Pastor in the Pasture by Wendell Elliott
I watched her as she walked out of the pens with her rein in her hand and her horse at her heels. I dropped my head thinking, “I did it again and screwed up one more time.” As I watched my fellow worker leave, I glanced around at the cattle that were looking at me, the lone horseback rider in the pens. What was I going to do, now that Norma was headed to the barn? Was I going to bring cattle and watch the gate at the same time? Maybe I could get afoot in the pens and my horse could watch the gate or vice versa?
Fall works are either in full swing or finishing up around here. It’s that time again. Norma and I have been gathering pastures lately, stripping off calves, and hauling them to the shipping pens. For a good portion of it, it’s just been us working side by side. I know…I know you’re sitting there saying we couldn’t do that. It just wouldn’t work. You’ll get mad at the cattle not sorting and then it’ll come out as something that sounds directed at your wife. I know from personal experience.
In marriage, we have those times when we let our “alligator mouth overload our hummingbird ass.” (If I would have put “rear” you would’ve put the other in there, don’t lie) We’re quick to let our mouth go and suffer the consequences or others suffer the consequences. If you’ve found yourself there, here are four ways that may help in healing wounds that are left from harsh speech. Heck, they’ll probably work if you’ve found yourself lacking as a husband in other areas as well.
* Opinion – She needs to know you value her opinion. Fellers when she holds up the sorting because it ain’t going very well and she says, “Love bug, don’t you think the cows will go out better through this gate?” You probably ought to at least consider it, because it obviously ain’t going well the other way. Or, when you’re lost on that vacation and she says, “I think we need to get off at the next exit and ask for directions.” Proverbs 31:26 says, “She speaks with wisdom…”
* Be present – When you’re in conversation or kicked back at the house take a few minutes and let her have your full attention. No t.v., no Livestock Weekly, no Western Horseman, no Ranch World Ads. Just her and you listening to her. It’ll make a world of difference to her and your marriage, I guarantee it!
* Holds your gaze – Men, she needs to know that she still holds your gaze when she comes into the room, especially in public! When ya’ll are out with friends and she comes back into the room, she wants to know that she still catches your eye. “You are altogether beautiful, my darling; there is no flaw in you.” (Song of Solomon 4:7 NIV) Men, read all of Song of Solomon.
* Respect in front of children – She needs to be respected always, but especially in front of the children. I don’t care if they’re ya’lls together, yours, hers, adopted, or somebody else’s kids. Your wife needs and values that respect and love in front of the kids but the kids need to see that as well. You both create a united front and togetherness that is an example of what God intended in marriage. Kids feel safer, learn respect and love, and will follow your example. Author and speaker, Rachel Cruze (daughter of Dave Ramsey) says, “With kids more is caught than taught.” Your kids are watching you and how you treat your wife, be sure it’s with love and respect.
I’ll leave you with this: “Drink water from your own cistern, running water from your own well. Should your springs overflow in the streets, your streams of water in the public squares? Let them be yours alone, never to be shared with strangers. May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth. A loving doe, a graceful deer— may her breasts satisfy you always, may you ever be intoxicated with her love.” (Proverbs 5:15-19 NIV)
…and you thought the Bible was boring?
Well, I’ll see ya’ll out in the pasture…but right now I’m going in here to find that smokin’ hot babe of a wife of mine.