A Godly Woman

Robert F. Turner
Burnet, Texas

(Editor's Note: When I heard that brother and sister Turner were to have their fiftieth wedding anniversary, I contacted brother Pickup to write the tribute on the opposite page. Their daughter, Mrs. M. W. Semmelmann (5919 Rimkus, San Antonio, TX 78238) sent me the picture of brother and sister Turner on their wedding day. She enclosed this article with the suggestion that it be printed in the same issue. I join with her in commending it to our readers. Most preachers' wives are like sister Turner, quietly making an impact for good in the various congregations with which they work.)

A Godly Woman

My wife loves me more than I love her. I can no longer deny it. Her capacity for loving is so much greater than mine. If there is one selfish bone in her body our 30 years together have not revealed it - and the capacity to love is directly related to the ability to live above self.

Vivian's love will not be denied. It is not smothering - possessing - but its genuine warmth lays hold on me. She is aware of her power to bind me, but not once - not once has she so much as threatened me with this scepter. Her love is there, just there: and it has been there almost from the day we met; and I can no more deny its presence or influence than I can deny the sun, and my need for it.

She is the most beautiful woman in the world. Others have the form; are chic, witty, striking, sexy - and my wife easily complements my earthly tabernacle - but her adornment is that of a meek and quiet spirit. It is "godliness" - and no other word so honestly describes it. I recognized these characteristics in her when we were first married, but the impression has strengthened as we have grown older together. Now, I can not read 1 Tim. 2:9f and 1 Pet. 3:3f without thinking of Vivian.

She is not a jealous woman; and my faith in her borders on complacency. Ours is a mutual trust that lives above suspicion; and Vivian inspired that confidence. If my eye strays, my heart reproves. It is a guard that God gave me. Vivian tempered and gave it edge - without the sound of rasp or stone - and I am eternally grateful for its protection.

King Lemuel wrote of a "worthy" or "virtuous" woman (Prov. 31) as being industrious: buying fields, planting vineyards, and weaving cloth for sale. My wife worked hard to help finance some of my schooling, but as soon as my income could sustain us she gave full time to the children, and to a woman's work for the Lord. The sick know her touch, the homeless her hospitality. For years she taught "Stories About Jesus" to a class of children, and I still ask her to jog my memory on details.

But her greatest work has always been her quiet influence for good on all who knew her. She is not a "talker" (I never give her a chance) but she is a "doer." She doesn't write articles, organize "benefits"; she is not the "life of the party." But folks who open their door to her are just a little bit better when she leaves. I baptize the neighbors - that Vivian taught. God knows, and even I suspect, that many homes have accepted Robert F. because Vivian was by his side.

Vivian is modest in every sense of the word - but she is not prudish. In good taste, and with the utmost respect for the offender, she pleads by word and example for clean habits, appropriate dress, Christ-like living.

This is not an obituary. My wife is not even sick. This is a sermon on "A Godly Woman. " It will embarrass Vivian (and that will hurt me); but she lives a better sermon than the great R. F. T. will ever write.

Guardian of Truth XXX: 22, p. 688
November 20, 1986