Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, 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. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NIV)
This picture, a wedding present, has been hanging in our home for almost twenty-nine years.
My blog has been pretty dry lately. Wordless Wednesday is about all you can count on as I am up to my neck in six foot long geckos, people who don’t want to play nice with each other, prom accessories, lost files, and huge insurance bills that I will pay, but only because I have to. I also had to sign a paper at work stating that I understand that anything I say through “social networking” reflects upon my employer and therefore, I will be held responsible for it. Not that I have ever said anything negative about my employer here, but what if I say something that could be misinterpreted? With the thought that this is a “public forum,” I have been weighing my words very carefully these days. Then, my dear friend Vicki, http://amarkonmywall.wordpress.com/2010/04/30/anniversaries-and-milestones/who has had an anniversary, goes and writes an eloquent post on her marriage and her life and it makes me bolder and also reflective about what people like her (kind, giving therapists) have meant to me over the years. In the midst of my gecko infested swamp of a life, I took some time earlier this week to frame what I would testify about my own marriage if given the opportunity. In the spirit of Vicki’s post, here is a portion of it:
Although we have been married almost twenty-nine years, we did not get here easily. There were times when we didn’t think we could spend another day together. If not for a promise made to a friend who married us, we would have walked away in silence. We had had enough of the fighting, the bitter, angry words. Our hearts were cold and frozen. We do not need to share the details of our differences. It does not matter in the long run. Only that you know that in the heat of the moment, people say and do things that they would not normally do. And that no matter what has happened, God can put the broken pieces together again. We are living proof.
You can love again because love is a choice. While it sounds like a cliché, it is truth. We don’t fall in love. We chose to love. And choosing to love means forgiving and starting over. Even if you start over every moment for a while. Soon, it becomes hours, then, days. One decision to love at a time. And every time you chose to forgive and chose to love, one brick in the wall that you have built between each other crumbles and the bonds between you begin to strengthen. But, first, you must chose. Chose to love.
And chose to talk. Chose to talk to each other and to someone neutral. A third party who can see beyond the hurts to what you can be. Someone who can help you make sense of your past and see how it is affecting your present and how it will continue to affect your future if you don’t stop the patterns of hurt and betrayal now. It takes honesty. It takes learning what is true and what are lies. Because Satan would have you believe in lies. He would have you believe that your marriage can’t be saved. That the hurt and pain are too great and it would be easier to give up. And maybe start over with someone else. Yes, it might be easier in the short run, but not in the long run. Because what causes your behavior will just come with you into your new life. So you might as well get to the root of it now with this person that you thought you would love forever and make good on the promises that you made to each other so long ago.
We know that God loves us and offers grace and forgiveness to us. So, how can we withhold the same from each other? Dear friends, the same holds true for you. We pray that you will choose to love each other in the way that each of you will feel secure and confident in that love. We know it is can be done. Because God worked such a miracle in us.