FINDING HOPE IN THE GIFT OF MARRIAGE
When Don and I first met, I realized that if we had five good years together, that would be an incredible gift from God. (He’s just a teeny bit older than I am!) Fourteen years later, we are so thankful for the gift of marriage we share–almost three times what I originally thought we might have.
This man is kind, generous, loving, and wise. He works hard around and in the house. As I write, he is removing plants from beside our sidewalk because we want to widen the cement walkway by installing pavers.
We had a delightful anniversary!
First, our grandniece, Savannah, spent a night and day with us. Savannah has a love for Mideastern people groups, and serves in Arab countries. We so enjoyed our conversations with her over dinner and throughout our anniversary morning as she shared some of the relational and peace-bringing goals of her ministry.
What does it take to build peace between any other ethnicity or country, and Americans? Savannah said it’s relationship. Talking to each other. Sharing that yes, she is American; but she is first of all a follower of Jesus Christ. According to her, many others realize that not all Americans agree with the policies or actions of our government, and appreciate when we are not just mouthpieces for any political viewpoint.
The time spent talking nonstop with a dear family member was priceless, especially since we generally only see her every few years when she returns home for a sabbatical.
After Savannah left, we caught up on a few needs at home, then went to the Cheesecake Factory for dinner. As we often do, we shared a delicious Tropical Smoothie (which we recommend highly!), a Madeira chicken dinner, and a slice of mouth-watering chocolate mousse cheesecake. As we lingered over each amazing sip or bite, we relaxed over dinner, remembered time spent with Savannah, our recent restful trip to Maui, and enjoyed each other’s company.
I am Richly Blessed by this Gift of Marriage
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. James 1:17
When I think I hoped for five years with Don, and we just passed our fourteenth anniversary, I realize what a gift I’ve been given. We both work hard, and share similar values based on our relationship with God through Jesus Christ and our understanding of His Word. Laughter and teasing are a regular part of our life together. Both our families are a source of love and delight. https://www.carolloewen.com/anniversary-and-a-funeral/
But like all marriages, we need to work to keep our relationship strong and healthy.
To increase your love quotient with your partner, I recommend beginning with I Corinthians 13:4-8a:
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails.
How to enhance the gift of marriage
How often am I impatient with my husband when he does something differently than I do? Am I easily angered (ok, annoyed) when he tells me how to drive? (Which I sometimes need when my mind is racing and his saying “Turn here” is extremely helpful!).
Do I honor Don in the ways I speak to and about him? Do I release or hold grudges? If I’m hurt by a comment he makes, do I ask to understand what he really meant, or wallow in my hurt?
I think we can ask these questions of each of the characteristics listed in these verses.
Questions to Enhance your Marriage
More than twenty years ago psychologist Arthur Aron developed 36 questions to help people fall in – or renew – their love. The article below is fascinating and, at the bottom, links to the 36 questions.
A direct link to the 36 question can be found at https://www.landscapeoflife.com.au/live-love-lead-journal/36-questions-that-may-lead-to-love/
I look at this list periodically to see what else I’d like to know about or from Don. What do you think of the list? Could discussing these questions or gazing into each other’s eyes for an extended period of time, as you did when courting, enhance your marriage? How does following scriptural guidelines help you be a better wife or husband?
Think of a society where men treated their wives with love that believed in and made their wives better. deeply loved women? Where women honored and respected their husbands in a way that made the husband hold his head higher, his contentment more complete.
“Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband. Ephesians 5:31-33 ESV