Dale and Shirley Perkins formed the singing group Classic Praise, which is made up mostly of their children and grandchildren. They have traveled America with the American Renewal Project and its Pastors and Pews events since 2005. With their love of the Lord, they have donated their time and musical talents to these events. Classic Praise contributes even more by taking its own vacation days and time off to travel and sing to the Lord as they bring biblical values to the public square.
After 64 years of marriage, Dale's wife, Shirley, passed from this earth for a better home on Dec. 23, 2018. She will be dearly missed. Jesus made a sure-fire promise to believers, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, yet shall he live" (John 11:25b).
My friend Dale Perkins asked me to say a few words at Shirley's funeral on Dec. 28. I have recorded them below:
Solomon advised, "An excellent wife is the crown of her husband."
With Shirley, Dale won big. God provided a beauty. The Hebrew word "excellent" stands for "virtuous and noble." The most prominent adornment on a man is his godly wife. It wasn't Shirley's physical beauty, although she was beautiful, but her steadfast, flint-like character.
Proverbs 12:4 (NKNV) states that "An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, but she who causes shame is like rottenness in his bones."
Being the crown denotes that [Shirley] was her husband's most prominent social adornment and symbolizes her empowering him to rule.
That a wife causing shame is like rottenness in the husband's bones tells us that marriage is no light matter. The wife either makes or breaks a man in his home and in the community.
The proverb likewise assumes that the husband [Dale] is himself pious and prayerful, wise and righteous, kind and generous, sacrificing himself for her good and not self-serving.
Solomon, in Proverbs 31, spoke to Shirley's daughters, daughters-in-law and granddaughters.
In verse 10 (KJV), Solomon asks: "Who can find a virtuous wife? For her price is far above rubies."
Shirley was the role model. Wise daughters and granddaughters should aspire to be like her. To her sons and grandsons: wise men seek to marry her [the virtuous wife].
Shirley was reliable. As verse 11 says, "The heart of her husband safely trust[ed] in her, so that he [had] no lack of gain."
On Friday, Dec. 14, Dale texted me, writing:
"My Beloved is now in Hospice. As of yesterday no communication. David, it's by far the toughest thing I've ever encountered. 64 years of marriage and 3 years dating. The most perfect Lady I've ever known. Not one word of gossip has ever exited her mouth; loved her Saviour without limits; her family was her life next to Jesus; totally unselfish with others always first! Don't know how I'm gonna make it without my precious one!!"
As it says in verse 12, Shirley did "him good and not evil all the days of her life."
Her commitment to Dale's well-being [was] true, not false; constant, not temperamental; reliable, not fickle and [my, was she wise and] discerning.
Shirley Perkins is here no longer. She's gone, and to us, King David gave the precept, '[But now she is dead], I shall go to [her], but [she] shall not return to me.' (2 Sam.12:23).
A few friends sent their condolences to Dale:
Dale and Shirley are choice servants of the kingdom, and it tears at my heart that they have been temporarily separated by Shirley's death. I love this couple and am comforted that they will be together again. Dale has no enemies, only friends, and we all join together to surround him with our love and prayers." —Mike Huckabee
I came to know Shirley and Dale through their family music ministry, and through our trip together to the Holy Land of Israel. I will always remember them leading our group in song, their voices leading us in "How Great Thou Art." Shirley was a woman of God, and she is no doubt home with her Lord now. I offer my prayers for Dale and their family in this difficult time. —Senator Rand Paul
"Jesus promised, 'In my Father's house are many mansions, if it were not so, I would have told you. I have prepared a place for you. [I will keep my Word]]'" (John 14:2).
We will see Shirley again, but not in this lifetime. But to her husband of 64 years—Dale Perkins—because of Jesus, she will meet you at the eastern gate. What a wonderful Savior."
Watch "We Exalt Your Name" by Kari Jobe.
Gideons and Rahabs need to stand.
David Lane is the founder of American Renewal Project.
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