Autumn Of Life
Now that I’ve entered the autumn of my life – I’m 63 years old – I look at pictures of my early years as a husband and a father. Every time, I can’t help but be amazed at how young I was. I look like a kid dressed up in my dad’s clothes. Back then, I had energy, strength, vision… and hair! And most of all, I thought I knew exactly what I was doing when, in truth, I didn’t have a clue. Married life and life as a whole had a lot to teach me. Boy, oh boy, did I learn.
One of the most important lessons I learned over the past 30 plus years of marriage: 90% of life is made up of the mundane events that define the everydayness of existence.
Going to work, washing the dishes, balancing check books, dealing with broken cars, scraped knees, and hurt feelings. The big events will come, but the time between those big events is filled with the all-important “little things,” duties that make life workable and livable. Living out the small things with loving devotion is what sends the real, consistent message of love to my wife and children.
My own dad was a great example of this. My mom and all my brothers and sisters can attest to the fact that my dad was always there for us every minute of every day without fail. We were rich; although, we didn’t have a worry-free life filled with a lot of expensive stuff. We didn’t live in a mansion. Like every other family, we had conflicts and disappointments as well as seasons of happiness and celebration, but what made us rich was the most important thing of all: we had an inner sense of security, value, and belonging that my dad brought to us each day.
He could have followed the trends being set back in the 1960’s. He could have left us all to pursue his own selfish desires and dreams to escape the responsibility of being the head of a household. But he didn’t. Instead, his love for my mom and us kids kept him where he wanted to be… with us and for us.
Of course, Jesus set the ultimate example. He let go of His throne in Heaven and came down to stay with us, living out an everyday existence – just like us. He endured all the ups and downs of life. When He was about to be punished for a crime He never committed, He didn’t run away. Instead, He stayed and gave Himself for our eternal benefit. He did it all… for us.
So, as a husband, I am called upon to follow His example when it comes to my bride and my family.
As Paul wrote to the church at Ephesus, “Husbands, love your wives just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her…” Ephesians 5:25