportunity’ (as she perceived it)!
She did not have a degree in school administration, and her learning curve was ‘sharp’. She learned fast, and she soon realized that, in spite of many obstacles that she faced because of a ‘new beginning’, she greatly loved her job -the job or recruiting literally hundreds of students for the school.
Within the first five years of the existence of the school, the enrollment grew from 11 students (kindergarten only) to 225 students (all 13 grades). This was a miracle, but a miracle that God produced as a result of intense effort (outreach) by Venita.
Almost single-handedly, Venita recruited the hundreds of students who became proud enrollees of Choice City Christian School! During those 8 years (the foundational years of the school), Venita ‘wore several hats’ – even involving herself in the task of personally purchasing school desks at an auction.
When Venita accepted the position as administrator of the Christian School, she accepted a ‘challenge’ that taxed her skills and her energy and her personal resources to their very’ limits’! In spite of (or was it ‘because of?) all the ‘challenges’ that Venita faced during those eight years that she was ‘head’ of the School, Venita grew in her faith in the Lord, and in her love for many people, and in her knowledge of administration and leadership.
God enabled her (in spite of her lack of formal training) to be an outstanding administrator of the School. She was widely respected, and she was well liked by students and by teachers and by parents and by school board members.
Her creative instincts served her well during those years, for she had often to be innovative in addressing multiple problems (curriculum development, recruitment of hundreds of students, facility availability, financing, discipline of students on occasion, extracurricular activities (like location of facilities for sports programs).
Even with all her intense labors and her untiring devotion to the school, Venita knew that (as the Bible notes) “unless the Lord builds the house, they that labor, labor in vain!” She knew, in other words, that, unless the Lord supported and promoted the Christian School, her own labors and her own attempts at recruitments and fund raising- these would all be purposeless and fruitless!
She prayed often for the School, and many others prayed for the success of the School. God wonderfully answered the prayers of those who cared for the welfare of the School. The School did proper, and so many (both teachers and students) did experience great growth in their lives!
The growth of the School was ‘God’s doing’, first and foremost, and only, secondarily, because of the prayers and the gifts and the teaching of many committed persons, and because of the aggressive outreach by Venita in recruitment of students! It was God who motivated Venita to work so hard and to sacrifice so freely (sacrifice of her time and talents and money)!
God enabled Venita to embrace the many different challenges which were integral to the operating of a new School. Venita had to learn to ‘reach out’ in many different directions and to many different persons (whose interests in the School were varied in kind and in intensity).
Venita loved the financial challenges, she loved the personnel challenges, she loved the student recruitment challenges, she loved the challenges of maximizing the limited spaces for classrooms, she loved the school board challenges, she loved the challenges involved in the locating of adequate spaces and facilities to ‘house’ the many different sports, she loved the challenges of communications with school parents!
She loved the challenge connected with student disciplinarian problems, she loved the challenge of ‘tapping’ financial sources for student tuition grants, she loved the challenge of maintaining good relations with other Christian Day Schools (both in her community and in other communities outside of her city), she loved the challenge of keeping in ‘good graces’ with the community leadership and with the ‘legal’ entities of the city and the State.
Her ‘hands were full’ when she was the leader (head master) of the Christian School. She ‘made do’ with rather ‘limited resources’ (money and facilities, etc.)! God blessed Venita’s efforts and God answered the prayers of many who regularly ‘committed the school to God’s enablement!’ God prospered ‘Choice City Christian Schoo!’ in amazing ways! Among a multitude of ‘praise notes’, this is another ‘praise note’! “Praise God from whom all blessings flow!”
Venita has faced challenge after challenge during the many years of her life’s journey all starting when she was quite young. As mentioned earlier, Venita has always enjoyed ‘tackling projects’! Whether it was the ‘project’ of Venita rearranging her bedroom (when she was a child), or whether it was the challenge of ‘starting’ and ‘growing’ and ‘developing’ a Christian School, Venita ‘thrives on solving problems’, she ‘loves to makes things happen’, she loves to put the many ‘pieces of the puzzle’ together when it comes to solving mind-stretching problems (administratively or ecclesiastically or financially or spiritually).
God is the ‘God of all wisdom’. If any man (or woman) lacks wisdom, let him/her ask of God, and it shall be given to him/her- if he or she asks in faith! (James L) Countless times, in prayer and in meditation, when problems seemed tough to handle, Venita turned in humility to the God whom she deeply loves. The result? Sometimes miracles happen – and all to the glory of God!
Her ‘spiritual gifting’ of wisdom (along with her gift of administration) easily (naturally) led her, throughout her long lifetime, to share insights, to gently give advice, to give ‘direction’, to solve problems, and even to make ‘corrections’ in delicate situations.
Of course, as my wife, Venita has (for many years) exercised all of these ‘manifestations’ of her ‘spiritual gifting’ (of wisdom and of administration), in her daily relationships with me (her husband), and she has done so very freely and very openly and (most of the time) most productively!
Another important illustration as to how Venita has used her ‘gift of administration’ is seen in her competent ‘running’ of a home elderly care business. Of course, each time there is a family who contacts Venita regarding the possibility of placing their elderly mother in her home, Venita must honestly and humbly, yet very confidently, ‘sell’ these family members (sons and daughters of an elderly person) on the ‘quality’ of her home – on the quality of the various ‘offerings’ which she has for the care of an older person. Venita has a near perfect record, in terms of the effectiveness of her ‘sales presentation’ (of the quality of care presented) to the relatives of the elderly one.
Almost everyone who inquires, quite quickly enrolls to come to her home! To put it humorously, almost all who ‘look’ end up ‘leaping’ into our home! Of course, even though many of the elderly ones are not mentally able to make rational decisions (regarding their moving to our house to live), Venita, nevertheless, has always treated every elderly one with dignity and with respect.
Before these loved ones (who are seeking a place for their elderly mother) make a decision to make our home the home for their mother, it is vitally important that they have objective facts as a basis for their decision.
Venita is most skilled (as an administrator and as a problem-solver) to communicate with the relatives (of the elderly one), and, with an honest appeal (not an appeal involving ‘pressure’) Venita ‘sells’ our place as a comfortable and nurturing place to live!
Almost without exception, the loved ones (of the elderly ones) choose Venita’s elderly care home as the place where they wish for their dear mother to live. Venita’s skill, as an excellent administrator, has been demonstrated, time and time again. Of course, this God-given skill (administration) has been used countless times, during the last nearly 20 years, in the problem-solving needs of the daily operation of her elderly care business. Each of the residents has different kinds of aging needs, and, thus, Venita has to apply great wisdom in the personalized care of each of the several elderly folks.
Venita has applied great discernment and patience and compassion, as she has awaited the death of most of these ladies, and as she has tenderly cared for various older ones as they have breathed their last breath! Of course, the mental and the physical (mobility) capabilities of the various residents are unique to each lady (there have been no men), and, again, Venita soon learned, in doing this type of unique work, to be very adaptable and flexible to each lady.
Venita, as driven and as goal-oriented as she is, had to ‘get into low gear’ as she worked with most of these ladies. In order for Venita to be able to minister to these precious ladies (several demented), Venita was required to develop considerable patience. They were slow with almost everything in their life (and, of course, they could not help this).
Understandably, Venita had considerable ‘adjustments’ to be made, when she first started to ‘relate’ to these ladies (ancient ladies), many in their 90’s! Each lady, obviously, had a different ‘temperament’. Some ladies were ‘quiet’ (hardly talking). Some ladies were rather ‘bright’ and alert mentally (definitely in the ‘minority’, however).
The brightest lady whom we enjoyed for only one year before she died this lady wanted me to take her on walks regularly in the out-of-doors, and she once recited Shakespeare at our table, and she regularly shared recipes with Venita that she would like prepared as meals!
Most ladies, on the other end of the scale, were so demented that Venita and I could hardly understand their attempted verbalizing! One lady was with us for 11 years, before she died at nearly 104! Both of our mothers passed away in our upper bedroom, just a few feet apart, and almost exactly one year apart!
I have shared these few details about the elderly care business, to demonstrate that God used Venita’s ‘gift of administration’ in the ministry of caring for elderly folks. God also used this wonderful ‘gift’ in the ministry to pre-school children and in the ministry to children in our local church, and in the ministry to both children and teenagers at the Christian School. Obviously, Venita used her ‘gift’ to minister to many adults as well, through her involvement in multiple, adult-related programs in the local church.
It is true that a spiritual gift will likely be ‘established’ and be ‘fixed’ in the life of a believer, but it is also true that a spiritual gift may find expression in its application in many different ministries, and in many various contexts, and with several different ‘age groups’. Everything I just stated is true of Venita.
Many different ministries, many different contexts, several different ‘age groups’ (infants, children, teens, adults, elderly citizens). During Venita’s long life and by means of her varied ministries, God has allowed Venita to exercise her ‘spiritual gifts’ (administration and wisdom) in a manner such that lives were ‘touched’ and were ‘blessed’ in many different places, through many different situations, to all the various age groups!
What a fulfilling way for Venita to use her ‘spiritual gifts!’ Venita will only know the extent of the effectiveness of her administrative ministries, when she hears the words of her Loving Master: “Well done, thou good and faithful servant! Enter the joys of thy Lord! Thank you, dear servant of mine, for loving my people, for using your ‘gift’ to minister to my people so faithfully! Come, now, into the kingdom which I have prepared for you, and now help me to administer the affairs of my vast kingdom! You can use your ‘gift of administration’ forever in my kingdom!”
I asked an older lady, when I was a teenager, if she would pray that someday God would lead me to a quality woman, to be my wife. God answered the prayer of that godly ‘saint’, when I met and when I dated and when I finally married Venita! I sincerely believe that God ‘hand-picked’ the lady that I was to cherish as my life-time companion.
She has been the best woman as a wife for me that I could ever have imagined! Admittedly, the ‘road’ that we have traveled together for nearly five decades, has not always been a ‘smooth’ road. We have experienced some rough dips, even some ‘pot holes’, along our joint pathway. There have been far too many times that (impulsive as I am) I have needed to ‘humble myself’ before her to ‘plead her forgiveness’. I have not always been the easiest person to live with.
I don’t think she has ever questioned my deep love for her, but, nevertheless, my humanity (faults and failings) have brought great challenges to her. There are countless virtues that make Venita a truly ‘great lady’, but among the greatest virtues is her willingness and her ability to quickly grant me ‘total forgiveness’ when I have miserably failed!
Thank God, Venita has not held ‘grudges’ against me, as a result of my ‘infliction of wounds’, and as a result of my insensitive words and inexcusable expressions of anger. She has quickly forgiven me (of my faults and failures- which have been many), and she has always quickly restored our offended relationship!
She has always been determined that we as a couple ‘move forward’, to ‘forget any of our past offenses.’ Why can she do this? Because she long ago made a commitment that our marriage would be ‘solid’ and ‘lasting’ and ‘God-honoring’!
I have been totally faithful (morally-speaking) to my wife (thank God!), so I am not referring to ‘moral breakdowns’ in our marriage. Venita is totally trustworthy! I trust her at any time, and at any place, and with any person! She is a woman of absolute moral integrity and inner and outer purity!
She and I were both ‘virgins’ when we took the marriage vows, and (by God’s grace) we intend to maintain moral purity and integrity till our marriage shall cease through death.
I am ‘proud’ that there have been a few (godly) men in our local church who have found it ‘natural’ to give her a ‘hug’. Venita, for some reason, was able, particularly, to ‘relate’ to men in our church (men who are like ‘Christian brothers’ to her).
By way of contrast, the following is a list of virtues that I think concisely describes the character of my wife. Incomplete, admittedly, but the following list of her virtues serves as my attempt to offer a ‘tribute’ to the person who means everything to me, to the person who has left an indelible mark on my life (during a half century).
Venita is realistic, not idealistic; practical, not theoretical; personal, not impersonal; active, not passive; optimistic, not pessimistic; good actions, not good intentions; concrete, not abstract; direct, not complex; transparent, not scheming; open, not hidden; approachable, not distant; good-humored, not somber; honest, not deceptive; present-oriented, not future-oriented; moderate, not extreme; balanced, not fanatical!
Venita is rational, not simplistic; affirms basic beliefs, not abstract theology; discerning, not naive; serious-minded, not shallow-minded; artistic, not mundane; forgiving, not grudge-bearing; industrious, not lazy; thoughtful, not impulsive; confident, not self-effacing; patient, not restless; humble, not arrogant!
Venita is others-oriented, not self-preoccupied; Christ-centered, not self centered; diligent, not slothful; wise, not foolish; generous in giving, not stingy in giving; prayerful, not careless; reverent, not profane; resilient, not defeated; inclusive of people, not exclusive of people; confrontational, not cowardly!
Venita is trusting, not suspicious; insightful of mind, not dense of mind; hospitable, not impolite; attentive to God, not close-minded to God; loyal in church attendance, not sporadic in church attendance; peace-loving, not argumentative; conciliatory, not adversarial; humorous, not frivolous.
These many ‘traits’ describe the noble woman whom I married so long ago! During the last several decades, my wife has ‘grown in grace and in the knowledge of her Lord Jesus Christ’! Slow growth, at times, but, nevertheless, steady growth in the ways of her dear Lord! She, like every other believer, is simply a ‘Christian in the making’, a ‘Christian under construction’, and a person who is reflecting, more and more, the ‘image’ of Christ!
‘Cultivating Christ-like character’ is what life on this earth is all about! To develop that kind of character takes a believer plenty of time and plenty of effort and discipline but, of all things that are ‘worthwhile’, this is definitely the most ‘worthwhile’ goal of life!
What else can any of us take out of this world when we die- but our character? Everything else is ‘left behind’! Who we serve in our life determines where we go after our earthly life is spent! We only take our ‘character’ with us- a righteous character or an unrighteous character!
Venita is becoming more and more like the One whom she deeply loves! Therefore, the beauty of her personality is more and more revealed to those around her! The many ‘traits’ (listed above) are some of the ‘traits’ that reveal a Christ like character! I thank God very much that He gave to me a Christ like wife – a wife who has blessed my own life more than she will ever know!