Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Happy (07/12/07)
TITLE: Happy Matrimony?
By Tammy Johnson
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“Amanda, do you take Scott, to be your lawfully wedded husband,” the preacher droned on with the usual ritual. Susan glanced over at Rod with a scowl before returning her eyes to the beaming couple. You have no idea what awaits you, kids. Visions of angry words hurled across the breakfast table filled Susan’s mind. At first the fights had left her trembling and cold, filled with dread. Over time they had become almost like a need. The fights fed her, filled her growing emptiness.
Susan still thought her niece was too young to be sinking into the pit of matrimony. She stiffened at the unfairness of the convictions she knew they shared. Divorce was never an option, just many endless, empty years to endure, quite a heavy curse to be entering into so early.
Fool. Rod frowned as he scrutinized Scott’s unsuspecting grin. Tuck all those dreams inside that rented tux, buddy. A pain seized Rod’s chest as memories of his wedding day assaulted him. Susan had appeared as beauty personified. Never had he seen such glowing tenderness. The need to be her man, her protector, had overwhelmed him. In her presence, he knew he could accomplish anything. She brought out the champion in him.
Rod chanced a sideways glare at his stiff spouse. How such a petite bit of flesh and bone could now make him feel so completely inadequate blew his mind. When had the dreams of being her knight been replaced with the reality that he was more likely her dragon? A few good months of success before the endless years of failure was the best Scott had to look forward to.
Francine sighed as her thoughts drifted into a prayer. Heavenly Father, bless this precious young couple. Lead them into your plan and holiness. Her focus settled on the bride. What beauty such innocence and devotion held. With prayer and a proper perspective, such beauty could continue her entire lifetime.
Francine’s eyes drifted from her glowing granddaughter to her daughter and son-in-law’s stiff forms. Lord, when will you rap those two upside the head? Open their eyes to see the truth of why you created marriage and burn up their selfishness!
No stranger to conflict, Francine acknowledged that marriage could be a war zone at times. There were moments Howard had brought out the worst in her. Her lips pressed together in a controlled smile as she remembered their first fight. Why it was so important that Howard put his dirty glass on the right side of the sink escaped her now, but his response blazed in her memory.
With gentleness and patience Howard had wrapped those strong arms around her resistant frame. In his smooth baritone voice he had begun to speak with his heavenly father.
“Lord, I thank you for this treasure in my arms. I just want to take this time to praise you for this gift you have given us. Ah, father, how else could the barest faults of our souls be shown to us? Help us to use this for our betterment and not bitterness. Help us always remember your desire to make us holy, Amen.” With a quick kiss to his new wife’s forehead, he had moved his glass and silently gone back to work.
Over the years the wisdom of that prayer became clearer. Every argument, each irritation was met with the attitude of expectancy. What lesson did God have for them in it? What bit of selfishness was God trying to grind away?
As the groom kissed the bride, another prayer went up from Francine. Heavenly Father, please help this couple learn early that marriage was created to make them holy, not happy. As they grow in that knowledge and allow you to transform them, bless them with happiness beyond all their dreams.
With a sigh and a smile she reached for the hand so faithfully beside her. Howard grasped her hand and added a wink that still thrilled her heart. Holy and happy - a true match made in heaven.
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