When Georgette and I got married in June 1980, I told her I wanted our first four children to be boys. The reason was that I wanted to form a barbershop quartet with them. While I was in high school, I organized a barbershop quartet, and while I was in college, I formed another quartet.
Georgette and I had our first and only son 10 months after we were married. Then we had six daughters.
I’ve written before about how I grew up in a family of 17 children — nine boys and eight girls. My experience growing up in a large family and the fact that I had seven children of my own have taught me that it’s much harder to raise girls than boys.
I learned a lot from my daughters while they were growing up. My philosophy about parenting and discipline changed dramatically over the years — so much so that I made a significant change in the way I treated my three youngest daughters compared with the way I treated my three oldest daughters.
While my son was like an energetic puppy who thrived on the adventures of life, my daughters were more like sensitive doves who needed to be treated with love, compassion, and humor. I discovered there was a delicate balance that needed to be maintained between forcing them to do what I felt was best for them and allowing them to choose their own destiny.
There’s an old cynical saying that men sometimes repeat: “Women! You can’t live with them and you can’t live without them.”
The problem we men have when it comes to our inability to peacefully live with a woman is that we don’t like being told what to do. That’s where the “you can’t live with them” comes in. Even Jesus seemed as though He was a little irritated when His mother suggested that He needed to do something about the lack of wine at the wedding in Cana.
There’s also the old saying, “Behind every successful man is a woman.”
Did Jesus need any women to help Him achieve what He came to Earth to accomplish? The divine side of Him didn’t need any help, but apparently the human side must have yearned for the assistance of others.
There was one woman who came to our Lord’s defense in Pilate’s courtroom. Pilate should have listened to her, but she happened to be his wife. He followed the same protocol that the majority of men follow — he refused to listen to his wife.
Our Lord’s mother showed her loving support for Him when she intercepted Him on His way to Calvary.
Then there was the woman named Veronica who defied the guards and rushed over to Jesus while he was carrying His cross. She provided him with some comfort when she wiped his blood-drenched face with her veil.
There were also the women who prayed and wept for our Lord while he was on the road to Calvary. Despite his immense suffering, He stopped so he could respond to them.
At the foot of the cross were three women with the same first name: Mary Magdalene, Mary of Cleopas, and Mary of Nazareth, the mother of Jesus.
And finally, on the morning of Easter Sunday, it was Mary Magdalene who discovered that Jesus had risen from the dead.
There were only two men who supported our Lord while He was being tortured and crucified. One of them was His apostle John, who stood at the foot of the cross with His mother. The other man was the “good thief” who was crucified next to Jesus and courageously spoke up on His behalf when the other thief verbally attacked Him.
There was a poem written by William Ross Wallace (1819-1881) that was quickly forgotten, but the title of the poem has lived on: “The Hand That Rocks the Cradle Is the Hand That Rules the World.”
The success of any civilization is always dependent upon the purity, spiritual integrity, and selflessness of its women. All of the women who assisted our Lord during His darkest hours possessed those attributes.
There was a time in America when the majority of women possessed those same attributes. Unfortunately, in my opinion, that is no longer the case.
Let’s face it. For whatever reason, as a general rule, men are easily seduced by the temptations of the world. But when a man is raised by a mother who is pure, holy, and selfless, and when he later marries a woman who possesses those same attributes, there’s a good chance he will rise to the level of dignity, integrity, and virtue that is expected of him by his mother and his wife.
I’m very fortunate. I was blessed with a mother and a wife who possess those particular attributes.
If you’re a woman, you may want to consider emulating the pure, holy, and selfless women who courageously stood by our Lord when He needed them the most. If you’re a man, you would do well to emulate our Lord and the only two courageous men who stood by His side when he was brutally murdered.
You and I are members of the one true church that was established by the Son of God after He rose from the dead. How is it that we are so blessed while millions of other people throughout the world will never have a chance to know the truth about our Lord and His church?
We really do have a lot to be grateful for.
I hope you have a joyous Easter.