House and wealth are an inheritance from fathers,
But a prudent wife is from the Lord.
Patty is 74 years old today, has been married to me for 53 of those years, and she has, indeed, been a gift from the Lord. I have been the Pastor of Jefferson Baptist Church for 45 years, but without all she did for me, I wouldn’t have lasted two or three years in ministry. She was a partner in the work, putting in as many hours as I did, but most importantly, she was the primary source of encouragement and support for me, especially in the early years when I did so many dumb things and had so much criticism for it. She loved everybody no matter what, encouraged me, and taught me to do the same and how to do it. She has been my most faithful support and my most influential critic. She has consistently pushed me to improve and grow but never given me a deadline to do it. Somebody asked me how much longer I was going to Pastor, I didn’t give them a definitive answer, but in my head I thought, as long as Patty is alive and well. I have been incredibly blessed by the Lord in my life and the greatest of those blessings outside my salvation has been Patty.
My most important focus in life is to know the Lord more intimately and become like Him in character, and next is not how to be a great Pastor or to catch lots of fish, but is to learn better how to love Patty as Jesus loves the church and gave Himself up for her.