I must admit, when I got married I still had a lot of growing up to do. I had my dreams about what marriage was, and I soon found out they were not reality. I thnk I must have thought marriage was like the old nursery rhyme about the girl whose husband sat her on a cushion and gave her strawberries and cream to eat, and made her the center of his universe. I was to learn that those dreams were pretty childish, and life was not like that.
Here I was, a girl of 19, married to a man of 25. We both were in school, living in a small duplex on the GI bill which netted us $120 per month. I worked afternoons at an insurance office and earned $12.00 per week. Charlie worked for an appliance store in downtown Decatur, Texas, and he and his friend made $5.00 every time they installed a TV antenna (which was not too often). The small amount of money helped a little, but some student preachers at the college thought having a television in your home was sinful, so they had regular prayer meetings for Charlie and Richard, asking the Lord to convict them of their sin--getting that devilish TV into people's homes.
We were pretty poor, and I thought I deserved better. At one time, Charlie came into a little extra money; I don't remember exactly how he got it, but he took the money, drove to Fort Worth and bought a set of Bible Commentaries and some much-needed black preaching shoes. He came home and showed me what he had bought, and I foolishly got mad because he didn't buy anything for me.
"I'll just go home to my mother," I said, thinking he would apologize and beg me to stay. But no! He went to the bus station, bought me a ticket to Dallas and brought it back to me. "Pack your bag," he said, "here's a ticket to go home to your mother."
What a revolting development that was! I didn't really want to go, I just wanted to get my way. But home to my mother I went.
In Dallas, I called my mother and asked her to come to the bus station to pick me up. On the way home, she asked what had happened, and I told her. By this time, I was ashamed, but I was also mad.
Lo and behold, she bought me a ticket back to Decatur! She said, "You married that preacher, now you have to learn to live with him." I spent one night at home, but the next day I was on the bus, going back to our little college town, our modest home, and my new husband.
I had called ahead and Charlie was there to pick me up at the bus station. We made up and I never threatened to leave again. I had learned my lesson. I realized a preacher needed a wife who would stand by him, not one who would run away at the least inclination.
Years later, I asked my husband why he bought that ticket and pushed me to go to Dallas, when he knew I didn't really want to do it. He said, "I knew you loved me, I just wanted you to be sure about it." What a wise man I married.
He used those Bible Commentaries for fifty years of preaching.
|For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife,|
and they will become one flesh. (Genesis 2:24 NAS)
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