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How do you describe your beloved?  How do you tell others about the one you’ve chosen as your lifelong partner?  Do you describe him as a wonderful man of God or do you simply say, “He’s aight.”  Your description of the love of your life is very important.

I was given an assignment to write a one- sentence paragraph about myself.  Wow!!  It was SOOO very difficult to condense my entire life into such a short, brief, synopsis of who I am.  I never thought it would be so difficult to just describe me!!  I struggled and struggled but finally landed on what I think was a pretty good sentence.  What made the assignment so difficult is I kept trying to decide what I NEEDED to say as opposed to what I wanted others to know.  The assignment let me know that I have grown.  For most of my adult years I have been very private and intentionally careful about what I reveal to others about myself and how I reveal it to them and in what setting I choose to reveal things.  Can you say, “way too overly cautious?”  Wow!  Now, I realize that my life is an open book and everything that has happened to me is a testimony unto the Lord.

Having to characterize my life in one sentence really made me think.  Our descriptions of ourselves are very important.  They reveal what we deem important, and what we choose to let others know, as well as what we are pleased about in our lives and want others to remember about us.  Needless to say, the assignment turned into more than just a blurb that I had to write.  It changed my life in essence.  It allowed me to think about my life and what I want people to know and remember.  What is important?  Is it important for people to know that I have my bachelor’s degree?  Not really!  Is it important for people to know that I am a Christian?  Absolutley!!  Is it important that they know that I am a member of several progressive organizations or that I hold several key positions in such organizations?  No.  I want people to know that I am not perfect and that God is the “perfecter” in my life.  I know that’s not a word but it works.  My brother would tell me that it is a word if we were playing Scrabble.  He’d say, “A perfecter is one who perfects” and that’s exactly how I mean it.

The one sentence bio helped me clarify what is really important in my life.  It cleared all of the dust and presented a clear picture of exactly how I want to be remembered.  So, if you described yourself in a one sentence bio, what do you want people to know about you?

Now, let’s go a step further with this.  If asked to describe your spouse in one sentence, how would you characterize him?  Would it be a wonderful testament to how God has used him to make life better for all he comes in contact with or would it be a criticism of all the things that you can’t stand about him?  Would your one sentence bio get him promoted on his job or fired?  Would people begin to admire and cherish him due to your description or loathe and hate him?

How do you describe your husband? I want you to stop reading right now and get a pencil and paper.  Write out a description of your husband.  Give his character traits as well as a physical description of him.  It doesn’t have to be one sentence but it does need to be your characterization of him.  Whatever you feel is important, write it down. Don’t read any further until you’ve written down your description or you won’t get the full benefit of this devotion.  If you can’t stop right now, then stop reading and come back to this later.  It’s important if you want to get the most out of today’s devotion so please comply.  I promise you it will be an eye opener.

Wives, we are the closest testimony our husbands have.  We walk with them daily.  Who better to give a character assessment than a person who sees them daily?  Be careful ladies not to uncover your husband to the wrong person.  I’ll give you an example.

I Am Ready For Love… Or Am I?

A few years ago, my husband and I attended a party mixer.  We had a conversation with a woman who was very nice.  She inadvertently told us all about her husband.  She had come to the party without him because he hadn’t arrived at home promptly so she left him.  She said he was always late and always very slow.  She told us how he was late to work each morning and late to their children’s recitals.  She berated that man to the point where I felt bad when he walked into the room.  He turned out to be a very nice guy but who could forget his wife’s characterization of him.  Well, not long after that, my husband was assisting his company in human resources doing hiring and who should come for the interview but this woman’s husband.  When my husband told me about it, I was crushed.  I didn’t want my husband to hold this against him but how could he not?  When my husband recommends a person for work, his reputation is on the line so he couldn’t with good conscious recommend this person for hire although he didn’t reveal why.  While this man was a very nice guy, his wife, without his knowledge assaulted his character!

You see,  she had an opportunity to build her husband up or tear him down and she chose the latter unfortunately and it ended up being a costly mistake for their entire family.  Do you see how your words really do go out and do good or damage?  Do you see how important it is for you to speak well of your husband’s good traits to others and not complain to even strangers about his faults?

How would you characterize your husband?  Well, here is one of the most beautiful characterizations I’ve ever read.  This is from the Song of Solomon chapter 5.  It begins with friends asking a woman about her lover.  It follows with her response.

How is your beloved better than others,

Most beautiful of women?

How is your beloved better than others,

That you charge us so?

My lover is radiant and ruddy,

Outstanding among ten thousand.

His head is purest gold, his hair is wavy

and black as a raven.

His eyes are like doves,

By the water streams,

Washed in milk. Mounted like jewels.

His cheeks are like beds of spice,

Yielding perfume

His lips are like lilies,

Dripping with myrrh.

His arms are rods of gold

Set with chrysolite.

His body is like polished ivory

Decorated with sapphires.

His legs are like pillars of marble

Set on bases of pure gold.

His appearance is like Lebanon,

Choice as its cedars.

His mouth is sweetness itself;

He is altogether lovely.

This is my lover, this is my friend,

O Daughters of Jerusalem.

Have you ever heard such a beautiful portrayal of a lover to her friends?  I haven’t!  Her description makes anything I thought I wanted to say about my husband fade into obscurity.  So guess what I have to do?  I have to regroup and re-evaluate my description of my husband.  I need to write down some wonderful things I want others to know about him.  Certainly he has qualities equivalent if not superior to this lover’s!

Go back and read the description you wrote down of your husband.  What does it lack?  Now read Song Of Solomon 5:9- 16.  What did you miss?  How do you need to revise what you’ve written?  What important physical traits or character traits do you need to add to your description?  How well does your description capture your husband’s being?  Everyone will leave a legacy.  Our legacies depend on the characterizations others give of us.  One of the most valuable legacies will be the way our families, spouses and children say about us because they are in closest contact with us.  What will your legacy be?

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