We’ve all heard the old saying, “Behind every great man, there is a great woman.” While I certainly never claim to be a great man, I can proclaim I have not had a great woman behind me, but rather, beside me—for 31 years today.
For 3 decades and a year, Robin has been my …
While we are both certainly individuals with our own minds and wills, we have always approached everything about life together. Our “one flesh” is indeed stronger than the two of us alone. That’s why this partnership has worked for so long and keeps working, by God’s grace. Synergy—sum is greater than the parts.
I believe a part of God saying “it’s not good for man to be alone” is He knew in His wisdom we would need the physical, mental, and emotional interaction, aside from the obvious spiritual, to keep us moving forward in life. That is certainly true of me. So many of the right decisions I have made have come solely because of the motivation Robin has provided. God is the Fuel, but she has certainly kept the engine running and the wheels turning.
The way this differs from motivation is literally in the root word: courage. Just because you’re motivated doesn’t mean you’ll have courage. An encourager provides that. No single human source has even come close to providing this for me the way she has. If anyone has ever seen me display courage, on any level, that was most likely brought on by Robin as my encourager.
(I just made up that word.) I don’t know about you, but there is no one I hate disappointing, or screwing up with, more than my wife. Making her happy and satisfied is one of the primary goals and joys of my life. There is an incredible, yet quiet, accountability that has stayed present in my life, kept alive daily by this drive in me to please her. Trust me, that ain’t been nothing but a good thing.
While this word only has sexual connotation in our culture, here I use it as being my primary human source for love. Let’s face it folks—we love ourselves in unhealthy ways and we also hate ourselves, which is always unhealthy. So we must have, and deeply need, a healthy outside source of love—one who will consistently provide the proper perspective and the right place for true love to flow from. Robin has been, and is, that source and place of love for me.
For 31 years, if anyone asks who my best friend is, without hesitation, my answer has always been Robin. From even before marriage, that has been the foundation we built upon. We talk about everything and deal with everything—together—like best friends. When that’s the concrete in your floor, the walls and roof can last a lifetime.
So, doing all I can to live out Ephesians 5, I’ll keep trying to die for her, while she keeps living for me. That’s God design and it works really well when we get it right. And to the great woman standing beside me, I say Happy Anniversary. I love my partner, motivator, encourager, accountabilitator, lover, friend, and my wife. My Robin.
“… and the two of them become like one person. —Genesis 2:24 CEV
Stephen Satterfield September 15, 2015
Robert, Congratulations! 31 years of marriage is quite a feat these days. Been enjoying and growing through your posts. You have a way to stimulate my thinking and growing in faith. Keep up the great work! Blessings, Stephen
Robert Noland September 15, 2015
Thank you so much, Stephen. My hope was to honor my wife and encourage husbands. So grateful these help you grow. It is indeed the only reason I write! -Robert