By Jimmy Stopper
Last year, I visited my grandmother in a nursing home in Pennsylvania. At this nursing home, most of the people are completely dependent upon the staff for their basic needs. Many of the residents are in wheelchairs and can not communicate. I had a great time visiting with my grandmother. On my way out, I wheeled her down to the lunch room for her next meal. I gave her a hug, said my goodbyes, and walked out the door. As I was leaving, the Lord burdened my heart for my grandmother as I knew she was very lonely. I decided to turn back around and pull up a chair to give her company while she ate. Little did I know what the Lord had in store for me.
There was a man and woman at my grandmother’s table. The man was feeding the woman. This woman shook uncontrollably. Her speech was slurred and slow to the point that I couldn’t understand most of what she said. The man feeding her looked like a visitor. He looked to be about 70 years old. My grandmother introduced me to them both as husband and wife.
I thought to myself, “What? They are husband and wife? You’re kidding me!”
I spent the next two hours asking this couple questions and watching them interact with one another. I found out that they were both in their 90’s and that they had been married for 72 years! Yes, 72 years! Both of them became believers around the age of 19 or 20.
I could write a short book about all that I learned from our conversation. I do want to share a few things that the Lord burned into my memory and on my heart that day after spending time with this amazing couple. The wife could do little for herself. She had a hard time eating and drinking because she shook so violently. She had a bib around her neck. The husband fed her, brought her cup up to her mouth so she could drink, wiped her mouth, and attended to every little need she had. He seemed to know what she needed before she did. I watched as he held her hand and placed his arm around her. I could see in his eyes the deep, profound love he had for his wife. The way that he attended to her was what you’d see from newlyweds. Men, do you remember a time when you were that attentive to your wife’s needs? I’d venture to say that it was while you were dating, engaged, or newly married.
I found out that this man took care of his wife all the way up to age 90 in their own home. When he felt like he could no longer take care of her on his own, he moved her into this nursing home. What I heard next blew me away! He was not just visiting. He lives in the room with his wife at the nursing home. He moved her there not so someone else could take care of her and he could go enjoy life, but so he had some help with getting her to the toilet. He still sleeps in the same bed with her and holds his bride at night. He does not leave her side!
Hear the word of the Lord: “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her.” Ephesians 5:25
What an amazing illustration this man showed me of love for his wife. He gave himself up for his wife! Just like Christ gave Himself up for us! Men, I fall so short and I have a lot of work to do in this area of giving myself up for my bride.
Men, if you are married, would you join me, and my wife and Chad and his wife on a special “Date Night” on October 23rd that will bless your marriage?
Click here to find out more details and to register. It’s free!
Here’s the challenge: what is one way today that you can give yourself up for your bride?
Let’s do it!