I am at my home away from home to access the internet.  It is a local “Dunn Bros” coffee shop and it is very comfortable, comforting.  However, I left my Love Dare book at home, so I may have to edit this post to add quotes and insights from the book.

Honor is indeed a lofty word and an attitude that seems to have eroded over time.  I am guilty of not applying honor in my marriage.  In fact after 2 weeks back in the Love Dare and having no contact with my wife for a week, I am quite discouraged.  My goal in this journey is to identify and correct, with Gods’ help, the areas in my marriage where I have failed.  With this much focus and trying to be honest with myself, it is no wonder why I feel the way I do!

This morning I attended a memorial service of a longtime neighbor.  I first met Jim in 1960, he was 28, I was 7.  He was young, strong and had 2 daughters with his lifemate Pat.  Jim passed away in September of this year and today I learned how much I could have used him as a mentor, as a father figure.

Jim was rightly portrayed as respectful, honest, loving, a good friend, a good husband, father, grandfather and trusted.  He has a friend living “kitty corner” from his backyard.  John and Jim were boyhood friends, best men at each others weddings and friends until the end.  Lifetime friendships were not unusual for Jim.  John once remarked, “I don’t know of anyone who has a bad thing to say about Jim!”

I knew Jim for 50 years.  I had the honor to help his wife transfer Jim to a nursing home shortly before his death.  I never imagined that the strong man I envied as a child for his ability to build things, would need me 50 years later to lift him like a child and place him in his wheelchair.  He was not pleased to be going to the nursing home.  He said, “Stan, the program they have me on is somewhere between boot camp and prison!”  When I shook his hand, he held my grasp for several minutes, I did not know this would be the last I spoke with and touched Jim.

Another word to describe Jim would be honorable.  He honored his one and only wife.  How do I know this?  Jim’s grandson shared in an eloquence of intelligence and love for his Grandpa.  He prepared two pages of notes and said he could have gone on and on, I believed him.  One of the most poignant memories shared was when this young man was a boy and he was fishing with his Grandpa. “I told Grandpa, I couldn’t wait until we got to go to Grandpa and Grandma’s house!  Grandpa said, you mean Grandma and Grandpa’s house, a gentleman always gives preference to the lady!”  The grandson said Jim gave him further instruction in chivalry that stays with him and makes him the gentleman he is today.

The soloist is a young woman who met Pat and Jim 10 years ago.  She was hired to paint a mural and stayed as a friend for 10 more years and she continues to be friends with Pat.  Julie shared that when she met Pat and Jim, her marriage was in shambles, ultimately ending in divorce.  She said, “that is not what this is about  though, what this is about is the marriage that Jim and Pat had, is what marriages should be like!”  She went on to observe that whenever Pat had something to say, no matter its’ importance Jim turned and gave her his full attention.

This is what it means to give honor to your spouse.  She is first and foremost, her comments are deserving of full attention.  She is the one to whom you defer and place first in your respect, love and devotion (after God), and this is how God meant it to be.  This is the lesson of todays Love Dare, this is the lesson I must abide by, this is the message I wish Jim would have given me.

Another word in the Love Dare for today is “holy”.  Simply put, it means set aside for a special purpose, highly regarded and esteemed.  Our marriage is to be holy.  We are to be devoted to our spouse and no one else, the marriage bed is to remain undefiled.  She is to be the only one for me and I am to treat this as a special appointment, above all others.