Today is the first of September. The beginning of a new month. The new school year has begun. My work schedule will return to normal in just a few short days. Beginnings occur all around us all the time, just in different ways.
This afternoon I will attend a wedding--a truly big new beginning for the soon-to-be newlyweds. I love weddings. They symbolize love and hope. The joining of two people who have committed to becoming one in the sight of God. I find weddings beautiful, humbling, and sometimes sad. So many of these new beginnings don't work out. Still, there is hope. Prayer. Faith that the joining of these two lives and the joining of their respective families will be the beginning of a whole new family. New friendships among the members, new babies to celebrate over. A glorious melding done under the leading and love of the Lord.
Those of us who have been married awhile understand the term 'hard work'. For while most of the time our marriages don't seem like work at all, there are those times that test us. Our committment. Our love. Those are the times when we discover what we're made of. Now, it is so easy to escape into that greener pasture you think is just over the fence. Now, when you commit to another, it is with the knowledge that, hey, if it doesn't work out, we can always sign that piece of paper and be rid of each other. Do you remember the time when divorce was frowned upon and people didn't give in so readily to defeat? I do. Having been divorced myself, I understand the siren call of freedom, oh, sweet freedom, the freedom that beckons and calls and urges you to give up and move on.
The older marrieds have a responsibility to the younger marrieds to show them, to teach them, that yes, by golly, I understand it's hard, but you can get through it. We need to show them that throwing in the towel, even under the most trying of circumstances, is not always the best option. For as we go through the fires we are strengthened and developed. We grow. We are meshed and melded into a thing made by God himself. Unless you are in physical danger, hang in there. Agree to disagree, even agree to have a period of silence between the two of you. Be apart for a time, yet together. This person you see every morning when you arise will understand, if they are the friend they should be, when you request space for a bit. After all, you should be friends first and all else should follow from there. My husband and I have done this. We find ourselves angry and upset, sometimes at one another, and sometimes at the individual circumstances we face, and we agree to back off for a time from one another. Then, when the fires have cooled, we talk. We affirm our continuing committment and love for one another and we move on. It's surprising how strong a committment can be when you refuse to see any other option. When you have committed yourself and your life and your marriage to Christ.
It's absolutely amazing, the thing that happens when you refuse to give up.
My wish for this young couple, who have built their relationship thus far on the principles of the Lord, is that they enjoy a long lasting union under His direction. Both of these young people are committed to God first. I see a most blessed union in their future.
My hope for all the soon-to-be young marrieds is that they enter into their unions with their eyes wide open.
If your marriage is troubled, concentrate on fixing what's broken instead of concentrating on the best way to get out of it. God doesn't want an unhappy union, He doesn't want you to lose your committment, and He can help you fix it. He can fix YOU, if you discover that maybe you're the one who's broken.
Dear Lord, help us to remain committed to our spouses and our marriages. In doing so, You help us remain committed to You. Bless all the old marrieds, and all the new ones, as we truly learn how to live peaceably with each other. In Christ's name I pray. Amen.
I'm going to have fun at this wedding!
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I enjoyed your article very much. I especially like the line, "The older marrieds have a responsibility to the younger marrieds to show them."
Our actions do speak louder than words.
Blesings to you as you continue to write for Him and to share all that the Lord has placed within you.
Beth, I had to sort of skip over this quickly the first time, as it was time to leave for church. But, I came back just now and read it slowly, letting its message penetrate. I am glad I did, for it is a great message. Thanks for sharing. Thomas