June 4, 2018
This week my husband Doug and I celebrate our anniversary. Forty-four years of marriage, not always easy but definitely filled with wonderful moments and made stronger by the hardest times we have experienced.
Marriage is a difficult topic in our time, so often entered into without mature decision making, so often exited – sometimes for very good reasons like abuse or infidelity and sometimes because people don’t get the concept of “for better or worse”
We still have our wedding gift from my parents hanging on our bedroom wall: a cross with wedding rings in front of it. It fits with our priest’s comment that Christian marriage as a sacrament includes not just the couple taking their vows but the Lord Jesus walking with them and blessing their union.
When I wrote in my book Walking at the Speed of Light about truly walking with Jesus, that walk was meant to apply to every aspect of our lives, including relationships. Relationships need enlightenment, need the blessings of commitment and grace, and need Jesus’ example of loving each other as ourselves.
Like so many things in our Christian lives, relationships are not easy – in fact, Jesus’ emphasis on forgiveness stems from the fact that human relationships are subject to human error and therefore demand the presence of forgiveness. But I wonder if relationships like marriage would really be worthwhile for us if they were easy. From the time that Adam and Eve left the garden, they were given challenges which required hard work, struggle, and often suffering to lead to success by God’s definition.
So as I think of friends and relatives, including our children, grandchildren and siblings wishing us a Happy Anniversary, I realize that we’re witnessing God’s joy once more, that joy which extends beyond temporary happiness. I need to remember every day to thank God for Doug and our marriage.