“Just A Wife”

“One time when Eva inquired about my long-term prognosis, a nurse told her, ‘Honey, you don’t need to know all of that.  You’re just a wife’.”

This is a quote from Don Piper’s book, “90 MINUTES IN HEAVEN,” 10th anniversary edition, p. 147.  If you haven’t read the book, I highly recommend that you do.  I picked it up the other day at WalMart while I was waiting for my wife.  I read it through at one sitting.  I’m not ashamed to admit that the tears flowed freely.

The quote comes in the middle of a section in which Don explains what happened when he was finally able to come home after many months of lying immobile in a hospital bed and how those long months had affected his wife.  I’ll not go into all that because you can read it for yourself.

But the quote really struck me.  I’ve often made the comment that no woman is ever “just a mother.”  I’m going to have to expand that to say that no woman is ever “just a wife.”

I’m sure the nurse didn’t mean her remark as an insult.  She probably was just trying to spare Eva Piper some of the painful details of her husband’s recovery.

At the same time, though, it’s a reflection of current attitudes towards women and marriage.

“Just a wife.”

How little, sometimes, we clunkers of husbands value the women God has been gracious enough to put into our lives.  Oh, I know they’re not perfect…

Neither are we.

Like Hannah’s husband Elkanah, we’re so often unable to understand the heart needs of the woman who shares our life, 1 Samuel 1:8.

If any man does think he’s perfect, he needs to ask his wife about it.

When Adam was by himself in the Garden, God said that it wasn’t good that he should be alone.  So He did something about it.

He made a wife.

Not simply a woman, though that’s how we think of her, and, indeed, how Scripture describes her.  But she was so much more than that:  she was a wife.

It’s true that things happened we wish wouldn’t have and their perfect harmony and happiness was disrupted.  Paradise was lost and has never been regained.

Nevertheless.

It just occurred to me as I was thinking about what to write next, that marriage (and family) is the one of the few things Adam took with him from the Garden.

He still had Eve.

There’s a lot more that I could write, how Christ’s love for us is pictured in marriage, how that love is the pattern we husbands are supposed to follow as to how we view and treat our own wives.  How Adam was made complete by Eve.  She was in no way “inferior” to him, but he was incomplete without her.

Let me just close with this – a loving wife is the greatest blessing, short of salvation, that God can give a man.

Her worth is far above rubies, Proverbs 31:10.

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The Empty Nest

Parents with grown children who have left home know this “syndrome” as a result of the “quiet” which has come into their lives as a result of their children being gone.  I don’t know why the psycho-babblers think of this normal experience as a “syndrome.”  It’s not a disease or a maladjustment; it’s just life.

My wife and I have experienced this twice now.  The first time was when our own children left home, although, to be perfectly honest, it was we who moved out from under our youngest, then in his 20s, when we left Colorado and came to Indiana to be near the grandchildren.  At the time, we had them only here.  I suppose it’s only poetic justice that he then got married and moved to Montana, where they are expecting their second.  We’ve met and loved the first and are looking forward to the trip to do that to the second child.

The second time?  This morning.  On the 6th, I posted about some baby robins nested on our front porch light.  So, for more than 3 weeks, I’ve watched the nest, watched Mama and Daddy Robin take care of their young.  Watched them keep a close eye on me as I disturbed them by opening the front door to do whatever outside.  Talked to Mama (?) to assure her that she had nothing to worry about from us.  Seen little beaks above the top of the nest.  Even got to the point where we’d leave the porch light off for when I came home so Mama wouldn’t be disturbed when I came home from work.  I could dimly see her sitting there, still watchful, but not flying away, even when I opened the door to come inside.  Would talk to her some more.  Did this just last night.

I was looking forward maybe to seeing the little robins on their nest or out in the yard.

After I got home last night, Sharon and I got to talking about the robins.  She mentioned that she had been startled by a bird she thought was too small to be one of the parents flying into the nest just as she came out of the door.  She asked if I had looked into the nest lately.  I hadn’t.

This morning, I took the mirror and looked into the nest.  It was empty.  Not a bird to be seen anywhere, not even in the crabapple tree.  I felt a distinct sense of loss at “the empty nest.”

Weird.

But then, I like “weird.”  Give me a TV program about “fafrotskies” (google?) or some other oddity in our world and I’m all eyes, although I don’t think wearing a tinfoil hat is going to keep the aliens from reading my mind. 🙂   I like “Fringe,” “Warehouse 13,” “Stargate, SG-1,” “The X-files,”  though I don’t care for the evolutionary underpinnings of these programs.

I have no problem with the idea of extra-terrestrial life.  After all, God, Who is life, created all the billions of stars we see in the night sky.  Why would He leave them all barren and lifeless?  Just sayin’….  I just don’t think, if there is “life” out there, they’d be all that interested in this backward dust mote.  Besides, this planet would probably be “under quarantine” because of our sinfulness. (This isn’t to discount or deny angelic beings, which the Bible clearly teaches.)

As I said, “weird.”

So, what does this have to do with robins and nests?

Just this.  Why do we name animals?  Why do we have “pets”?  At last count, my family has 10 dogs and two lizards.  Why do we name them?  Cats, dogs, even fish.  Names.

Minerva, Rags, Greybeard, Oscar.  (Actual names out of my youth.)  Why?

And why do we talk to them?  We’d be totally freaked out if they answered!

While I do not believe in “racial memory,” that is, that we have some dim recollection of the ancient past hidden in our brains, I still wonder if this isn’t some faint echo of the Garden of Eden.  [Some enthusiast for the benefits of blue-green algae in our diets was rhapsodizing about what it would be like if we could tap into the accumulated wisdom of millions of years of algae(!)]

The Garden of Eden, I believe in.  The “accumulated wisdom” of algae, not so much!

Anyway, Adam named all the animals.  This probably was nothing more than “horse,” “camel,” “cow,” “hippopotamus.”  Still, the precedent was there for “names.”

And there was “talk.”  Granted, the only such recorded conversation ended poorly for us, but still, Eve was not shocked or surprised by a talking animal.  Scripture says nothing about it, just leaves it to those of us who like “weird” to muse about it in lesser moments.

Further, it wasn’t until after the Flood that God told Noah, “The fear of you and the dread of you shall be on every beast of the earth, on every bird of the air,…, Genesis 9:2 (NKJV) – hence Mama Robin’s reactions to me.  And Scripture prophesies a time when that “fear” will apparently be gone, Isaiah 11:6-9.

So, who really knows what “relationship” man and beast may have had?  It’s not one of the things God apparently thought we needed to know.  And I’m not trying to make some startling revelation about what might have happened.  This is just a light-hearted post (no, not “light-headed”) about something I wonder about every so often.

As I said, “weird.”

But, why do we name pets and talk to them?