Last evening I sat across the table from a preacher friend at Bearfork Bluegrass. As he waited for his hotdog to cool down we talked about love and life. Eighty three years old and he just lost the love of his life last fall; I’ve met few people in my lifetime who loved their spouse the way he does. Alzheimer’s took her to meet Jesus, but he travels on alone down here, and while he does he’s learning to play banjo! That’s right, 83 and taking beginner banjo lessons, I love this man’s enthusiasm for living and I love his passion for living out the gospel.
I heard it once said that marriage is not so much the Love boat as it is a battleship. That’s a true story. I haven’t had 35 years of wedded bliss, I’ve loved David for 35 years, but he, nor I have always liked the other. I’m just being real. So why did we stay married? Because when I married him I committed my love to him till death do us part; somedays I thought one of us might kill the other and death would happen, but the next day was better and so it’s been our story. Life’s not always easy…
In today’s society marriage is like a car purchase and the commitments about as long. Before they’ve invested any money into the principal payment, they’re cruising the showroom for a new model, and usually one with a higher payment. Mine’s a 1980 model with a lot of miles. The paint job needs touched up and the gasoline in my tank is now a half dozen different vitamins and a few Tylenol each day, that’s what I run on! But I’m blessed.
The preacher reminded me of that last night when he discussed his counseling method for couples desiring his marrying officiation. He told me he required four sessions before he’d agree to conduct the ceremony. One each for the bedroom, living room, dining room and kitchen. That’ll preach! I told him, he said it did. He also began his sessions with the scripture in John 2:1-11
And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there: And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage. And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come. His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it. And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece. Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim. And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it. When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom, And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now. This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him.
Three things hold true on why my marriage has survived.
1. Jesus was invited into the Marriage
Although Jesus was a late invitation into mine, He was still invited into my marriage. How much wiser had it have been if He had been an invited guest at the wedding? But having a Christian foundation from my childhood and two parents who lived out the Christian marriage before me, I held onto what I’d been taught until Christ became a guiding factor in my own life. Once Christ was invited in I realized that we are all sinners saved by grace, and grace is what we afford those we love. Praise God it’s been afforded to me many times down through the years.
2. I Celebrate servitude
When Jesus changed the water into wine only the servants knew the truth. Everyone else drank of the result. I love being a wife. I love cooking dinner and doing laundry and sweeping the floor dozens of times a day from muddy work boots and such. (Said no woman ever) But I do love serving my husband, and if that’s the things I need to do to make his life better, then I’ll gladly do it. Thirty five years have taught me to appreciate the things David does. He provides for our family, he works hard and he has a servant’s heart for volunteerism. We both love serving people. It took me a while to learn that an attitude of servitude is what makes a happy home, but it’s truth.
3. I Listen to Jesus
Marriage didn’t come with a manual but it did come with a book, the Bible. As I read and studied the scriptures the very things I needed for the very day I needed it was there. David and I may not have always shared love letters, but Jesus and I did. His word reminds me every day of how much He loves me. Jesus never brought up my past, He only spoke of this day and the future. And that’s how I’ve loved David. I love him today and look forward to the future. I reminisce on the goodness of the past, but I bury the hard bad times like Christ buried my sins. Oh sure, Satan tries to bring them up, but I plant a flower in that ground, say “rest in peace” and move on!
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