Is it time for you and your marriage partner to start laughing?

Let My Laughter Resound!


IS IT TIME FOR YOU AND YOUR MARRIAGE PARTNER TO START LAUGHING?

We must always see the ‘funny side of life’, in general society, but particularly in our marriage. I have done some things right, but Venita has done a whole lot of things right – as evidenced by the fact that we still live together and we still love each other truly, even though we have been together many thousands of days (in fact, almost a half century)!

Why cry, when we should be laughing together? We have borne the burden of the day – we have worked hard, we have shed many tears because of our heart-breaking trials, we have experienced many losses in relationships and in ministries that were once dear to us, because we are advancing in age we now have added limitations, we sometimes experience a sense of loneliness because some of our friends and our loved ones are dead, we ourselves are quickly approaching the end of our physical life – yes, these are realities which could make us weep and weep!

Even though (scripturally-speaking) there is a time for weeping, there is also (scripturally-speaking) a time for wiping away our tears, a time for looking anew to the God of all hope and healing and joy and restoration!

There is a time for rejoicing and for praising and even for ‘laughing’! The Bible says that, after the weeping of the night, there is ‘joy in the morning’! Remember: the couple who prays together, stays together! ls it going too far to say that the couple who regularly laughs together, stays together? If God laughs (and I think He does), why shouldn’t a marriage couple laugh together?


“Biblical Foundation For The Sanctity Of Human Life!”

Table of contents: Let my laughter resound!

What is the ‘secret’ to developing a great marriage?

Let My Laughter Resound!


WHAT IS THE ‘SECRET’ TO DEVELOPING A GREAT MARRIAGE?

Marriage partners must always build up each other, never degrade or belittle or criticize each other. If marriage partners are intended to be each other’s ‘best friend’, then marriage partners should treat each other as ‘best friends’! Humor or jesting or teasing or laughing should never be used as ‘cruel tools’ to destroy marriage partners!

Partners in marriage are not to be in competition with each other. “In honor preferring each other” – this is to be the attitude that is manifested in a good marriage relationship! Only when the love of God is ‘shed abroad’ in the heart of each marriage partner, can each partner put the other partner before himself or before herself!

When each partner in the marriage is focused on pleasing Christ, then each marriage partner has the strong motivation and the deep desire to serve his or her marriage partner.

Loving God supremely enables the marriage partners to take delight in serving each other in the spirit of genuine love! Each partner becomes a ‘beautiful channel’ through which the divine-type love (agape) flows to the other partner. This is the ‘secret’ to developing a truly ‘great marriage’.

Without the ‘flow’ of that divine-type love, from each partner to the other partner, the marriage partners will be in selfish competition with one another, and, at worst, the marriage partners will become very self-centered (and often these selfish-driven individuals will divorce).


“Biblical Foundation For The Sanctity Of Human Life!”

Table of contents: Let my laughter resound!

Are you exalting or are you degrading you’re marriage partner?

Let My Laughter Resound!


ARE YOU EXALTING OR ARE YOU DEGRADING YOU’RE MARRIAGE PARTNER?

A good marriage partner will pick up the other partner when he or she falls or fails. Good marriage partners never shame or belittle their partner. Neither partner focuses on the ‘weakness’ or the ‘faults’ or the ‘physical disadvantages’ of his or her partner. I make ‘fun’ of my own ‘bald head’, but my wife never makes ‘fun’ of this so-called disadvantage that I have, as a result of my particular ‘genes’.

My wife has told me (through the years of our marriage) that she likes my bald head. Most of our marriage life, I was self-conscious regarding the fact that one of my front teeth was slightly crooked. But my wife, gracious as she is, has told me (time and time again) that she did not even ‘notice’ that slight imperfection. And, visa versa, I have not made an ‘issue’ regarding my wife’s ‘hearing problem’ (which was wonderfully dealt with, through her hearing aids).


“Biblical Foundation For The Sanctity Of Human Life!”

Table of contents: Let my laughter resound!

Flavoring your marriage with the ‘salt’ of joyful laughter!

Let My Laughter Resound!


FLAVORING YOUR MARRIAGE WITH THE ‘SALT’ OF JOYFUL LAUGHTER!

Venita’s ‘dry humor’ and her ‘jesting’ and her ‘teasing’ – during the decades I have lived with her have built up our marriage and our special communication. Of course, the teasing goes both ways.

She delivers the ‘teasing’ tastefully and delightfully, but what she gives to me, she gracefully (with ‘fun’) takes from me. There have been several elements in our marriage which have spelled success, but I think Venita’s ‘dry sense of humor’ – her daily delivered dose of wit and jesting and teasing – has been like ‘salt’ which has seasoned the ‘food of our marriage’ very well!

Venita and I seek to take God ‘very seriously’, but both of us try not to take ourselves ‘too seriously’. We both have learned to laugh at ourselves, and we have allowed (with no scorn whatever) for the other partner to laugh at the occasional ‘ridiculous thing’ that each of us does.

We can’t take ourselves too seriously, for we both know that life is full of foibles and mistakes and missteps and oddities! It is easy, in the marriage relationship, to ‘trip over your own feet’ – or to ‘trip over the feet of your partner’.

After all, I live with her and she lives with me in ‘close quarters’ (and we are with each other in every ‘imaginable circumstance’)! We better ‘keep laughing’ when we realize that we have committed an innocent misstep.

We must be tolerant when we observe each other’s foibles and oddities and sometimes even ‘strange’ behavior. We, after all, are very different in tastes and hobbies and talents and personality and background.

My actions and my preferences and my projects may, at times, seem ‘crazy’ to my wife, and vice versa. For instance, my wife likes ‘soft lights’ throughout our house, and I enjoy ‘bright lights’ (a subject for debate, at times). She likes soft (classical) music playing in the background most of the time, and I enjoy quietness most of the time in our house (again, a subject for occasional debate).

We, as husband and wife, must learn (continue to learn) to ‘give and take’. Even though I prefer quietness in our house, I often ‘give in’ to her and I allow her to play classical (or religious) music. I have the bright lights turned on in our kitchen, and, humorously, she soon comes into the kitchen and quickly turns down the lights (or turns them off altogether).

I am sure that we will never be in agreement on the subject of ‘lights’ and ‘music’, but, as a decent husband, I should be the one who ‘gives in’ most of the time to my wife!

We usually have a few laughs regarding these two areas of conflict. She tells me (in jest) that she does not understand why I like bright lights (which, she says, drains all the energy out of her), and she tells me that she does not like ‘silence’, that she has to have beautiful, calming, background music playing in our house.

She gives me a ‘hard time’ about my lack of ‘sensitivity’ to music and to ‘proper lighting’, but we continue to tease each other about our ‘obvious differences’ – and we sometimes even get a ‘good laugh’ as we ‘debate in good humor’. As I earlier stated, l, as husband, almost always ‘give in’ to my wife’s preferences, but when I am home alone, I enjoy my bright lights and I enjoy my quiet house!


“Biblical Foundation For The Sanctity Of Human Life!”

Table of contents: Let my laughter resound!

“Kindness is the rule for everything she says and does!”

Let My Laughter Resound!


“KINDNESS IS THE RULE FOR EVERYTHING SHE SAYS AND DOES!”

I look back to my wedding event, and I respond in different ways. First, the vows I took several decades ago have always remained in my mind as the most sacred words that I ever spoke. The vows I took on that historic night, obviously, changed my entire life, I have never regretted that I took those vows! I have grown to love and to cherish my wife, more each day, since that wedding night!

I admit that I have been unworthy of her love, and I acknowledge that she has contributed far more to our marriage than I have contributed to our marriage. She is a far better woman than I am a man. She is more godly than I am, and she is definitely more intelligent and more talented than I am.

I admit that my failures as a man and as a husband are too many to recall to my mind. I am grateful that she has had the ‘grace’ to forgive me when I have failed her, in many ways. I am thankful that she is not a wife who has held ‘grudges’ against me. She quickly forgives and she readily restores me to a ‘level playing field’ with her. She has, at times, legitimately been very angry with me, because of my immaturity and my irresponsibility in my role as husband.

I have made some decisions (business decisions) that turned out to be ‘financial disasters’, and, understandably, she has been very upset with me. In the ‘name of wifely submission’, she consented to some of my decisions – decisions that turned out to be very unprofitable, financially. Of course, I failed to listen to the wise advice of my wife, and I ‘paid a big price for the poor business decision!’

Unfortunately, I have sometimes failed in my role as a worker and provider. She has occasionally given compliments to me, for a job well done, but I generally receive her affirmations, through her positive (serving) actions toward me. I have never doubted her love for me.

She is rather independent-minded, and she actively pursues her own projects with great zeal and with great creativity. But even though she is her ‘own person’, she is properly submissive to my authority as her husband. Concerning the topic of ‘submission’, she believes that the Bible teaches that a husband is to be submissive to his wife, just as a wife is to be submissive to her husband.

She points to the verses in Ephesians 5 that states that there is to be ‘mutual submission’. She agrees that the husband is appointed to be the leader of a marriage, but she believes that many Christians have used these verses as the justification for a man to lord over his wife (a total perversion)!

She is a natural leader and administrator (her own ‘self-starter’ and motivator), so it is natural for her to make a lot of her decisions ‘on her own’ (without consulting me). But, even though she is a natural leader, she is careful not to ‘override’ my position as husband. There are many decisions (usually the major decisions) that are made, only after she and I have taken time together for dialogue and prayer.

She is free to think and to act, without my imposed restrictions on her. She is frugal in spending money, and she is hard-working in all she does (in her domestic jobs and in her professional jobs – of which there have been several).

I love to hear her read devotional books, and to pray (a wonderful prayer warrior). She loves to debate many issues with me, I usually lose the debates with her! She has a tender, compassionate heart, and she combines these wonderful qualities with her objective thinking and her sound judgment.

God has given her the gift of wisdom, and this gift enables her to offer much wise advice (to me and to our daughters, and to anyone else who asks her for counsel). She is generous in the many financial gifts that she has given to needy persons.

She has a dry sense of humor, but she is not subtle with me when she usually finds something each day that becomes her reason to ‘tease’ me about. In fact, she and I exchange a lot of teasing, and this part of our communication seems to add some humor and some ‘flavor’ to our day.

She manages life in general very well (as a gifted administrator), and I am glad that, many times, she helps manage me! Not all the time, but most of the time, I listen to her many wise suggestions!

Her input is invaluable when she and I are in the process of making small and larger decisions. I am amazed with the insights and the discernment that she demonstrates when business matters are the topic of our discussions. She has, during all of our married life, been a competent and successful business woman!

She is a great artist! Her drawings and her paintings are truly remarkable. She is a sensitive and creative home decorator. She has cooked thousands of meals, not only for me and for my daughters, but for many others.

She knows how to save money, whether it was when she did daycare as a business, or when she was a pastor’s wife, or whether it was when she was a school administrator, or whether it was when she cared for the elderly in our home for the last nearly 20 years! She was a loving and caring mother, and she continues to have open and understanding communication with her daughters.

She is industrious, hard-working, and creative! During all of her life, since her childhood, she has enjoyed creating projects, of all kinds. She is most satisfied when she is working on a project – particularly, a project that involves ‘problem solving’.

Of course, she does not always agree with my ideas or my plans, but I have never questioned her faithfulness and her commitment to me, and to our marriage. She has a tender heart, and she has experienced great sorrow and heart-wrenching grief, as a result of serious losses to her personally and to her and to me, as a couple.

Ever since she was a child, living on her parent’s ranch in northern Nebraska (in the sand hill country), Venita has loved cats. At one time, when Venita was probably in grade school, she cared for 20 cats (and kittens) – at one time! Venita sometimes treated her kittens as if they were ‘little humans’, when she took them on rides in her child-sized baby carriage’!

At one time this young ‘cat lover’ noticed that she did not have as many cats (and kittens) as she previously had. The 20 outdoor cats were strangely disappearing! At the time the young Venita was rather ignorant of the source of the diminishing ‘cat herd’, but, as an adult Venita decided that her beloved dad felt that ‘too many cats were too many cats’! Venita’s dad found that the horse tank (full of water) was a convenient way to ‘mysteriously’ thin down Venita’s ‘cat herd’!

Venita, as an adult, figured that her dad decided that the large ‘herd of cats’ was taking too much milk (one good reason for disposing-drowning – some of the cats)! Venita never, at that time, inquired of her dad, and her dad certainly was not going to reveal that he was the one who was the ‘murderer’ of Venita’s many cats!

During Venita’s adulthood, she has greatly enjoyed the owning (and the nurturing) of several cats (including her present, very loyal cat named ‘Gracy’)! I have two ‘females’ (Venita and Gracy) who sleep in the same bed that I sleep in, and Gracy usually sleeps right at Venita’s feet all night long! Talk about a loyal ‘sleeping companion’!

Enough about cats! I will now move on in my attempt to ‘paint a simple profile’ of my beloved wife! She and I are both committed to marital fidelity! We have never doubted each other’s loyalty. She has enjoyed the friendship of several men (in our church). Several men have been attracted to her, as a believer, because she is very likable. She enjoys, administratively, to work with men (the work of the church and of the Christian School), because she thinks that the men she works with understand her goals. She likes their ability to be objective, in problem solving (rather than being emotionally-oriented, as so many women are).

During the time I was ill (with depression, for nearly 3 years), my wife was strongly committed to my recovery. As difficult as this time was (and it was a horrible time), she was by my side, and she sought diligently to find the proper aid for me, ‘For better or for worse’ – words from the wedding vows!

During the greatest trial of my life, she stayed with me, and she prayed for me and with me, and she patiently waited until I found the healing that I desperately needed. One of the greatest tests of her life (and of her marriage), she passed this test (with great difficulty, but, nevertheless, she passed). I shall be eternally indebted to my wife, because she showed her ‘true colors’ when she and I together traveled the rough and long road called ‘depression’!

‘For better’ – we have had so many wonderful, exciting, humor-filled days also! We together have known the extremes in the outpouring of our emotions – both joy and sadness (‘for better or for worse’). My depression and our daughters’ respective divorce would, of course, be on our list of ‘worse’ times.

The love that Venita and I share, the love that we have for our daughters and their families, the salvation and the growth of many persons during our long-time ministry in the local church – these are a few of the ‘better’ times that we (as a couple) have experienced, during the last (so far) 47 years of our marriage!

Many years ago my wise and perceptive brother (Jerry) told me that he believed that Venita was the ‘most unselfish person that I knew!’ An unusual compliment, but one that probably could be embraced by other persons – by her daughters and certainly by me!

Venita is so sensitive that she does not do or say anything that appears ‘braggart’ or ‘boastful’. She is careful to give God the praise and the glory and the credit that is ‘due unto her Lord’, for she knows that without God she could do nothing! She is very confident (in her work), but her confidence is placed in the Lord whom she deeply loves and whom she serves.


“Biblical Foundation For The Sanctity Of Human Life!”

Table of contents: Let my laughter resound!