“A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life Proverbs 31:10-12).”
I want you to know something. Despite all the mayhem around our house, I truly love your mother.
I think a singer from the 1960s named Percy Sledge knew what loving a woman was all about for a man. When he recorded his hit called “When a Man Loves a Woman”, the song had no title or no lyrics.
Percy Sledge was expected to improvise the lyrics as he went along. He used the melody to build the song.
Percy did such a good job everyone thought he had written the words down beforehand. It hit number one on the charts in 1966.
I was 11 years old then. I didn’t know a whole heckuva lot about women, and still don’t. But I do know some things about men, and how they feel about women.
Last night when I came home, I had a slew of bills in my hands. Your mother wanted them because she had spent an hour and a half on the phone trying to deal with them.
As we began to discuss our finances, I was getting really worried. However, your Mom, with her wisdom, began calculating and trying to figure a way.
When a man loves a woman
Spend his very last dime
Tryin’ to hold on to what he needs
He’d give up all his comfort
Sleep out in the rain
If she said that’s the way it ought to be.
I can tell you that your Mom would NEVER want me to sleep out in the rain. Au contraire, she would insist on me taking care of myself.
In fact, one of the demands she has when I move overseas to provide for us all is that I eat one warm, healthy meal a day. What a great woman your Mom is!
Sure we fight. This is because we have trouble communicating.
When a man loves a woman
Down deep in his soul
She can bring him such misery
If she plays him for a fool
He’s the last one to know
Lovin’ eyes can’t ever see.
One thing your mother has never done is made me feel stupid. She would never make me feel like a fool.
In fact, she tells me in a lot of ways how smart she thinks I am. However, she knows I am just not very practical.
As she says, I live between my ears. This is why she needs to take care of the bills.
I am so absent-minded and preoccupied that I forget to pay them or mishandle them. Your Mom knows me and she knows this, and intends to even pay my bills from 4,000 miles away.
I may have SOME brains, but not enough where it counts. I could do a better job of making your Mom feel loved.
When a man loves a woman
Can’t keep his mind on nothing else
He’ll trade the world
For the good thing he’s found
If she’s bad he can’t see it
She can do no wrong
Turn his back on his best friend
If he put her down.
I’m sorry, girls, if I have communicated anything but the utmost respect for your mother. It’s a cliche, but it’s me, not her. In other words, it’s my problem.
Sometimes men travel into a marriage with a lot of baggage in tow. I surely have gone over my limit in the amount I have brought to your Mom.
The wise man of Proverbs closed his book by putting down some instructions from a mother to her son. His name was Lemuel. She began this way:
“Listen, my son! Listen, son of my womb!
Listen, my son, the answer to my prayers!
Do not spend your strength on women,
your vigor on those who ruin kings (Proverbs 31:2).”
Lemuel’s mom went on to desribe an excellent woman for him. She most likely fit the description herself. Lemuel’s mother commended to him the type of woman he should marry.
Matthew Henry, a well-known Bible commentator from long ago, summarized her thoughts:
“She must be chaste and modest, diligent and frugal, dutiful to her husband, careful of her family, discreet in her discourse, and in the education of her children, and, above all, conscientious in her duty to God: such a one as this, if he can find her, will make him happy.”
This description fits your mother to a tee. I couldn’t do better.
I mentioned my “baggage” above. Your Mom didn’t deserve it, but she has had to live with it.
Well, this man loves a woman (your Mom)
I gave you everything I had
Tryin’ to hold on to your precious love
Baby, please don’t treat me bad.
In my own flawed way, I believe I have done the best I could to love your mother: not always mind you, but given the overall picture.
Your Mom is only human. She knows that I have a thick head and may not have always handled my behavior well, but who can blame her.
Yes when a man loves a woman
I know exactly how he feels
‘Cause baby, baby, baby, you’re my world.
When your Mom and I were first courting, we did so by letter. She lived in her home country and I lived in mine.
When we finally got together, we hardly spent a day away from each other. We knew what seperation was like.
It looks like from all appearances that my move contradicts the feeling of this lyric, that your Mom is my world. Some would say I am running away.
I can tell you that my leaving is somehow in the providence of God. I am primarily going to support you all and keep things as stable as possible for the family.
I am hopeful that this parting will be used by God to make my relationship with your Mom stronger. It seems like it would function to do the opposite, but we have an incredibly wise God.
I just wanted you to know that even though I am going half way around the world that in my mind your Mom is still the center of it. I hope one day you find a man who feels the same way about you.
If I have anything to do with it, you will!
While I am gone, watch out for your Mom for me. Even more, observe her life and emulate it!