Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | November 8, 2021

A Husband’s Perspective on Building a Successful Christian Marriage, Concluded

It’s Alright to be Different

Several years into our marriage, my wife made an interesting discovery; she discovered personality training as developed by Florence Littauer, she took the training and became a “Certified Personality Trainer.” She had a lot of fun with it and enjoyed considerable success working with churches and professional organizations!

We discovered she is mostly Sanguine with some Choleric, and I’m mostly Melancholic with some Choleric. I found it amusing to note that as a young man, I wanted to be a musician and wound up instead working 36 years as a builder.

Discovering the strengths and weaknesses of those types was a great help to each of us in better understanding the other. Sharing the other’s insights into life was both broadening and helpful! It was liberating to discover we could share and rejoice in being different!

I could wish this sort of information was taught to me as a teenager, it would have eliminated a number of lessons I had to learn the hard way.

What a Husband Must Do

I received a devotional from Jeff Wells that referenced a famous letter from a Civil War soldier to his wife and have copied it below.

A Husband’s Love
In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies.  He who loves his wife loves himself.
Ephesians 5:28

A week before the Civil War’s first Battle of Bull Run, Sullivan Ballou, a major in the Union Army, wrote home to his wife.  He would be killed a week after writing the letter.

Headquarters, Camp Clark
Washington, D.C., July 14, 1861

My Very Dear Wife:

Indications are very strong that we shall move in a few days, perhaps tomorrow.  Lest I should not be able to write you again, I feel impelled to write a few lines, that may fall under your eye when I shall be no more.

I have no misgivings about the cause in which I am engaged, and my courage does not halt or falter. I know how strongly American civilization now leans upon the triumph of government, and how great a debt we owe to those who went before us through the blood and suffering of the Revolution, and I am willing, perfectly willing to lay down all my joys in this life to help maintain this government, and to pay that debt.

Sarah, my love for you is deathless. It seems to bind me with mighty cables, that nothing but Omnipotence can break.  The memories of all the blissful moments I have spent with you come crowding over me, and I feel most deeply grateful to God and you, that I have enjoyed them so long. And how hard it is for me to give them up, and burn to ashes the hopes of future years, when, God willing, we might still have lived and loved together, and seen our boys grow up to honorable manhood around us.

If I do not return, my dear Sarah, never forget how much I love you, nor that, when my last breath escapes me on the battle-field, it will whisper your name.

Forgive my many faults, and the many pains I have caused you. How thoughtless, how foolish I have oftentimes been! How gladly would I wash out with my tears, every little spot upon your happiness, and struggle with all the misfortune of this world, to shield you and my children from harm.

Sarah, do not mourn me dear; think I am gone, and wait for me, for we shall meet again.

As for my little boys, they will grow as I have done, and never know a father’s love and care. Little Willie is too young to remember me long, and my blue-eyed Edgar will keep my frolics with him among the dimmest memories of his childhood. Sarah, I have unlimited confidence in your maternal care, and your development of their characters. Tell my two mothers, I call God’s blessing upon them. O Sarah, I wait for you there! Come to me, and lead thither my children.

 – Sullivan

This kind of love is God’s call to every husband.  Love her.  Love her.  Love her.”

Paul’s famous chapter on love, 1 Corinthians 13, ends with this verse:

13 Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.

In verses 4-7 of chapter 13, love is defined:

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

After 69 years of marriage, I’m convinced the most important thing a husband can do for his wife is to love her and faithfully apply the principles stated in the four verses above to his marriage!


  1. Beautiful post and interesting chart! Thank you for finding that precious letter – that dear soldier couldn’t know his words would live on and move hearts thru the generations.
    Thank you brother, I pray your 70th year will be the best!

    Liked by 1 person

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