For the next 16 days, I’m taking a break from Worship Matters. I have a number of quotes on worship scheduled to post automatically, but I won’t be doing anything real time. The reason is the woman who’s pictured here.
This is a picture of Julie, taken at the recent WorshipGod06 conference. Thirty years ago, on August 28, she agreed to be my lawfully wedded wife for the rest of her days. If you knew me back then, you’d understand what a miracle that was.
I’m taking Julie to France, Wales, and England from Aug. 26-Sept. 11 to celebrate 30 years of God’s kindness to us. We’ll be staying for a week in a house in Provence that some kind friends graciously loaned to us. Then we’ll be with the Sovereign Grace church in Newport, Wales and our good friends, Pete and Jenn Greasley. After a few days exploring the Cotswolds we’ll end the trip with Penge Family Church, a New Frontiers church. I’ll be doing a Saturday seminar there and speaking at the church on Sunday, Sept. 10. We fly home, Lord willing, the next day.
What I wanted to communicate in this post is my gratefulness to God for my bride. God has used her in countless ways to make me more like the Savior we worship. Everything about my life has been made richer because of her love, support, care, correction, example, counsel, and friendship. God tells me to love my wife as Christ loves the church. I fall woefully short of that standard, but by God’s grace I want to spend the rest of my life pursuing that goal, trying to convince her she’s the most cherished woman on the planet.
If you knew Julie, I’m sure you’d love her. She is a woman of prodigious gifts. She was a state champion equestrian growing up, but left it behind to marry me. She has birthed, raised, and homeschooled our six children (only six more years to go…). She’s an amazing decorator, and designed, painted, and hung the decorations for the WorshipGod06 conference. A few years ago she designed this “room within a room” for my son’s wedding reception.
Julie typifies the Proverbs 31 woman. She has recovered almost every piece of furniture in our house, as well as painted every room – numerous times. She can spot a bargain a mile away and is an impressive negotiator. A few years ago, she designed and built the deck on the back of our house. (I did lay the footers and main beams. I’m not totally worthless.) She has built bookshelves and cabinets in our home and plants a vegetable garden every summer. Her cooking is brilliant, and she excels at making our home a place of rest. Did I mention that she’s one of the best sound engineers at our church?
Those are just the obvious things. She possesses uncanny discernment and often asks a question that clarifies a confusing situation or opens up a closed heart. She is a fountain of wisdom and close friend to our four daughters and two daughters-in-law. She is eager to learn from those around her and has become quick to humbly acknowledge her faults and sins. I’ve learned much about generosity and thoughtfulness by noticing how she always wants to give nicer gifts than I do. Her heart for hospitality seems endless. During the recent WorshipGod06 conference we talked to a couple until 1 AM Wednesday night, had the Getty’s over for dinner Thursday night, hosted a group after the main session on Thursday, had Bruce Ware over for dinner on Saturday night, and guests for lunch on Sunday. And she did all this with skill, peace,and joy.
But by far, what I treasure most about Julie is her uninhibited, contagious, ever growing passion for our Savior. She meets with God each morning in His Word and desires her life to honor Him. She has encouraged me countless times to greater faith, trust, and joy in God. Ps. 34:5 says, “Those who look to him are radiant; and their faces shall never be ashamed.” As the picture beginning this post shows, Julie is radiant.
She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.” (Prov. 31:27-29)
It’s my intention to bring glory to God by praising my wife. I’m well aware that God is the ultimate source of every joy and blessing. But after the immeasurably precious gift of salvation, God’s greatest gift to me is Julie.
I just wanted to take this joyful occasion of our 30th anniversary to explain why.
beautiful! congratulations and enjoy your anniversary trip :)
Bob, Enjoy your vacation. God is so good and gracious to give us wives who love us so unconditionally. Thanks for your blog which so deeply encourages me in my music ministry. In Him, Paul
Congratulations!! Thanks for being an example by honoring your wife for God’s glory.
My heart was greatly encouraged while reading! Also they say that a picture is worth a thousand words and that first picture communicated to me “The Soul-Satisfying Supremacy of Christ in all things for the joy of all peoples.”
“In your presence is fullness of joy and at your right hand are pleasures forever.” Psalm 16:11
Thanks for giving me the opportunity to think about that because of your sharing.
Dear Bob and Julie –
I hope the comments section of this blog is an appropriate place to convey our deepest gratitude for your overwhelming generosity with yourselves and your gifts and talents. The grace of God that overflows from your lives into others is overwhelming, humbling, and inspiring, and points clearly to the source from which it comes – the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.
We consider ourselves so very blessed and privileged to have had time with you until 1 a.m. Wednesday night!! You (two!) responded to our inquiries with overwhelming generosity and grace.
Our prayers for a delightful trip and joyous celebration go with you!! (And we’ll be in touch when you return.)
Delighting in our Savior with you,
Grateful beneficiaries of His grace to us through you
May God bless you both with a time of renewed love and passion for one another!
Bob – congratulations to you and Julie. Have a wonderful time in Europe.
Alan and Pauline.
BOB AND JULIE….
HAVE A WONDERFILLED TIME IN EUROPE….
MY GOD FILL YOUR DAYS WITH SUNSHINE AND ADVENTURES TO SHARE….
LOVE YOU GUYS…….
ROG AND MARILYN
Thanks for sharing this awesome example of someone who is very blessed with showing God’s glory!
Have a great time!
I hope you both have a fabulous time in Europe!! I will be praying for you all and your family here!!
I just wanted to say I was deeply moved by your wonderful tribute to your wife. Thank you for taking the time to publicly extol such a beautiful lady.
We will be praying for a glorious time! We love you guys! Happy Anniversary!
Bill and Gisele
Thank you for the beautiful testimony. It is an honor to be lead in the truth. How exciting it is to witness God’s glory. May your passion for Christ be seen wherever you go!
This is my first visit to your blog. This post is quite touching. Praise God for such a loving husband and wife!
Congrats! May the Lord bless you.
Thanks for the convicting example.
CONGRATULATIONS!!!! But, now, I have a TOTALLY side-bar question… What sort of camera did you use for that shot? It is such a great photo – so clear, so crisp – is that a digital? And, if so, may I ask the model and ballpark price? Okay, back to the party – you have reached a GREAT milestone that many today (including Christians) won’t face… well done!
Bob and Julie,
We can’t thank you enough for the effect you have had on our marriage! May your romance continue to grow every year. Enjoy your anniversary together.
Jon and Lory
happy anniversary! i will add my voice of gratitude for your wife and you Bob. i would not have such a wonderful wife myself if not for the way in which the two of you so faithfully raised your daughter! Julie’s relentless pursuit in training, teaching, and correcting Megan gave me a wife who is in many ways just like her, passionately following the Savior. Bob thanks for you excellent example and picture of how Christ loves his church and gave himself up for it. i can not think of a better earthly example than yours, even if you think you fall woefully short… i’m still gonna be following your example!
ps. ummm as i recall there was someone there to help you with the footers and main beams of that deck… i’ll just throw that out there in response to this statement: “I’m not totally worthless”
you are the best father-in-law ever!
What a wonderful post! As a 16 year old young woman, this has greatly blessed me. I seek to be a Proverbs 31 woman, and Julie is such a great example. I pray that I can be such a blessing to my future husband aswell.
Would you mind if I post part of this post on my blog? It would be a post for girls and a great example of a Godly woman.
Dad, thank you so much for loving mom the way you do! And I also agree 110% with what you’ve said in this post. I feel unbelievably privileged and undeserving to have such a God-glorifying mom and best friend! Mom, as I begin my Senior year, I am so grateful to God for your investment into my life all these years, and I can’t wait till I marry the man I was designed to serve so that I can hopefully live out half of the example you have set for me.
I miss both of you SO much and I hope you’re having the time of your lives!!! I love you!
Thanks for your encouragement, and please feel free to use whatever you’d like from this post to promote godly womanhood.
How precious! :) Happy Belated Anniversary to you and your wife! Hope you two are having a fantastic & memorable time in Europe! May the Lord richly bless you both as you continue to faithfully serve Him and be committed to each other.
I would like to thank you also for your article, “Blogging to Worship God.” It’s wonderful and insightful! My main purpose of blogging is to be salt & light for the Lord and to point people to Jesus.
By the way, we also homeschool our kids (13, 7, 4). Homeschooling is one of the best decisions we’ve ever made.
A sister in Christ
I hope you and Julie had a wonderful time on your vacation. I wanted to say that I and my friends were usually sitting near Julie at the Worship God ’06 conference, and it was a blessing to see how totally given to worship she is – which is wonderful considering all the details of the week that COULD have been a distraction to her. (I was the blond head right behind her hands in the photo!)
God has surely been good to you both!
Wow! Bob, thank you for sharing this story about your wife (even from 3 and a half years ago). It encourages me to see how wonderful and humble and able a woman can get when her life has been surrendered to Christ, and when she loves Jesus. I am a new Christian in comparison, and my faith seems so much smaller when I see how others like Julie, your wife, lives her life so fully and humbly and sacrificially.
Catherine (Toronto, Canada)