My book, Date Your Wife, features a message that I had Dr. Bob Mounce, a ninety-year-old husband, write for the men who would read my book.
Men, I’ve got great news for you! Take it from a ninety-year-old husband who for the past three years has had the privilege of serving as caregiver for his wife, now in the twilight period of life here below. Five years ago we were running around like a couple of newlyweds. Then suddenly my wife, Jean, began to fail. Her health rapidly declined. We brought in help but soon Jean had to move from our apartment into the nursing wing of the retirement complex.
“But,” you ask, “what kind of a privilege is that?” The privilege is the incredible opportunity of loving your wife better than ever before as you move through life. I used to think I loved Jean, and I did. I made the living, helped a bit with the kids, planned vacations, and tried to stay up-beat. What I didn’t find out until these last few years is the remarkable personal growth that comes from giving yourself for the benefit of another. I wouldn’t trade the last three years for anything in the world.
We’ve been married for sixty years. Did you know that marriage has a way of getting better the longer it goes? These last three years of marriage have been the best of all.
Someone defined love as “placing the welfare of the other ahead of your own.” That’s the kind of love that pays great dividends. Careful now, you don’t love for what you get out of it. What happens is that genuine love—a life invested in another—simply works out that way. No wonder because in all three Synoptic Gospels Jesus says, ”The one who tries to save his life will certainly lose it; but the one who loses his life will be rewarded with a full and abundant life.”
There is no question but that the more you love (put first) your wife the richer and more rewarding your own life will be. I call that good news all around. And life is full of opportunities to carry out this challenge. Don’t forget to keep dating your wife. It may seem like a trifle but little acts of selfless concern communicate far more effectively than almost anything else. Your wife’s welfare is in your hands. Provide real leadership. Not the bossy kind, but gentle illustrations of the fact that her well-being—physical, emotional, and spiritual—is a major concern in your life.
Invest wisely! Take Jesus at his word. I am ninety years old. Nine decades have proven to me that God’s kind of love heals, encourages, and directs with unfailing accuracy.
Men, the message is: Lay down your life for your wife; lose your life and you will save it!
Dr. Bob Mounce
Justin Buzzard is founder and lead pastor of Garden City Church, a church plant in Silicon Valley, and author of the book The Big Story: How The Bible Makes Sense Out of Life and Date Your Wife.