In a few weeks, Wanda and I will celebrate our 45th wedding anniversary. I’m sure we will have some kind of Covid-inspired, shelter-in-place, socially-distanced festivity to remember that fine moment on the first day of summer in 1975.
Generally speaking, you probably don’t reach 45 years of marriage by accident. There has to be some intentionality. To be sure, we didn’t see the purpose behind many of the decisions we made at the time. At least, not clearly. Looking back, though, some things make a whole lot of sense now.
Here’s one that is as fresh today as it was in the late 70’s. Living south of San Diego, near the U.S. – Mexico border…in a military town…meant growing up in the heart of cultural and economic diversity. It would serve us well as we got older, married, and moved away.
In our earliest years of marriage, we stumbled through a learning curve in both our personal lives, as well as our partnership. As young followers of Jesus, we were challenged to see our lives as gifts from God. We were inspired to see our resources, our status, our influence, our life experiences, our education, our health, even our “privilege” (tho it wasn’t called that back in the dinosaur days), as nothing we had earned or deserved.
We were taught by those older and wiser than our young, know-it-all-ish selves, to view who we were, what we had, what we had done, and even what we would do with our lives in the future…as something that belonged to God, and we were just the stewards or caretakers of those treasures.
When King David said, “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it” (Psalm 24:1), I suppose we were just crazy enough to take Him at his word and foolishly trust Him.
One of the reasons our marriage has withstood the winds of change and opposition and fear and difficulty that so many marriages have succumbed to, is we chose to use those gifts God had given to us, for the benefit of others.
We learned to serve side by side and see all the good, all the advantages, all the blessings, as things to be shared, rather than simply enjoyed by us. We didn’t run from the message that we were to see others as more important than ourselves.
By living out the Great Commandment to love God and love others…like, ALL others…all the time, no matter what…and to submit our needs and desires to the good and well-being of other people like Jesus did…we found the purpose in getting, and remaining, married.
What is your marriage built on?