“Ain’t No Woman Like The One I’ve Got” (Our 34th Wedding Anniversary Today!)

(Preface: I heard some good words from the speaker at the mosque I visited on Friday – the first day of Ramadan. Amongst other things, he spoke on the importance of being faithful to your wife in times of temptation. This blog is in appreciation for my wife and – by the grace of God – our 34 years of faithfulness to one another.)

I still remember the first time I saw her.

It was the beginning of a new year at our university – 1975.

She was standing in a line in a blue dress waiting to get a phone for her room in the women’s dorm. I was stunned by her beauty and even commented about it to a friend standing with me in a separate line for the guy’s dorm!

A few days later was the first day of classes. I got there early, sat my notebook on a desk, and left the room for a few minutes. When I came back in, there she was again. . .the girl in the line. . the one in the blue dress. And of all places in the room, she was sitting next to where I had sat down my notebook!

For the next few months, I watched that girl. I never talked to her that much that I remember, I just watched her. I wanted to know what kind of person she was:

Did she love God? Was he humble? Was she kind? Was she morally pure?

In short, was she as beautiful on the inside as the outside?

Time confirmed it. She truly was.

I finally worked up the nerve to talk to her and later ask her on a date. She said “yes”! We dated off and on (long story) for a few years and kept our commitment to the Lord to keep our relationship pure in a world of immorality. I won’t bore you with all the details of what happened in our early years but on July 22nd, 1978 – 34 years ago today – that girl and I got married.

By the goodness of God and through prayer, we have stayed married.

Can I give a little advice to you men out there from King Solomon (Sulaiman for my Muslim readers)? As I wrote in an earlier post, at one time in his life King Solomon actually had 700 wives and 300 concubines (see 1 Kings 11:1-7 in the Bible). But listen to what he said after having all those women (Proverbs 5:18):

“. . .rejoice in the wife of your youth.”

Men, commitment to your wife is one of the greatest things you can ever accomplish in your short time on earth. Making her feel loved, protected, honored, and special. For better, for worse. For richer, for poorer. In sickness and in health. When you’re young and when you’re old. Forsaking all others. Keeping your vows. . .till death do you part.

A life-time commitment.

We would both say that it hasn’t been easy. We would both say that we have sometimes wondered why God brought us together because we are such different people. And to my shame, I admit that I often failed miserably to love my wife properly through the years and have had to repent to God and to her for the pain I caused by my self-centeredness and controlling nature. I continually pray now that I will learn how to love like Jesus loved. It is a lesson I will be learning the rest of my life. It is a lesson I want to learn.

I close this post by saying,

Thank you, MJ, for marrying me 34 years ago today.

I am still stunned by your beauty – inside and out.

Ain’t no woman like the one I’ve got.”

(Postscript: even though I grew up in Kansas – a few hundred miles away from any African-Americans – I loved the powerful soul music of “Motown” from Detroit, Michigan. One such song was by one of my favorite all time singing groups known as “The Four Tops.” If you want to watch them singing (actually, lip syncing) the title of this blog post, click below on the video from a show called “Soul Train” way back in about 1973. You will probably laugh at the clothes, hairstyles, and dancing, but I hope you will listen to the words and enjoy the music!)

Four Tops – Ain’t No Woman (Like The One I Got) Lyrics
Songwriters: Dennis Earle Lambert and Brian Potter

Ain’t no woman like the one I’ve got.
Ain’t no woman like the one I’ve got.
Ain’t no woman like the one I’ve got.

Every day the sun comes up around her.
She can make the birds sing harmony.
Every drop of rain is glad it found her.
Heaven must have made her just for me.
When she smiles so warm and tender,
A sight for sore eyes to see.

Oooh, ain’t no woman like the one I’ve got.
(Oh, no, they don’t come better.)
To make her happy doesn’t take a lot.
(She don’t ask for things, no diamond rings.)
So together, like a hand in glove.
(Like pages in a letter.)
Ain’t no woman like the one I love.

She can fill me up when it’s down I’m going.
Put a little music in my day.
Wouldn’t be surprised if my love keeps growing.
Bigger every minute that she stays away.
I would kiss the ground she walks on,
Cause it’s my word, my word she’ll obey, now.

Ain’t no woman like the one I’ve got.
(Well, I kiss the ground she walks on.)
To make her happy doesn’t take a lot.
(She’s a real good friend right to the end.)
So together like a hand in glove.
(I’m a lonely man when she’s gone.)
People, ain’t no woman like the one I love.

Oooh. What a good, good thing I’ve got.
She means to me a lot.
Ain’t no woman like the one I’ve got.

39 thoughts on ““Ain’t No Woman Like The One I’ve Got” (Our 34th Wedding Anniversary Today!)

  1. WOW! I loved this story.. really fascinating.
    I wish both of you a happy anniversary, and pray you will spend the rest of your lives together in love and peace.

    • Omar,

      So kind of you to respond. I always treasure seeing your comments.

      Thanks for the well wishes and prayers!

      • Lovely story!! My wife and I met almost 65 years ago (at school) and will celebrate 61 years of marriage this month. Had 6 children, 21 grandchildren (one in heaven) and now 3 gt-grand kids……Said in a wedding sermon many years ago that if I could have worldly wish I would not hesitate to ask that all my children would have solid marriages…..thus far we have been so blessed!!

        • Brother, it sounds like you have an incredible story of faithfulness to one another and God’s faithfulness to the both of you. God is good – all the time!

    • I am headed to an anniversary celebration with my husband of 39 years. I can say he is my best friend, a constant encourager to be a woman of God and to use the gifts, talents, skills the Lord God has put within me. He is kind and gentle yet strong and sure.
      I agree with Mark that many have been the times that we both have had to confess our sins to each other and ask for forgiveness.
      I can honestly say that I have never met another man that seems like someone else that I would want to have as my husband. They just don’t measure up.

      In my wedding band, my husband had engraved these words from David, “Oh magnify the LORD with me; let us exalt His name together.” That is the theme, the purpose of our marriage.

      May we have many more years together!

      • Anonymous,

        This is a wonderful message about your marriage commitment. May your marriage bring great glory to God in the years to come!

  2. I’ve just been married 9 years this summer, but I really appreciate what you said. For better or worse, richer or poorer, health & sickness, we are rivetted by a covenant.

    I like to use the illustration of an I-Beam, (shaped like an H). When stood on end, it can bear a lot of weight and endure a lot of strain, vertically, but most of the strain is horizontally. when we link two verticle I-Beams (like an H) it required multiple rivets to hold the beams together so that they do not sheer apart. Basic engineering, but structurally, the bond created by those rivets is crucial to holding the integrity of the structure. Likewise, the strength of the covenantal commitment between two people makes a huge difference in whether or not the structure of the “house” of marriage stands or falls under the strain of time. God doesn’t put a lot of weight on marriage, but we strain each other. Better to rest under His grace and support each other in love, eh?

    May you have many more years together.

    • Thanks, Mert! I am not an engineer but I know marriage receives a lot of pressure from many sources: our sinfulness, Satan who always wants to divide or destroy every marriage, life’s difficulties and tragedies, etc.

      But I think the subtitle of the book, Sacred Marriage, says it all:

      “What If God Designed Marriage To Make Us Holy More Than To Make Us Happy?”

      I believe that every difficulty in marriage is either specifically designed (or at least allowed) by God to make us more like Jesus in our character.

  3. I cannot believe it has been that long!! My goodness, I knew you in your youth and Mark you are so right in saying “Ain’t no woman like the one I got” because you have a true gem, a pearl in fact. I wish both of you many many more years together with God’s blessings! Love you both and what you have been in my life!!

    • Paula, thanks so much for your kind words. Yes, MJ is a true gem! I am the lucky one!

      Proverbs 18:22
      He who finds a wife finds what is good
      and receives favor from the Lord.

  4. Happy Anniversary to the best possible neighbors anyone could ever have! You folks have always been here for us over the years, especially during some very difficult and trying times. Hope you realize just how much you have meant to us and how much we have appreciated your friendship . Enjoy a special anniversary, Barry & Betsy

    • Barry, we feel the same way about you guys! You are special, precious people who model endurance for us in the storms and trials of life. James 1:2-4

    • Bro Ron,

      If we are amazing, it is God. He has pulled us through. Without Him, we shudder to think where our marriage would be!

  5. Over the years the two of you have been a wonderful example of how a couple should love each other. I think we have followed your example pretty closely & are coming up on our 33rd anniversary. And I’ve got to say this, “Mary Jane may be my sister-in-law legally … but she’s the sister of my heart.” There truly ain’t no woman like the one you’ve got.

    And like the two of you, we are in it to WIN IT!!!!!!!

    Li

  6. Happy Anniversary! I, too, loved that story. MaryJane has always been beautiful inside & put. I do believe you both found a keeper. The best is yet to come! Dale & I celebrated 42 yrs of marriage on July 18th. It just gets sweeter & more precious.

    Dale & I have a song, “Young Girl” by Gary Pucket & the Union Gap. Dale robbed the cradle 😉

    Hope to see you soon.

    • Brenda, congratulations to you on 42 years of marriage! Wow, you have persevered. I think anyone who is honest would say that a long and good marriage took a lot of perseverance and hard, hard work. Putting 2 imperfect people together will create some sparks – and not always the romantic kind!

  7. Thank you for a beautiful tribute to marraige!

    It is also a tribute to the way God made us, and a charming picture of how His plan has worked and is working in your own lives.

    Soli deo gloria!

    • 34 years! How wonderful! Sorry I didn’t see this earlier, but catching up on e-mails I wanted to spend some time on. You guys always have great things to say and I always come away encouraged and inspired!

      • Tom, thanks for your super kind words. If you are encouraged and inspired, it must be God working through me. All glory and honor to Him alone!

    • Beulah, you and others set an example for us in your faithfulness to one another over so many years of marriage. It is totally a tribute to God! “Soli deo gloria” indeed!

  8. Hey Mark,
    Great post! It is so wonderful to hear of faithfulness! My hubby did a lot of her communicating to me through songs and the 4 Tops was one of those groups. We even got to see them in Denver a few years back.

    You are so right when you mention the importance of making ones wife ” feel loved, protected, honored, and special”. It’ll keep a woman in love with that man for the rest of his life!!

    Thanks for sharing!
    Ann

    • Ann, faithfulness is God’s calling to every married couple. Glad to hear of the joys of your marriage and may it shine to those who don’t believe as an expression/example of God’s love.

  9. Hi Mark, congratulations! You and your wife are inspiring to me! And you are a great team for Jesus. This is a great testimony to the grace of Christ and the power of biblical truth. You are a good portrait of Ephesians chapter 5.

    • Scott, we receive your congratulations with appreciation and humility. Without the grace of God and the prayers of others, we wonder how our marriage would have made it. God saw us through difficult times. He was so incredibly faithful to keep us together in the palm of His hand. So. . .we take no pride in our 34 years of staying together – just thankfulness and humility before a great and faithful God.

  10. Congratulations on your 34th anniversary! Both of you are a beautiful picture of God’s great grace and love! Thanks for sharing your story and encouraging others to honor the Lord in their marriages. My husband often reminds people that God is for marriage…it was His idea in the beginning and when He is in the middle of a relationship between husband and wife, it’s a wonderful adventure! We’ve been married 28 years and can testify to that, along with you!! His blessings to you both for the next 34!

    • Thank you, Robin. You and Mark are examples to us!

      The world is watching us. Let’s run the race with faithfulness to the end.

  11. I came across this as I posted a question-what to do when you are married 34 years, cannot stand each other, yet are still together? and this came up…not exactly what I was looking for.

    tomorrow will be 34 years and I am dreading it….

    I was diagnosed with congestive heart failure in jan 09. in jan 09 (right after my diagnosis) he ‘found’ /she ‘found’ each other on fb. 40 years ago they met as teenagers. he carried on an ’emotional affair ‘ for 3 plus years.

    we have started counseling, but it’s not good-he says he wants to stay together …I am sometimes depressed and mad.

    when he signs love now and forever it is just ‘how he signs cards’ i should know that by now and he means nothing by it. so, in trying to justify everything he has written or discussed with her, he has also told me that love now and forever on cards means nothing, as does anything else he says.

    i want out-i hate being here with him.

    he wants to stay together….why? we were up to 3:30am fightig-i slept on the floor from @4am-8:30am he is still in bed sleeping.

    i have heard when life is more unbearable than death, why be here? I don’t want to be here. i don’t know what to do today or tomorrow.

    he will get up @ noon and we will fight again and same thing on sunday.

    i wish i knew what to do.

    thank you- sorry not all anniversaries are great

    i might add, he has no interest in me either. that stopped in 2007. we are not that old yet- I am 49, he is 51.

    yet my life has been over for several years now.

    • Tuffy,

      While this is definitely not a blog about marriage issues, I believe you did not find it by accident. A powerful and loving God pointed you to it to encourage you not to give up.

      As a Christian, I would like to encourage you to do a few things: go find a church where you can hear about the unconditional love of God. Grab hold of a Bible and read of Jesus love for you in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.

      See in the Bible how Jesus treated women with complete respect and dignity.

      See what he did for you at the end of his life.

      Ask him to save you from your sins and heal your marriage.

      If your marriage does fail, you would still have someone who will never leave you (Hebrews 13:5 in the Bible) and will love you perfectly – something no man on the face of the earth can ever do.

      My wife recommended that you call a wonderful group called Focus on the Family to speak to with a Family Care Specialist (800) A-FAMILY (232-6459) Mon-Fri 6am to 8pm MT. Their webpage is http://www.focusonthefamily.com/marriage.aspx.

      I will not be advising you further or answering any comments – not because I don’t care – but because of my commitment to not be entangled in issues belonging to women other than my wife.

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