Archive for May, 2013

I Quit…!

Posted: May 31, 2013 in Colossians 3
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In order for me to “Be” who Paul is urging me to “Be” and to “Do” what Colossians 3 is requiring me to “Do” i must quit, or resign, from some other activities. The following are examples of Letters of Resignation regarding those matters. Sorry it’s long but worth it to me. Two examples, completely different is style but both drawing the same conclusion.

Official Withdrawal Notice

 I am writing to inform you that effective immediately, 4/15/13, I am withdrawing from your school and the internship program.  After speaking with the Head Counselor at a different school, I found out that I have been misled, misinformed, and deceived which has led to much wasted time and energy.  I’m appalled that you lied saying these classes are in high demand and that I should follow my ancestors’ footsteps since they are all alumni’s.

I did not realize that working toward my Masters in Fear with a minor in Apathy was going to lead me down such a dark and never ending road.  The costs are too high, the classes are unsatisfying and your internship program is not for anyone who would actually want to enjoy life. After many years of attending your school, I have found no pay off except left feeling empty, lonely, and emotionally depleted!

Your classes on Control and Self-sufficiency are very misleading.  These classes state that they can bring me power, security, and satisfaction by getting my own way and doing it myself. Although maybe true, I have found just the opposite.  I feel overwhelmed by doing everyone else’s job and never having any peace.  These classes should come with a warning label….”Warning, may cause loneliness & fatigue!”

Your class on Apathy teaches to never get your hopes up so you don’t get disappointed or hurt.  Don’t dream too much they say because this is as good as it gets.  You think you are doing a favor by protecting yourself, only to find yourself feeling hopeless and always waiting for the other shoe to drop. I found myself allowing life to pass me by instead of enjoying each moment! This class has taught me to be detached from my children or anyone else for that matter.  I see them, I hear them, but I haven’t been able to enjoy them. So much I have missed out on!

But let’s not forget about your internship as a prisoner/slave to Fear! This position has cost me many years of my life. It took away my freedom to live, robbed me of my voice, and has caused me to shrink back and hide. I have never worked with such border bullies in my life.  Never measuring up, always looked down upon and always looking to tell me what’s wrong! They have robbed me of my self-worth and self-esteem which in turn began a series of poor choices. With those poor choices, it led to quite a depression that it almost made me take a life. NO amount of money or job is worth all this!!!

That’s why I have chosen to enroll in a new school with an exciting intern program.  After speaking to the Guidance Counselor, he enlightened me on my background.  See I thought I had to attend your school because my ancestors had done so.  But what I have discovered after speaking with my new Counselor is, I was adopted a long time ago.  Although rejected by my former family, I still continued to strive for their approval and acceptance by operating under their rules and following in their same career paths. But according to what is written, I no longer need to fulfill my old obligations to my former family.  Being adopted gives me full rights and access to my new family’s kingdom. (Rom. 8:15-17) What’s more amazing is, I’m not who I thought I was. See, I am a co-heir to royalty, my daddy is “The King.”

With this information, my degree program is being drastically changed with classes to help me understand and operate in my new found position.  Classes will include faith, joy, peace, humility and submission to name a few. These classes will teach me to look forward to the future (Jer. 29:11), embrace the moment, serve others in a healthy way, and help me not only give love but receive love. I am told this program is not easy as it will require me to find a new outlook and learn new ways of doing things. He also said that I could be in school for quite a while and I will be required to constantly do continuing education classes to keep me fresh. But that’s why I am so grateful for my new Counselor, he has informed me that he will be there every step of the way to guide and tutor me.

So in conclusion, I’m not sorry for leaving your school, you will NOT be missed and I know there will come a day that your doors will be officially closed for good.  But until then, I will make sure that I tell everyone I come in contact with not to attend your school. For the first time, I do NOT regret my decision.  If you have any problems with this, you are welcome to take this up with my daddy, The King!

Sincerely,

“Daughter of The King”

To Whom this may concern,

I am resigning from your slavery that has kept me hidden and fearful for so long. This will be effective immediately. I have kept myself as a slave for too long. It is time that I resign from fear, loneliness, feeling unqualified and a failure and rejection.

I am taking on a new position from my new father Jesus Christ; he tells the truth and will forever love me for eternity. He will never leave me alone for it is said in Isaiah 41:10 “So do not fear, for I am with you, do not be dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” You have no plave in my body, mind or soul for I am covered by the blood of jesus. I will not listen to your lies about not having a future; for Jesus said in Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future!”

From this day forward, I will not go back to being a slave for you. I will forever be a child of God and I am moving forward on my journey!

Sincerely,

Child of God

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Colossians 3:25 (AMP.) or he who deals wrongfully will [reap the fruit of his folly and] be punished for his wrongdoing. And [with God] there is no partiality [no matter what a person’s position may be, whether he is the slave or the master].

Colossians 3:25 (MSG)

The sullen servant who does shoddy work will be held responsible.

Being a follower of Jesus doesn’t cover up bad work.

There are two choices, white or black, yes or no, right or wrong, the choice is mine and there is no grey according to this verse. That doesn’t mean perfection but it does mean progress.

Choice number 1. The sullen servant who does shoddy work will be held responsible. i am not a doom and gloom person, nor am i a guilt and condemnation person but the words hear are clear and i am a person who believes in accountability, to God and by God, HELD RESPONSIBLE!

Sullen: gloomy or dismal, showing irritation or ill humor by a gloomy silence.

Servant: a person in the service of another.

Shoddy: of poor quality or inferior workmanship.

Choice number 2. Being a follower of Jesus doesn’t cover up bad work.

Follower: a person who follows another in regard to his or her ideas or belief.

Cover-Up: any action, stratagem, or other means of concealing or preventing investigation or exposure.

Bad: not good in any manner or degree, inadequate or below standard, not satisfactory for use.

The choice is mine and i choose number 2. i don’t want to have spent all this time studying every word and it ends up just being knowledge. They say that knowledge is power but i’m not in agreement with that idea. Knowledge not used does nothing. Knowledge applied is what’s valuable. It changes the heart and that’s what i need, for out of the abundance of my heart my mouth speaks.

In closing of this series i am reminded of the words from Ezra 10:4 “Arise ed, for it is your duty, and we are with you. Be strong and brave and do it.”

Recently in doing life together with some others i gave an assignment for them to write a Letter of Resignation with regards to the life change they are experiencing. Rather than me trying to explain, i have been given permission to post them as examples. If led to, you can email yours to meandiam@gmail.com and i will use it as a point of agreement in prayer for you. Tomorrows post will only share these letters. Let me say thank you to those who have followed along with my journey of serving the Lord my God with all my heart, mind, soul and strength. And loving others as myself.

Servants…

Posted: May 29, 2013 in Colossians 3
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Colossians 3:22 Servants, obey in everything those who are your earthly masters, not only when their eyes are on you as pleasers of men, but in simplicity of purpose [with all your heart] because of your reverence for the Lord and as a sincere expression of your devotion to Him.

That is, in all things relating to the body, and bodily service, not to the conscience, and worship, in things worldly, and not spiritual, in all things that are within a master’s power, and it is lawful for him to command, and in all things that are fitting and proper that a servant should do, and even in such things as may be difficult, troublesome, and disagreeable to the flesh.

Luke 17:7-9 Will any man of you who has a servant plowing or tending sheep say to him when he has come in from the field, Come at once and take your place at the table? Will he not instead tell him, Get my supper ready and gird yourself and serve me while I eat and drink; then afterward you yourself shall eat and drink? Is he grateful and does he praise the servant because he did what he was ordered to do?

The question is, do i give my best, regardless of the cost? Am i like the laborer in Jesus’ parable who expected immediate reward and compensation for his day’s work?  How unfair for the master to compel him to give more than what was expected!  How often do i love to assert my rights: “i will give only what is required and no more!”

Jesus used this parable of the dutiful servant to explain that i can never put God in my debt or make the claim that God owes me anything. i must regard myself as God’s servant, just as Jesus came “not to be served, but to serve.” Service of God and of neighbor is both voluntary a free act and a sacred duty.  i can volunteer for public service or be compelled to do service for my country.  Likewise, God expects me to give him the worship and praise which is his due.  And he gladly accepts the  free-will offering of my life to Him and His service.

What makes my offering pleasing to God is the love i express in the gift of self-giving.  True love is sacrificial, generous, and selfless. How can i love others selflessly and unconditionally?  God himself is Love (1 John 4:16) and He fills my heart with the boundless love that gives what is good for the sake of others. If we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us (1 John 4:12).  God honors the faithful servant who loves generously. He is ever ready to work through and in me for His glory. His love compels me to give Him my best!  And when i have done my best, i have simply done my duty.

Colossians 3:23 Whatever may be your task, work at it heartily (from the soul), as [something done] for the Lord and not for men, Knowing [with all certainty] that it is from the Lord [and not from men] that you will receive the inheritance which is your [real] reward. [The One Whom] you are actually serving [is] the Lord Christ (the Messiah).

Today is a wrap up for this verse regarding children obeying from Colossians 3.

The first four of the Ten Commandments instruct me how to recognize, worship and obey God. The next six commandments instruct me how to live in peace with others and number six is in regards to honoring parents. Violation of the fifth commandment was a serious offense and obviously won’t work in todays society but just for the record.

“If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them: Then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place; And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard. And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die: so shalt thou put evil away from among you” (Deuteronomy 21:18-21 KJV)“And he that smiteth his father, or his mother, shall be surely put to death … And he that curseth his father, or his mother, shall surely be put to death.” (Exodus 21:15,17 KJV)

Serious offense and serious consequences. Obviously, the commanded to honor parents, is real, but how does it apply in today’s world? Honor them with both  actions and attitudes (Mark 7:6).  Honor their unspoken as well as spoken wishes. “A wise son heeds his father’s  instruction, but a mocker does not listen to rebuke” (Proverbs 13:1).

In Matthew 15:3-9, Jesus reminded the Pharisees of the command of God to honor their father and mother.  They were obeying the letter of the law, but they had added their own law that essentially overruled God’s. They made a law that directed them to commit all their wealth to God. They honored their parents in word, but their actions proved their real motive. When it came to a need in their parents lives they said that they could not help because their wealth was committed to God. Honor is more than lip service. The word  “honor” in this passage is a verb and, requires right actions.

Honoring parents coincides with how i strive to  bring glory to God—in my thoughts, words, and actions. For young children, obeying parents goes hand in hand with honoring them. That includes listening,  heeding, and submitting to authority. After children mature, the obedience  that they learned as children will serve them well in honoring other authorities  such as government, police, and employers.

While honoring parents is required, it doesn’t include imitating ungodly ones (Ezekiel 20:18-19). If a parent ever instructs a child to do something that clearly contradicts God’s commands, that child must obey God rather than his/her parents (Acts 5:29).

 

This can get a little confusing based on my previous posts. Children obey, do not spare the rod and then this…

Fathers, do not provoke or irritate or fret your children [do not be hard on them or harass them], lest they become discouraged and sullen and morose and feel inferior and frustrated. [Do not break their spirit.]

“Fathers” in this context means parents. The word “provoke” means to exasperate, to become disheartened and hence lack motivation. Parents are not to exasperate their children. “Provoke” carries the idea of bitter, irritate.
As a parent  I can provoke my children by continual censure. i may nag my children about inconsequential things. As a parents I possess authority in my role. God does not want me to exercise uncontrolled authority. Severe discipline may make my children bitter and exasperate them as a person. Poor judgment in exercising my authority hinders the development of my children.
This does not mean that i as a parent am never to do anything that might irritate my children. Discipline often irritates children. The word “irritate” is in the continuous tense in the Greek. “Do not keep on irritating your children.” If I as a parent nag my children it will dampen their spirits.

This verse may be better stated as, parents, “irritate not” your children by perpetual fault-finding.

A caretaker, responsible for my children between birth and full growth. Yep i get it and accept it. For me that’s fine because of who my children have grown up to be.

This could be disappointing, for parents who are struggling with children who have no concept of this verse. i have no regrets as to how i raised my children. Whether they would agree, i don’t know for sure but i think so.

A person from birth till, full growth? Full growth is a process that occurs until the day we die. That certainly leaves a lot of time for this verse to be lived out in many variations. For the record i have two children. One young man and one young lady. Both have their own children and are figuring out what this verse looks like for their households.

Okay now for the difficult word that children have to swallow. Obey! Obey ranks right up there with submit as we discussed regarding wives, but before we get to worked up let’s get a look at what obeying means for children.

Obey: to comply with or follow the commands, restrictions, wishes, or instructions.

i can tell you from what i know about raising children that if they are not taught to obey at the earliest ages they will struggle in obeying period especially obeying God and His word. Obedience is a word that has been so watered down.

Before going further i will say that one of the greatest problems i see in parents is being able to let go of their children. There are some things that parents will not be able to teach their children. Children, just as i did must learn some things by themselves, through trial and error.

In everything…. really? Some of the stuff i see and hear parents directing their children to do, bring about concerns of safety and wisdom for the children. This verse comes as part of the previous 20 verses so for me it needs to be kept in context of what Paul has already described which includes being raised up with Christ, aiming, seeking and holding onto those things which are above, and then more recently understanding the role of a wife and mother, a husband and father. Under those circumstances there is no room for not obeying. Going back to James 4:1-2. What leads to strife (discord and feuds) and how do conflicts (quarrels and fightings) originate among you? Do they not arise from your sensual desires that are ever warring in your bodily members? You are jealous and covet [what others have] and your desires go unfulfilled; [so] you become murderers. [To hate is to murder as far as your hearts are concerned.] You burn with envy and anger and are not able to obtain [the gratification, the contentment, and the happiness that you seek], so you fight and war.

A little intense whether adult or child, James hits the nail on the head. Children get jealous and want what other children have. Ever seen a child burn with envy and anger over something they want but someone else will not give it to them, so they fight? Is there a parent alive that has not experienced the wrath of a child because they were told no? Children must be taught constantly about the promise that it may be well with them.

“An aware parent loves all children he or she interacts with – for you are a caretaker for those moments in time.”

How true that is. The word Caretaker means a person who takes care of another. It goes even farther as in a person who is in charge of the maintenance. The dictionary says a building, but i am expanding it to a child. The building and maintaining of a child.

Colossians 3:20 Children, obey your parents in everything, for this is pleasing to the Lord. It’s not only pleasing to the Lord, but to parents, grandparents and the general population as well.

Ephesians 6:1 says, Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.”

“That it may go well with you.” No obeying… no promise. If you do not obey your parents, “it may not go so well with you.” Simple enough right? Who doesn’t want things to go well? To answer that look around, watch the behavior of children. Then there is the in-between state. In-between obeying, honoring and getting a not so well life and a shortened living long. If i am going to live long then i want to live well.

God gave me children, assigning me to be responsible for them. According to Deuteronomy 6:6-9 “Write these commandments that I’ve given you today on your hearts. Get them inside of you and then get them inside your children. How do I do that? Talk about them wherever i am, sitting at home or walking in the street; talk about them from the time i get up in the morning to when i fall into bed at night. It does not work if i apply it only when they disobey.

Children- Children is plural for child. Child means, a person between birth and full growth according to Webster’s.

i noticed this verse is not age specific. When is a child old enough to be accountable for obeying? my answer, the day they are born. If that made anyone gasp hold on

Benefits for obedience mean a cost for lack of it.These verses may seem harsh but what about the flip side? A child who knows no boundaries… no, a child who is not held to boundaries is … i’ll let the word say it.

Proverbs 13:24 ESV – Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him.

Hebrews 12:11 ESV – For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

Proverbs 23:13-15 ESV – Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you strike him with a rod, he will not die. If you strike him with the rod, you will save his soul from Sheol. My son, if your heart is wise, my heart too will be glad.

Proverbs 22:6 ESV – Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.

Proverbs 22:15 ESV – Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline drives it far from him.

Ephesians 6:4 ESV – Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

Proverbs 29:17 ESV – Discipline your son, and he will give you rest; he will give delight to your heart.

Proverbs 29:15 ESV – The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.

There are dozens more but why beat a dead horse. i love this quote.

“Children are likely to live up to what you believe of them.” – Lady Bird Johnson Former First Lady

“the true shadow is not made by darkness but of light.”

It seems to me that just saying i love you is a cheap imitation of true love. Talk is cheap. Being at the close of this verse another portion of the word provides more detailed instructions regarding my words and deeds toward my wife as her husband but more precisely as her covering.

Ephesians 5:8-11 ed once you were darkness, but now ed you are light in the Lord; notice that it says once i was darkness… not in darkness. Then is says i am light… not in light.

ed, walk as a child of Light [lead the lives of those native-born to the Light]. Sounds familiar as i recall the opening of Colossians 3. Paul is saying that God changes lives, Relationship with the Father AFFECTS my life in word and actions. my name is light so be AFFECTED by the Light. Lead the life of one who is native-born to the Light.

For the fruit (the effect, the product) of the Light or the Spirit [consists] in every form of kindly goodness, uprightness of heart, and trueness of life.

ed, learn [in your experience] what is pleasing to the Lord. In my experience, as i am living out life, learning in my relationship with my wife, being affected by those things which are above as she was made and built up and not what the wear and tear of life may have done to her. And understand that it is not for or to her that i do anything but what is pleasing to the Lord.

ed, let my life be constant proof of what is most acceptable to Him. Constant, not up and down or on and off but constant which is where the proof is. There is no proof in momentarily being affected by my wife. It is the constant, which is in conjunction with God’s constant relationship with me. That’s where the proof is because in and of myself constant is not possible.

ed take no part in and have no fellowship with the fruitless deeds and enterprises of darkness. Being INFECTED is the fruitless deeds and enterprises of darkness. It says that i should take no part in, it’s my choice, have no fellowship, the opportunities will come but i to have no fellowship, not hang around with being infected. And get ready here comes the option.

, but instead [let your lives be so in contrast as to] expose and reprove and convict them. One of the things i love about these verses is the “Let your live so be.” It doesn’t say, tell everyone, post it on Facebook or Tweet it, it says let my life be the action that is in contrast.

A call to action – ed be habitual or usual in these acts, use energetic activity in loving your wife according to what you have learned. my favorite, ed, husband, Light… constantly… consciously will.

Words or deeds which do not give the light of Christ, increase darkness. (A variation of Mother Teresa’s words)

Radical…

Posted: May 20, 2013 in Colossians 3
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Success in marriage is more than finding the right person; it is being the right person.

The command to love far exceeds what was common of marriage in Paul’s day. Had he used another word for “love,” perhaps one that expressed sexuality, then it would have fit well with the Greek and Roman minds. But in the term “agape,” a selfless, serving, giving type of love without thought of return was totally foreign to the marital lives of Greeks and Romans. Wives were often thought of as property. Typically, in the Greek world, wives had no part in the social activities of her husband. She was more of a recluse at home while he went about the things of his day. Husbands and wives did not even eat meals together.

Well… there it is. In the term “agape,” a selfless, serving, giving type of love without thought of return was and may be totally foreign to the marital lives of Greeks and Romans and many today.

Paul’s command was as radical then as it is now! There is to be a work going on in my heart as a believer, as i am affected toward my wife and no longer infected by and away from her. As a husband i must not let society’s standards (or lack of standards) on marriage be my own. i must take the high road presented in the Word.

There is also another issue. Have i the husband expected my wife to meet the deepest needs of my heart? If so, i have placed an  impossible burden on my wife. Then another possibility is my own reluctance to face the truth about myself, preferring to believe that it is my spouse who has a problem and thus creates the problems that infect me.

The divine words for husbands and wives by Paul are the framework for success in marriage. They are not a checklist to use in evaluating the performance of my spouse.

Many times my words and deeds express the idea that a successful and fulfilling marriage just happens by itself. But a growing marriage requires                     effort and perseverance. i am called to work at… no, not at, as though it is separate from me, but in my relationship with Him—and with the person i promised to love.

The grass on the other side of the fence may look greener, but faithfulness to God and commitment to my spouse alone bring peace of mind and satisfaction.

 

A rare case where i do an extra post. i was tempted to hold this till next week but… here it is. The following song is a case of being affected by Ann Marie. She shared this song with me. To her i want to say  am not only listening but i am being affected. Thanks!

The following was written by a very dear friend many years ago. Every time i read this it brings awareness to my life about the Gift i have been given. It’s like a splash of very cold water on my face. i wish that i could say that it made a difference in his life but that is not the case. He eventually found himself in the same place and for that i am saddened. The cost was much greater this time. This can be a nice post, a warning, an awakening or a call to action.

The Gift – By Ed Beatty

Twas a Sunday afternoon, in late summers light; I saw the Gift standing there, wrapped beautifully in white.

With heart a pounding, knees so weak, and tear drops in my eyes; I could scarcely believe so rare a Gift, could in reality be mine.

It was like no other gift I ever had received; For it glowed even through its pure white wrap with love aimed just for me.

I reached out with a trembling hand, to take the Gift so fair: and as I did, I heard a voice say, “It’s yours for you to care.

With so much excitement I accepted it, The Gift I long had sought; And took it home into my life, this prize which I had caught.

I looked at it, and handled it, and used it at my leisure; and for a while this Gift of mine, brought to me so much pleasure.

I took it with me where’re I went, And showed it to all my friends; I was so proud of this, my Gift, my joy it would not end.

The days, the weeks, the months, the years, all passed so hurriedly; ere long my Gift which I had won, soon lost its novelty.

I stared at it with bewildered eyes, as it lay calm in its place; I could not believe the sight, I saw – I hoped ‘twas not the case.

But surely as I inspected the Gift, The one which once I prided; I noticed it was not the same – It’s changed, I boldly chided.

“It’s not as bright as when brand new, its love grows cold and dim; it bears some marks I did not see, its imperfect – not a gem.’

The more I looked, the morel saw, the more I could not stand; I was displeased with this Gift, to me “twas as worthless as the sand.

So, I left it home as I went out in search of something better; to fill the space disappointment brought – it bound me as a fetter

I saw my friends and others too, with many gifts and presents; and there, at first it seemed, at least, their lives were joyous… pleasant.

So, I tried their way and to my surprise, it did not fill my need; in fact the very opposite, my life was worse indeed.

Bewildered, befuddled, all sad and alone, I wondered what could I do; when I heard a small voice calling my name saying – “This is my message to you.

The Gift which I gave you, more precious than gold, is yours for the keeping to have and to hold.

“I did not give it for you to treat thus… to leave it alone and turn it away with disgust.’

“The reason it glows not is your fault – not its; for it needs your attention, your love and your kiss.”

“It’s marks you think imperfect were not there at the start, but came from the handling and neglect on your part.”

“And like anything of value, you can gain in this life; the Gift which I gave you grows more priceless through strife.”

“And time, only time, can determine the value, of my Gift too precious which I freely gave you.”

“But ‘though you rejected and paid it No mind; your Gift still awaits you, Come home while there’s time.”

So, hurriedly I ran as tears stained my face, into the house and came to the place; where the Gift I had left, stood patiently by, expecting my return, not asking me why.

It embraced me, and held me, kissed away all my grief; and then with a voice that brought Sweet relief – Said, “I forgive you… welcome back home.”

I felt so ashamed of the wrong I had done.

Then with eyes opened wide, as wide as could be, for the first time I saw her, This Gift that was she.

My love abounding, my heart longing so; to hold and caress her, the gift I now know.

She was given a helpmate, to love as myself; to work alongside me, not to leave on a shelf.

I’m to love her, to care for her, all my days, all my life; for this Gift which God gave me, is my friend and my wife.