After last week’s column on assessing prospective husbands, I felt the men of Single City deserved equal help. I confess, however, my personal success didn’t stem from a noteworthy plan. As my friend Ronnie Kitchens often says, “Even a blind hog will find an acorn sometimes.”
It would make a great story to claim I prayed for a good wife then saw Jane’s halo. The truth is I was first smitten because she was pretty and laughed at my humor. Plus we shared a deep affection for Shoney’s strawberry pie.
Prayer did help, I believe, but that credit mostly goes to our parents. Mine prayed for me as far back as I remember, even when I didn’t realize the ongoing need. Jane’s parents apparently pleaded for a skinny boy with long hair who didn’t know what he wanted to be.
That reminds me of a long-ago conversation with Jean Taff and her husband Ellis, a former pastor of Vienna First Baptist. When I inquired how they met, Jean said, “Ellis was an answer to prayer. I asked for a short, round, preacher-man and God gave me one.”
So, my initial suggestion for finding a good wife is to pray, not by telling God who you want perhaps, but by seeking his guidance and the wisdom to follow it. Then begin asking questions, mostly of yourself. We’ll get to some examples, but first a word of caution.
Marry her for who she is, not what she has. A farmer of an earlier era reportedly placed an ad in The Market Bulletin: “Looking for a wife with tractor. Please send picture of tractor.” Don’t say, “I do,” for a tractor or two. Now to the questions.
Does she know how to cook? With two-income couples being the norm, traditional roles have changed and cooking is seldom a priority. But if the husband is helpless in the kitchen, as some of us are, that topic needs to be covered. Man cannot live by bread alone.
Is she sweet or sour? A story was told about two fellows out for an early morning fishing trip. One was complaining about multiple things as he often did. The other man asked, “Do you always wake up grouchy?” He said, “No. Sometimes I let her sleep.”
If she’s cantankerous while you’re dating, imagine how she’ll be when honeymoon memories fade. Attitude is rarely improved by rings and things. Proverbs 21:9 says, “Better to live on a corner of a roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife.” King Solomon, with 700 wives and 300 concubines, should know.
Some considerations extend beyond the quest for marital bliss. For instance, would you trust her to be the mother of your children?
Family additions may not be in your plans, but it’s still worth exploring. Fathers play an integral role in parenting, but a mother’s love is beyond our reach. If you’re confident she’d make a wonderful mother, there’s a good chance she could be a splendid wife.
Once again I’ve written a column that’s worth exactly what it costs, so use my tips with discretion. Learn by listening and watching, taking long walks and talking. And be certain you’re committed to being the loving husband she deserves.
Proverbs 31:10 poses a question which is followed by commentary, ”Who can find a virtuous woman?” Rather than taking advice from a columnist with a short resume, read scriptures on marriage. And put your trust in The Author.
There are countless other areas worth pondering, but you can discover those on your own and decide what’s important. Here are a couple of questions I didn’t know to ask decades ago, but fortunately have been tenderly affirmed: Will she love me when I’m no longer skinny and my hairs are not very many? If I never figure out what I want to be, will she patiently continue encouraging me?
By following these recommendations, there are three outcomes I consider most likely. First, you might have spectacular success in finding a wonderful soulmate. Second, you may find a wife but regret ever reading this column. Or third, you could be single for the rest of your life.
Regardless of how slim your prospects may be, don’t ever give up on possibility. I am living proof that Ronnie Kitchens knows what he is talking about. “Even a blind hog will find an acorn sometimes.”
And, if we are lucky, we find a mate that is way out of our league and she still loves us. As I look back on some 53 years, I often repeat a Gomer Pyle quote, Shazam, I hit the mother-lode!
You did well in your selection of a mate, but then so did Jane, as your long marriage testifies! Great column!
Great thoughts, Neil. As a former President of the Procrastinators Club of America, I did not get married until I was 59 years old. My wife Linda, also marrying for the first time in her life, was 50 when she married me.
With Linda being 9 years younger than me, my sarcastic friends (is there any other kind?) used to refer to Linda as the “child bride.” We were only married for 11 and 1/2 years before Linda contracted an inoperable brain tumor and passed away in July of 2021.
In one of our talks about life, liberty and the pursuit of a beautiful faith filled life together, Linda and I came to the definition of a great marriage that we lived everyday: Marriage is having the key person in your life with whom you can always double the joy and divide the grief.