“For Adam there was not found a helper fit for him. So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. Then the man said,
‘This at last is bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called Woman,
because she was taken out of Man.’
Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed” (Gen 2:20-25).
The other day I texted RJ, my elder son, and told him that I believed all of his problems – mine, too, for that matter – were because of a woman. He could smell a rat and didn’t know how to respond. He sent back a simple question mark as not to step in the trap I was laying. I simply texted back the word, “Eve.” He and I had a little chuckled. (However, a careful reading of the Genesis narrative along with the New Testament makes clear that Adam bears primary responsibility).
Eve may have eaten of the forbidden fruit and opened the Pandora’s box of pain and suffering upon this world, but there isn’t a man alive who doesn’t need to get down on his knees and thank God for the women in his life. I am no exception. Not only did my mother give birth to me, but she has been a constant support, strength, and help – if I’m having a bad day, there’s nothing that will cheer me up like talking to my Momma (yes, I’m a Momma’s boy). Both of my grandmothers spoiled me rotten in their own ways. My mother-in-law seeks to serve God with her entire being, and she’ll even push herself to the point of exhaustion and beyond to serve others. Indeed, well did the Spirit inspire Paul to write, “In the Lord woman is not independent of man nor man of woman; for as woman was made from man, so man is now born of woman” (1 Cor 11:11-12).
I’ve been blessed by many women, but Tammy stands in a class all by herself. We met on May 15, 1996, and we were dating not long after. We knew almost immediately that we wanted to marry, and we married on March 15, 1997 (What was it the soothsayer told Julius Caesar about the Ides of March?). We love each other deeply and passionately – no one else can push my buttons and make me more angry in a split second than she, no one else can comfort me more than she, and no one can bless me more than she (the Lord excepted).
During the long and trying time of my physical difficulties, Tammy has shown her worth to be far above rubies.
- Praying for me. Tammy doesn’t pray in my hearing per 1 Tim 2; however, she prayed with my boys when they were younger. I might be walking past the door of the room where they were praying and hear Tammy pray for me. My heart would nearly burst and my eyes brim with tears.
- Ask questions. Tammy goes with me to all the “big” doctor appointments (ones where we expect to get news or where I’m scheduled for a painful procedure – they’ve already told her at school not to worry over sick days because they’ll be donated). When my doctor enters the room, he had better know his stuff. Tammy is going to ask questions, and, if she doesn’t get enough answers, she’s apt to grill him.
- Holds my hand, literally. No illness is pleasant, I know, and every condition includes less-than-pleasant procedures. A few weeks ago, I had to have the nerves in my legs shocked and the muscled poked with needles. Guess who was there holding my hand the whole time? Yep, Tam.
- Pushing. Friday night means football (and I love it!). Wilson plays in the band, so that’s an extra incentive to go. Like most of the South (and the rest of the country, too), people here in Roanoke love their Friday night football. Disabled parking gets me near the football field, but I need to be pushed in my wheelchair onto the track so that I can watch the game. Tammy never complains; she simply helps me get to the game.
- She gets offended for me. A Mexican restaurant in town has disabled parking in the rear; the wheelchair ramp and handicapped entrance are in the back. That doesn’t bother me in the least. Tammy fumes and fusses every time we go there, because she thinks I’m being treated as a second-class citizen. While I’m not bothered by the situation at all, I love the fact that she cares enough about me to be offended.
- Checks in. I get a text every morning to make sure that I was able to get up out of the bed. Tammy’s always concerned that today will be the day that I’m no longer able to function on my own and that she’ll need to call for help. So far, so good. I love that she checks on me.
- She pumps the gas. In most relationships, it’s the other way around, but this is no ordinary relationship. Getting in and out of the car is a challenge, and Tammy seeks to ease the challenge by getting out at the gas station and getting our gas.
- She laughs with me. I was talking with a dear friend last night, and I told Stephen that Tammy and I have adopted the strategy that we might as well laugh as to cry. That’s what we do. She has a name or two she calls me – “Grandpa” and “Slowpoke” being her favorites. She’ll tell me a half hour before supper to go and wash my hands because she wants to eat supper while it’s hot. When it’s time to leave the house, she and the boys will stay seated until I get to the front door and Tammy will cackle. The laugher keeps life in perspective. The laughter lets me know she cares and she’s coping with her pain.
God has blessed me with an amazing wife whose worth is far above rubies.
An excellent wife who can find?
She is far more precious than jewels.
The heart of her husband trusts in her,
and he will have no lack of gain.
Many women have done excellently,
but you surpass them all (Prov 31:10-11, 29).
Thank you, God, for Tammy.