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FAMILY FUSION: A phenomenal partner

Reverend Haynesley Griffith, [email protected]

FAMILY FUSION: A phenomenal partner

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ON MARCH 3 this year, my wife Dolores and I celebrated 37 years together as a married couple. What a distinct and delightful journey it has been! Today I want to reflect on, and give tribute to my phenomenal partner who for almost four decades has been consistent and credible, contributing significantly to who I am today.

She has worked assiduously and assertively to make our marriage marvellous. Don’t get the bright idea that we did not have some great challenges that had the potential to make our marriage miserable. We did! Our different and sometimes assertive personalities periodically clashed, but never once do I remember either of us disrespecting or devaluing each other. To say that we have a perfect marriage is far from the truth, but we do possess a productive and purposeful relationship that I enjoy even after these many years of being together.

A few years ago, I was in a store looking for an item and the female attendant, who I believe was in her mid-20s, raised the question about family. When I mentioned to her that I was married for over 30 years to the same woman, she exclaimed: “Thirty years with one woman! Wow!” Her exclamation spoke volumes. We are living in an era when saying goodbye to married partners after a short time of togetherness appears to be the norm.

Unfortunately, this has been one of those mistakes that have brought severe pain to society. I recall a woman who was married for several years to a man she described as a “good man” and one with whom she had “no major challenges”, but she remarked that she believed “it was time for a change”. How sad. By highlighting the invaluable contribution my wife has made and continues to make to my life, my hope is that it will benefit both the married and single.

Discovering my wife

There were several outstanding defining moments in my life, one of which was discovering my wife. I believed that in my search for a marriage partner it was only good manners to ask the All-wise, All-knowing God, the Originator of marriage and family, to make that choice for me. It was on October 2, 1977, about 2:30 a.m., while in my final year at a theological institution, that God woke me up and spoke to me very clearly about the sound character of my present wife, a godly woman who I had only met briefly before. The rest is now history. For those of you seeking for a life partner, be aware that you may not have a similar experience to mine, but make sure that “in all your ways acknowledge Him (God) and He shall direct your path.” – (Proverbs 3:6)

My wife is my best friend

There is no one with whom I have shared so many intimate matters of my heart other than my wife, who has become my best friend. Over the years she created an atmosphere that permits the free flow of heart information void of judgement and full of graciousness. Her proven trustworthiness, confidential spirit, great insight and loving kindness, have drawn me closer to her over the decades.

Such sterling qualities have kept me desirous of coming back home every day, every time. I experienced a clear demonstration of that friendship in several practical ways, but one that stood out for me was her being with me before, during and after a major surgery I underwent. She bent over backwards to make my restoration as stress-free as possible. She is easy to talk with, walk with, laugh with, and be with. She has been and continues to be a great friend, my best friend. Beyond friendship she has been a faithful partner.

My wife is a faithful partner

Today faithfulness and fidelity in marriage are gradually being eroded by a loose and licentious society, which has little or no respect for the sanctity of marriage. My wife’s unswerving demonstration of loyalty to her marriage covenant has shone forth brightly, consistently and perennially from her life over the years. She attributes such sharp focus to her faithfulness and unreserved commitment to her God who she believed called her to be an example to both married and unmarried women. Her stability has also helped me to maintain the resolve I made as a teenager to be a “one-eye” man with a sole focus on one woman. Thanks to God’s sustaining grace and my unreserved dedication to Him.

For over 40 years, I have been in the sacred ministry and my wife stuck with me in the times when I experienced my lowest moments and in those instances of euphoria. Although her love for me is great and genuine, her greatest lover is still her God, with whom she shares a very unique bond. I observed her faithfulness to God growing and maturing over the years, resulting in her desire to please Him at all cost. My wife’s faithfulness spills over naturally into her family affairs.

My wife is family-oriented

My wife is very serious when it comes to family. Like the Proverbs 31 woman, she looks after her household well. She believes in teamwork, hence if I lapse in any area that may compromise that goal, she would make it her business, sometimes very forcefully, to seek to bring that goal back into focus. Spending quality time together is an important agenda item for her, because it lends itself to the kind of communication and cohesion that have held our union together for this period of time.

In relation to the children, especially in their formative years, she was truly a great mother. She worked to not only instil discipline, morals and spiritual values in them, but also to set an example of which they would not be ashamed. She still remains my greatest critic and counsellor, who brings wise insights that have helped to fine-tune my developing personality.

My wife would be the first to tell you that she has had some faults and failures. But for me who have lived with her for 37 years, she stands head and shoulders above many women I know. With her, what you see is what you get, whether in private or in public. Truly a phenomenal partner. Dolores, thank you. I love you for making our marriage marvellous. Women, go and do likewise.

Haynesley Griffith is a marriage and family life consultant. Email: [email protected]