My friend, Deborah, suggested I share a story that I had shared with her. She thought it was worth passing along.
When I was a young wife, I had the privilege of sitting at the feet of a woman who was in her 40s, an RN, mom and devoted wife. She and her husband taught our Sunday School Class at Tuckston United Methodist Church in Athens, Georgia. Lillian and Jim left a lasting impression on me and Marvin as newlyweds.
The Neils would often entertain our little group in their home. Jim was a talented baker and actually wrote a small cookbook on Sour Dough Bread. He was a big man, a former professional football player who worked for the State of Georgia. After dinner, Jim would gather the guys together while Lillian spoke to the gals.
Lillian shared some things with the ladies that she thought would make our homes a happy haven. One of the first things she told us was that she and Jim made their bed every morning when they got up for the day. Not just Lillian and not just Jim but together they made the bed. She said it really got their day off on the right foot and they were serving each other as they made the bed. Marvin and I adopted that piece of advice. We have made the bed together for about 41 years now. While Marvin was not feeling well, I did the bed by myself. But the minute he was on the road to recovery, Marvin told me, " I am helping you make the bed this morning." It made us both feel much better.
Lillian shared that we should always respect our husbands when out with our friends. She encouraged us to be careful about calling him names or telling a story that might put him in a bad light. She was so right. Being funny at your spouse's expense is not worth the damage done by careless words.
She also encouraged us to have family meals. Lillian was a busy RN but she and Jim sat down to a hot meal with their daughters in the evenings. Crock pots were just becoming popular back then and they were great for preparing meals in advance.
Five years ago Marvin and I were able to meet with Lillian. Jim had passed away and we regretted not being able to see his kind face. We both gave thanks to Lillian and Jim for helping a naive young couple start down the path of married life.
So if you have a chance to be an influence in a young woman's life, be that light. You never know the long term effects it may have.