Today is Mum’s birthday. This post was written by Dad and scheduled for Wednesday. It seemed appropriate to bring it forward. Happy Birthday Mum!

It is time to honour a very special person. My wife. We met on a bus in 1973, but began our relationship in April 1975 by writing to each other when I was serving at sea and Marilyn was training to be a nurse. We started going out together the next time I was home on leave. It wasn’t easy developing a relationship while we were apart, but we got engaged when I returned home from a seven-month voyage in April 1978. Our wedding took place a year later.

While on honeymoon in Guernsey we were walking in St Peter Port when I was suddenly and completely overwhelmed with love for Marilyn. Words cannot describe what I felt, but I have never forgotten that moment. Perhaps that was the first time I really experienced the connection between two people that love creates.

Jesus said: “But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female. For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” (Mark 10:6-9 NIV)

Family SH2013After honeymoon Marilyn accompanied me on a trip to sea. Wives are not always welcomed on ships. They are there as guests. While the other wife on board was barely tolerated, everyone warmed to Marilyn. And I began to realise that there was something more than special about my wife. It is now nearly forty years since we first met. We have been married for thirty-four of those years. We have five children and one grandchild. We feel truly blessed. And I thank God for the many ways He has blessed me through Marilyn. She is the most selfless person I know. She always puts other people first. She forgives within seconds and holds absolutely no grudges. The inner beauty that was first revealed to me on our honeymoon has blossomed and grown. And I love my wife more than ever.

For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her to make her holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of God’s word. He did this to present her to himself as a glorious church without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. Instead, she will be holy and without fault. In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man who loves his wife actually shows love for himself. No one hates his own body but feeds and cares for it, just as Christ cares for the church. And we are members of his body. (Ephesians 5:25-30 NLT)