Three Good Men

 Wherever you find a great man, you will find a great mother or a great wife standing behind him–or so they used to say. It would be interesting to know how many great women have had great fathers and husbands behind them.
Dorothy L. Sayers

agoodman

I recently watched Suffragette at the cinema and despite some negative reviews, I thought that it was an incredibly powerful picture. Whether it was the actions of these brave women that brought about the woman’s vote or not, it cannot be denied that their passionate pursuit inspired women world wide and brought the world’s attention to the despicable way women were once treated. The only criticism I can make of this great film is that it portrayed all men in a very dark light. However, for the sake of poetic licence I understand that this may well have been intended to emphasise the truth…This got me thinking about men and their power and influence and then I began to think about the men in my life and the journey I’ve been on towards freedom.

My Extraordinary Husband

The royal blue sky was filled with fire as the sun set over the beach on our very first date. We walked and talked about God non stop for over 7 hours. As we talked and laughed and watched the stars come out, I knew this beautiful man I had only just met was the man I would marry. The presence of God was so discernible on that amazing day. As romantic and as gushy as it all may sound, this day launched us into such a refining fire. Little did we know that we would be married in 10 months time and our first son born by the end of the following year.

TD Jakes says, No woman wants to be in submission to a man who isn’t in submission to God! This is a sobering truth that I learned the hard way, so when I finally surrendered my heart to God and chose a man saved by grace I knew my choice was a good one. My beautiful husband to be knelt on one knee, with a gorgeous sapphire ring in one trembling hand and an amazing poem in the other, tears escaped his true blue eyes and I knew my answer was a resounding “YES!” Not because he was so besotted with me than he could not live without me, NO.. but because of grace, amazing grace brought him to his knees and he knew that without God he could not do this. His brokenness and honesty and utter dependence on Jesus struck my heart more than anything else; I had fallen in love with a man who loves God! I knew in the deepest part of me that this beautiful blue eyed man with his many gifts and talents and poetic utterance could not fulfil me and he knew it too, and because of this truth I knew heaven cried out in glorious victory at that very moment.

You see I married a man who knows the grace of God; a man who has fought tooth and nail to stand beside me. He is a fiercely faithful and loyal man, a man who when he is feeling completely out of his depth and wanting to flee to the other side of the universe to get way from human beings, get up and sing from the deepest part of his being, with the healing voice of an angel and lead a congregation of broken souls deeper into intimacy with God. I learn so much from my husband Theo, because he isn’t a religious type; he is very real and unpretentious. He relies on God in his brokenness and he doesn’t pretend to have it all together and this is exactly where God wants us to be. He is a man who has held me in my most broken moments and spoken life into my very soul, he has wiped away many tears and even let me scream and completely lose myself from time to time. I don’t think there is a better person to handle my emotions than him; he listens; he gives me words of wisdom and most importantly, he prays.

And now, the thought of blue roses, {he knows 😉 } starry skies, long uninterrupted talks about Jesus, life, love and philosophy are a distant memory as we battle through the nappies, and pass like ships in the sleepless nights. Oh but our time will come, and I’m so thankful for this extraordinary man I have married. Thankful that he chose me and is helping me grow into the woman God made me to be. Thankful for giving me the freedom to be myself by working incredibly hard and taking sole responsibility of our little family, so I can be at home full time and have the freedom to love with the best part of me. To make our home a place of worship, to raise our boys into mighty men. Theo is a gentleman, an amazing daddy, a wonderful husband and I’m proud to be his wife.

smile picMy Awesome Dad

The next blue eyed man I would like to honour is: My awesome Dad. If it wasn’t for this amazing man I would not be here today and I am very grateful to him for rescuing me in my darkest hour. He might say that it was I who rescued him; in fact, it’s probably true to say we rescued each other!

I will never forget the dark day I called him as I lay face down on the floor in a shattered mess. I was borderline suicidal. I needed truth and I needed it fast. If Jesus was the truth then why were we not following him? For fear that I might actually kill myself, my dad pulled himself together and took me back to church. Our first stop was at Jan and Ian’s house; faithful followers of Jesus, (who had prayed faithfully for our return) welcomed us with open arms. Visiting their home was like visiting heaven for the weekend, they are people filled with the warm embrace of Jesus. The prodigal son and his daughter returned and thank God we did!

My Dad gave his heart to Jesus 3 years before I was born. At the age of 21, in his marine uniform he walked to the front of church and knelt before his saviour. A man filled with pride and anger towards God was now on bended knee in a flood of tears in beautiful repentance. Little did he know that in twenty years from then his daughter would walk into that same church and fall on her knees in deep repentance too.

As the years went on my dad fell away from God and had a bit of a mid-life crisis. I will never forget the day he rocked up at my school gates in his cowboy boots, leaning on a walking stick, newly tattooed with skull earrings and reeking of patchouli oil! At the age of 15 I was kind of embarrassed but at the same time looking forward to propping up at the bar and drinking a beer or two with my old man. My dad has always been my mate and we have had the best deep and philosophical discussions in our time, but sadly it always ended in tears and a hangover from hell after a few too many beverages.

BUT Praise God the prodigal son returned! My wonderful Dad experienced amazing grace, and how sweet the sound as father in heaven welcomed him home and threw a party! And why not? Who wouldn’t want Gary Stacey at their party? He is the life and soul! I’m thankful we are now in the colourful days where instead of being thrown out of a pub for outlandish behaviour he is now offending the Pharisee instead! He’s brilliant. He prays, he weeps, he falls to his knees unashamedly and I’m proud to be his daughter.

My dad is a changed man! He is a man truly after God’s own heart, a passionate and kind-hearted gentleman, who always turns up at my door on a regular basis with a heart full of love and a bunch of flowers. His infectious laugh, brilliant conversation and love of God spreads wherever he goes. You see here is another man of integrity who knows the grace of God and I wouldn’t be who I am if it wasn’t for him. My Dad is a bright star, full of fire for his first love, Jesus. He is a great dad, a great friend, and a great man.

Van-Kraay Stacey

My Wonderful Pastor

My Pastor Jack is a man filled with rumbling fire. His mother was an evangelist and I see that fire from her burn in him. His desire to see God’s kingdom come is catching. Another passionate blue-eyed man after God’s own heart! What I love about Jack is that there is no beating around the bush, he is not a procrastinator, he’s an activator. If I am allowed to say this, apathy can wreak havoc with men, but not Jack! I absolutely love his desire to lead and bring people closer to God. There was no better man than to speak such dynamite truth on our wedding day. His words still echo in my mind and when Theo and I have had it tough, I remember him repeatedly say, Jesus is the solution.  At times Theo and I have had to walk on water, and if it wasn’t for the love and support of Jack and his beautiful wife Susan we would not be where we are today.

Much needed growth and healing has taken place in me in the last 9 years of being in my precious church. Trials have come and gone and I know that I can count on Jack to be there when the going gets tough. Him and Susan have been there when I have wept buckets, they have sat beside me as I lay in my hospital bed, they have supported me with love and prayer and they cheer me on through the storms of life. When he has visited our home I always feel like I’ve been closer to Jesus having talked with him. He carries a steady, inexpressible peace, he is a man who has through his own trials in life grown in wisdom, stature and grace. Jack is a great speaker and teacher but most importantly he is a compassionate man with a warm embrace. He shares the burden of his people, he gets alongside them and helps them carry their cross. I’m sure if Jack was living for himself he would be playing golf in bonnie Scotland somewhere but he isn’t living to please himself, he’s living by the heartbeat of father God as he ministers to every soul that come his way, whether it be in Preston or in the far East he brings the good news to a dying world.

As a pastor Jack has come up against some seriously heavy weights but by the amazing grace that both him and Susan carry, those enemies are continually defeated, like dominoes they fall. And if it it wasn’t for Susan behind him, Jack would not be the man he is today. But, I am sure that Susan would also say that she would not be who she is, if it wasn’t for him. Jesus is the rock and when a man trusts in God he takes on this form. Jesus lay down his life for his bride and I see this in my pastor. He is a man of sacrifice and I know the cost is painful. So I honour Jack with my words, because he is a faithful, wise and wonderful man in submission to his saviour. He is a shepherd to his flock and his voice is healing. That Scottish accent is a sweet familiar sound that I am so grateful to Jesus for. He too is a man that fights tooth and nail. He will be there for you at the drop of a hat and I am proud to be his spiritual daughter.

jack

So there you have it. Three good men behind me who hold me up, love me and shape me into the woman I’m made to be. In no way do I believe that these men can be as good as they are without God and his amazing grace. It is only God that is truly good; but like TD Jakes says, when a man is in submission to his great God then he in turn becomes an image of his father. Here are three great men who stand behind their women, giving them freedom and cheering them on and behind them stands the master of the universe, cheering them on to be the champions that they were made to be.

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3 thoughts on “Three Good Men

  1. Incredible, powerful words – as always Abi! What wonderful men & what a joy to read you talk about them, so beautifully x

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