This morning in the news I read the tragic account of a father of young twins, who woke up in the morning to find his wife lying dead next to him (see http://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/life/65750021/Father-of-twins-Brett-Wooffindin-faces-life-as-widower). There was no warning, no reason, no indication of why it happened at all. One minute this man was lying next to the love of his life, the next minute she was gone. How can you read a news story like that and just carry on with a “oh well”, back to work attitude?
The story affected me in a number of ways. My first thought was, “poor man, that is so very sad”, the second, “how is he going to manage coping with the loss and being a father to those young children?” Then I started thinking things like, “Imagine if that happened to me, and it was my wife Becky that was laying dead next to me one morning – how would I cope?”.
Well the reassuring thing is, I know that my wife is saved, and that I will never “lose” her as such. That being said, it doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t grieve immensely, suffer greatly, and be scarred permanently if such a thing was to happen. But when I ground my thinking in Christ and His Word, the hope we have in Him, and the reality of eternal life – I can know at least in my mind and heart, that I would somehow get through – because of that hope.
What is sobering however, is that if such a thing was to happen, reading this story today made me think, “Are there things I would wish I said? Are there things I would have wished I had done? Would there be regrets and a sudden perspective on life that would make it seem ridiculous that I held back from being all I could be for my wife?”. And that is really what led me to put these thoughts in writing.
If you are reading this right now, and you were to “theoretically” put yourself in the same situation – would you have any regrets? Is there something right now that you need to say to your wife, confess to your wife, or do for your wife that if she didn’t wake up in the morning you would otherwise deeply regret? Perhaps something as simple as these thoughts I have put in writing might encourage you to step out of your comfort zone, and say something necessary or put something right – you won’t regret it if you do.
Lastly, we know that action based on a purely emotional motivation, can prove to be quite shallow, and fleeting – and so try to avoid that kind of response. However, action based on conviction of what is right, and from a sober contemplation of the fragility of life, can lead to lasting change in our attitudes and actions.
So give your wife an extra long hug tonight, tell her that you love her, say sorry if you need to, and ask the Lord for His grace to cherish and love your wife as Christ cherishes and loves His church. As a believer in Jesus Christ, you can know that grief won’t last a lifetime because we have an eternal hope, but regret can eat you up, and trouble you for decades.
Do not boast about tomorrow,
For you do not know what a day may bring forth.
[Proverbs 27:1 NKJV]
Husbands, love your wives,
just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her,
[Ephesians 5:25 NKJV]
Kris Baines is married to Becky, and they home-educate their 7 children in Rolleston. In addition to running the Psalm 12:1 Project, Kris works as a pastor, paramedic, and composer. Kris can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org