Monday, July 31, 2017

One True Love

Yesterday my wife and I celebrated 40 years of marriage. How did we last that long in a world where over half of all marriages end in divorce? That's an easy question to answer. All you have to do is find the love of your life. Your one true love.

My wife and I were married in 1977 (in case you're bad at math) and we have not stopped loving each other since.

I have had people ask me, "How did you know that Bev was "the one"?" My answer is always a cryptic, "Oh, YOU'LL KNOW!" I knew.

My wife and I met at the end of summer. We had two weeks together before we both went back to school. By the end of those two weeks . . . I knew. The next few months apart were filled with letters and phone calls until October 17th came around and we were both home from school. I proposed. She said yes. And we've been a couple ever since.

It wasn't always easy. There were occasional bumps in the road, but they were few and far between. The secret to our success as a married couple is simple. Love. Unconditional, sacrificial love. It was that unconditional love that solved every problem, healed every wound and restored every cracked and chipped moment to "better than new". It was sacrificial love that headed off other differences in favor of the greater good - our marriage.

There are two verses that come to mind when I try to explain the marriage commitment. The first verse if from 1st John.

"God is love." - 1 John 4:8

Simple verse, complex concept. Do you know God? Is He your Lord and Savior? If you answered "yes" to those questions you know exactly what the love is I'm talking about. If you answered "no", I'm sorry. You might think you know what love is, as defined by the world, but you really have never experienced the greatest love of all. When I was younger, I thought I knew what love was. But that was before I met Jesus.

The second verse is kind of like the first in a way. It's from the Book of Ephesians.

"21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ." - Ephesians 5:21

After this verse Paul goes on to explain the roles of husband and wife and the love, respect and sacrifice we have for one another. It's not until verse 31 that we learn that Paul is talking about our relationship (the bride) with Jesus (the Groom).

Love involves sacrifice, it involves submission, it involves surrender of our own personal will in favor of something greater, bigger and higher - our marriage. Our marriage to Christ.

I loved my wife in an earthly sense when we first met. As the years went by and we began to follow God's desires for our marriage, it was only then that we became better, together. The same is true for our faith. When God is part of a marriage it can't help but succeed.

One more verse to leave you with. Ecclesiastes 4:12

"A triple-braided cord is not easily broken."

If the husband is one strand and the wife is the second . . . who do you think is the third strand in the triple-braided cord? :)

I'll close with two of our favorite songs. We always dance to the first one . . . and the second one . . . well, that's where the love of my life and I are going to celebrate our 40th. And the third link is to a video. It displays how my wife and I react inside when we are ever apart for any amount of time.

I love you, my bride. My love for God does not diminish my love for you. It enhances it.

Weekend In New England - Barry Manilow
Somewhere In Time Theme - John Barry
Richard and Elise Reunited - Somewhere In Time

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