Friends First in Marriage
by Drenda Keesee
It may sound silly, but when I think of marriage, the old Dudley Do-Right cartoons pop in my head. Dudley Do-Right is portrayed as a good-doing airhead who is always tricked by his arch nemesis, Snidely Whiplash. In each episode Dudley Do-Right’s girlfriend, Nell, is captured by Snidely Whiplash and tied to the train tracks. She turns on her damsel-in-distress- imitation, yelling, “Oh, save me! Save me!” Of course, Dudley comes riding in on his horse to the rescue and eventually succeeds in saving Nell. And after she’s saved, who does Nell thank? Dudley Do-Right’s horse! This is a funny perspective on the way couples interact.
Husbands are trying to be the…
…hero of the family by working to provide for the family’s needs. And still, many wives don’t recognize their husband as a hero, and they misplace their affection. Instead of praising the husband who is providing, many wives praise the horse. They praise their husband’s job, or his boss, or even his money, but they fail to recognize that their husband is the one who is working to care for his family. He’s the hero.
But when it comes to the downfall of marriages, there’s a lot of blame to be handed out to all parties. For instance, we have a man problem in America. From generations before us that dropped the ball, we now have a large group of next generation men still living in their parents’ basements, afraid of responsibility. Perhaps that partially stems from the attitude depicted in the Dudley Do-Right cartoons, where Dudley is made out to be stupid and ignorant.
A great deal of the problems with men giving up on their destinies starts with the lack of respect they are given in the culture, and yes, from women. During the feminist movement, when men lost their place as the leaders in the workplace, women adopted the mindset, “Anything you can do, I can do better.” Women started tearing down men and trying to elevate themselves instead. Along with that mentality, the culture created the persona that men were naive and ignorant. The media still has an anti-male movement, which is strategic and dangerous to the family system. Satan does not want men rising up and leading their families.
A house divided cannot stand. Above everything else, Gary and I are friends. We have learned how to love each other, to meet each other’s needs, but we are friends first. It started that way and keeps growing deeper as we walk through new seasons together, hand-in-hand and heart-to-heart. We don’t always agree on everything, we don’t always do what we should, but we each know that we are committed to always being there for each other.
ps…Are you looking for a good church? Be sure and listen on Saturday evening or catch the 3 services on Sunday for Faith Life Church!
Drenda Keesee’s contagious zeal and humorous personal experiences help make her ministry of spiritual, emotional, and relational wholeness one that will bless your life and spark a new fire in your spirit.
A wife of over 30 years and a mother of five children, Drenda has ministered at churches, seminars, and conferences, and through the mediums of television and radio, for more than 20 years.
Her books, The New Vintage Family, Better Than You Think, and She Gets It are available wherever books are sold. In these heartfelt books, Drenda shares her personal journey and the life lessons that have brought her to where she is today, as well as practical answers that all people need to live a joyful life.
Drenda and her husband Gary founded Faith Life Now, a ministry designed to spread the message of freedom in the areas of finances, faith, marriage, and family. Tune in for their weekly messages here. Faith Life Now hosts conferences worldwide and sponsors both Fixing the Money Thing, which Drenda co-hosts with her husband Gary and Drenda.
Through their own life experiences, the Keesee’s have found the principles from God’s Word to be powerful and effective. At one point, Drenda was a young, suicidal feminist with no hope of ever being “good enough” for her own standards of perfection. She never wanted the “inconvenience” of a husband or children, and she was on her own path to success. But the stress of trying to achieve perfection and perform for love left her broken and used. She had success, but it was nothing compared to the pain and loneliness it had also brought.
That’s when God got a hold of her heart. It was there—at her lowest point—that she found the One who accepted and loved her, faults and all. Since that transformation, Drenda has had a passion to reach women who find themselves where she once was.
She married Gary after attending college, and there she found herself in a personal boot camp of sorts. She says, “I cried and told God, ‘I can do anything but be a wife and mother.’” She committed to learning how to do it God’s way. Through the many years of raising their children and struggling to make ends meet, Drenda learned from their mistakes. “I didn’t know how to be a wife and mother, but God saved our marriage, taught us how to parent our children for success, showed us how to have financial success, and then the irony of all ironies, He called us to ministry.” It’s truly because of these life experiences that Drenda can now share so many insightful principles for people who are now going through the same struggles.