I never heard

What was true about the Rabbi’s father was also true about my father in our family. If my father had to call my mother from another room, he either walked to where she was, or had one of us call her to him or communicate the message to my mom. This meant, they never screamed or yelled in the house.

“I never heard my father calling my mother from another room. If he wanted to call her, he would walk up to where she was”. -Rabbi Manis Friedman

I recently met a childhood friend after much gap. When I inquired what was latest with him, he replied, “I am learning to play a recorder”. [A recorder is a flute like instrument]. A recorder? I was surprised that he was doing this in his late 40s. It surprised me first, but later, he gained more respect from me.

Last year, his wife fell sick and was advised a year’s rest. Being a pastor’s wife and mother to four kids, she was a busy bee. She had to invite the inevitable, rest. Now that she was to be home most of the time, my friend composed himself and calmly reassured her of his company. He decided to work from home and adjusted his schedules between wifesitting and ministry.

When his wife saw the constriction between wife -sitting and ministry, she suggested, “Why don’t you go ahead with your work, he replied, ”You are my Ministry”.

It was difficult, but my friend welcomed the change. Further, to be productive while being home, he embarked on a plan to learn a new instrument. He said, “The idea was not to master a new instrument, but to be by my wife’s side”. His words wet my eyes to see how he aligned himself to his wife’s condition and need. The best things in life are not things, it is our actions. They carry a power packed message that words and things cannot speak. I am sure; my friend’s wife would have cared less for a vacation in the Himalayas or a diamond ring. Not even a ‘Get well card’ or roses, with a note, ‘I love you’. His presence said it all.

When new into marriage it is different. But as the years pass by, our love must only grow stronger. King Solomon exhorts husbands to rejoice in the wife of one’s youth [Proverbs 5:19] and Prophet Malachi says that one should not neglect the wife of our youth lest God rejects our prayers. These expressions are reminders to husbands in their middle-ages who have long past their honeymoon days of marriage.

God made Adam with an incomprehensible creative power and Adam well employed it to name all the animals God created. However, when it came to dealing with his wife who was conversing with the serpent, he was silent. God’s creativity within Adam waited to be unleashed into the situation, wisely. But, he did not.

The old quote still works wonders, “The best thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother”. The way children treat their mothers depends on how husbands treat their wives. What we honour comes back to us and what we dishonour walks away from us.


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