Source for this image here.
This morning, walking through the park with Papa Bear, we saw the most beautiful sunrise! First it was dark red, then pink, then threaded with gold, then the most specacular orange. The bare dark trees silhouetted against it looked spectacular, and although it was about 7.30 and almost rush-hour, the whole world seemed so still and peaceful as we walked along, admiring God's wonderful creation. Just as we reached the edge of the park, we were treated to another wonderful sight - a sleek, golden fox, strolling elegantly across the path in front of us, as if he owned the park! He looked so proud and serene! He was almost the same colour as the sky behind him, and although they are really considered as pests here in England, he was so beautiful too that we couldn't help thinking how lovely he looked, and how lucky we were to have seen him.I'm glad that Papa Bear and I get to share our early mornings together. Even if I too worked outside the home, as many women my age do, I know that we would still spend our first hour or two together each morning, and savour that special time. We have changed things slightly just recently - thanks to our faithful old teasmade finally breaking down! Until we get a new one, we have decided to forego our cups of tea first thing when we wake, and instead we wait until after Bible study and devotions, then I go downstairs and get the breakfast things ready - and bring our tea upstairs to enjoy before we finally get up properly to join the cubs for breakfast. We do miss our early morning "cuppa", but not as much as I thought we would! That's why we haven't rushed to get another teasmade just yet - it's rather nice to have the space on our nightstand back, and as I got yet more Precious Moments figurines in my Christmas stocking this year, I'm using it to display some of them. There's always a reason to be glad when something goes wrong!
We enjoyed our new Bible study again this morning. This year we are reading the Bible straight through from cover to cover, rather than using a "Bible in a year" which we have had for the past 2 years. Although it's convenient, and for both years we've used versions that give a daily reading from the Old Testament, New Testament, Psalms and Proverbs, we both found it a little disjointed, and I particularly prefer reading the Proverbs in their entirety each day, rather than just a short segment. So we have returned to doing that. It's a lovely way to share quiet time together, and I would thoroughly recommend it. Not only for drawing us closer to God, but for drawing us closer to each other, too. It's so easy to neglect our most important relationships when we are with someone all the time. It's easy to forget to make the effort to work at a marriage when you've been together for several years, as Papa Bear and I have. Somehow, a husband and wife that know each other so well, can almost start to feel like friends, or siblings, rather than a married couple. It's not so much complacency, as familiarity. I think it's really important to try to avoid this, and I'm always glad when I can find advice or hints to encourage me in this area. Just recently there was a newspaper article which featured an excerpt from an 1893 edition of the Sunderland Daily Echo (Sunderland being just down the road from where Papa Bear and I grew up, in the North East of England) which you can see in its entirety here. Some of the suggestions to young wives include -
- be tactful;
- don't nag;
- don't condradict;
- keep yourself looking nice at all times;
- be subtle in your personal care and don't let him see you prettifying yourself;
- minimise disagreements;
- don't fuss around him when he isn't feeling well;
- make sure to flatter him!
Now surely none of this is impossible - even in the modern world we live in today! All of this is really just commonsense - and good advice for ensuring any relationship is successful. But it's also, of course, the advice that the Bible gives us, as wives who are to "submit unto (our) own husbands, as unto the Lord" (Ephesians 5: 22). There is a wealth of good advice to be found in the Bible too (see also 1 Peter 3: 1 - 5 and 1 Timothy 2: 11 - 15 as well as of course the well known woman of Proverbs 31) - all of which this 1893 passage reflects. What a sad reflection of our society, that we have moved so far away from Biblical values, to the situation that we are in today - in 1890 there were 313 divorces recorded in England - in 1990, there were 153, 386. (Source).
I think that tells us quite a lot - don't you?
I don't want the sun to set ever on my wonderful marriage - and if making sure that I always look my best, and don't nag my husband, then that's a small price to pay, I think, for the love that we treasure each day - a love that we celebrate, and share, before our Father God.