Former Celtics point guard Bob Cousy (one of the three greatest Celtics ever, with Bill Russell and Larry Bird) recently lost his wife, Missie. The Worcester Telegram, one of a thousand city or small-town newspapers out there doing great work, just did a profile of Cousy. Portrait of a husband in grief, it could be called. If you read it, two things will happen: 1) you will cry, and 2) you will be inspired to do your part to strengthen the embattled institution of marriage.
Here’s a brief section from the article that shows how Cousy never abandoned Missie, but lovingly cared for her:
Missie’s cognitive decline was gradual and began a dozen years ago, Cousy said. She would ask him the same question, over and over. She hallucinated, grew disoriented and struggled with balance. But she always knew her husband, and she bristled at any suggestion that she suffered from dementia.
So Cousy worked hard to create the perception that his once-independent wife was vital and healthy. Because she believed she could still drive, he shipped her station wagon to their place in Florida each winter so she could see it in the driveway. Artificial red flowers were planted in her garden. He did all the household chores and let her think she performed them herself.
I’m not sure where Cousy is in terms of spirituality; I pray he knows Christ. But I do know this–he’s given us a common-grace picture of what the Scripture calls every husband to be: Christlike, by which we mean self-sacrificial. In a world where too many basketball players and husbands leave their wives, and abandon their children, we are called to a higher standard, to the standard of Jesus Christ himself, as Paul says:
Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. (Ephesians 5:25-28)
May it be so for you, and for me, today.
(HT: my buddy Adam Embry, a Celtics fan and a godly husband)