Bo Wagner is pastor of the Cornerstone Baptist Church of Mooresboro, NC, a widely traveled evangelist, and the author of several books. His books are available on Amazon and at www.wordofhismouth.com
Right about the time this column goes to press, Dana and I will be celebrating our twenty-ninth wedding anniversary. This, of course, leads me to quip that we got married when we were ages eight and nine, respectively. In seriousness, though, it is really hard for me to wrap my mind around the fact that we are nearly three decades removed from the day we said “I do.” The time has positively flown by–and it has been a wonderful, thrilling flight.
When God gave man and woman the gift of marriage in Genesis 2:23-25, he gave mankind the greatest gift ever, second only to salvation. And this gift was not just to the husband and his wife; it was to society as a whole. It has resulted (obviously) in children being born and then being raised in stable families and the human race growing, surviving, and thriving. In this divine methodology, sons are raised with a father to look to as an example of what they should grow to be and a mother to look to as an example of what they should be looking for in a future wife. In this divine methodology, daughters are raised with a mother to look to as an example of what they should grow to be and a father to look to as an example of what they should be looking for in a future husband. Masculinity and femininity are thus modeled and replicated for all future generations.
But as I muse on our upcoming anniversary, none of these existential truths are foremost in my mind. No, I am thinking, rather, of a thousand little things I have learned along the way–things that every husband should know as early on in marriage as possible. If you want to discuss the huge, existential issues of matrimony with me, you are welcome to email me about those issues. For now, please just allow me to give some really practical advice to those men who are married or are one day to be married.
To begin with, get a king-sized bed right off the bat. I know, I know, you engaged couples imagine that you are going to marry and then spend the rest of your lives snuggling through the night. To you, I say, “Hahahahaha! No.” Sir, your wife is, in short order, going to go on a pillow shopping spree that would test the limits of Elon Musk’s financial power. She is then going to pile them around her, under her, over her, and over you. There will be times that you call 9-11 to report her missing, only to have a trained search team dig through the plush-Pompeii and finally find her, alive and well, under the My Pillow eruption. And if you do not have a king-size bed, you will be relegated to fighting for a tiny piece of mattress real estate on which to rest.
And then there is the issue of skin care. When I got married, my version of skin care was, “I have skin, and I don’t care.” I rather suspect that most guys are like that. And then I got married to the skin care guru who, as proof of her skills, still looks just about as young as the day we got married. I am not making that up. Mrs. Farmasi lady has a cabinet full of apparently magic potions that she applies each morning and evening, and at some point, someone would be bound to refer to her as my daughter if not for one thing: she is making me lather up as well. I do not really understand the scientific and theological ramifications of the serum, vitamin C liquid, moisturizer, and eye treatment she has convinced me to use, but I do know that she seems pretty happy with the results. So, men, when your wife starts approaching you with some strange bottle of whatchamathingy for your face, just roll with it. Happy wife, happy life.
At some point, sir, you and your dear missus are likely to have children. Dana and I have three, and absolutely adore them all. But when you have children, there is about a 49% statistical chance that you will be having a girl. And girls are complicated. And they bring out the “complicated” in your wife, too. And then it sort of multiplies and magnifies. You, sir, need to be ready for the fact that people in your home will often be crying, in tandem, for seemingly no good reason.
Listen to me very carefully: do not, I repeat, DO NOT attempt to identify the problem and offer a logical solution. Have you seen the pictures of full-grown adult men on missing persons bulletins at your local Walmart? That is likely why they are missing. Just be ready to say very soothing and vague things like “Oh, sweeties, oh…” as you are backing slowly out of the room.
And then there is the issue of your wife’s sixth sense. I do not have a clue how it works; I just know that it does. It seems to be sort of the dowsing rod of femininity. When your wife says something to you like, “that lady/man is trouble,” trust her instinct. I am serious about this. Dana has saved my bacon more than once with what I call her “wife radar.” God gave this to the wife as a gift to you and me, oblivious, thick-skulled males that we are, sir.
Lastly, let me give you a tip that should be both encouraging and instructive. Whether you think your early years of marriage are really hard or heaven on earth, if you fully commit to your wife, if you let her know that she is absolutely the only one for you, if you are absolutely faithful to her, you will find that marriage literally gets more wonderful every single year. Speaking to the woman-crazy Solomon in the Song of Solomon, the young husband of the Shulamite girl said of his bride, “My vineyard, which is mine, is before me: thou, O Solomon, must have a thousand, and those that keep the fruit thereof two hundred.” In other words, “You can have your thousand wives, bud; you just can’t have mine. She is the only one for me, so king or no, back off.”
No wonder this young lady was so smitten with her husband. Sir, that should be your goal as well, and you should spend every day of your life working toward that end.
Pastor Wagner can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, and his books are available by clicking the “Store” link above.
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