15 years ago my wife and I quietly slipped away for the weekend and were joined in the legal union of marriage. We would celebrate with family and friends 6 months later so I have the envious position of, as a guy, having to remember two anniversaries — not just one.
“He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the LORD.” – Proverbs 18:22
As my wife and I have grown together, joining our journeys together for God and family, I recognize a perspective that can only be seen by looking back and comparing the developing product of our marriage with where it started. And it contains two elements that are critical for a quality marriage — time and hard work. I would compare it to items that are highly sought after for their acquired properties. Items like a fine aged wine; a perfectly shaped mature bonzai tree; a top shelf bourbon. God also has some of these items — but they are much larger. A beautiful, full grown, majestic oak tree; the chiseled valley of Yosemite; the eroded sandstone of the Grand Canyon; the developing islands of Hawaii. All have taken time and hard work to create beauty and value.
“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” – Ephesians 5:31 and Genesis 2:24 (it’s important enough that God put it in the Bible twice)
Marriage is no different. And in these days of some marriages crumbling faster than a sports season (e.g. – the 72 day Kardashian marriage), we must be willing to seek, pursue, and relentlessly hunt down those two elements of time and hard work. Of course, this assumes the love and the commitment and the forgiveness and the understanding and all of the other necessary qualities that create a strong marriage. However, when we are fighting, when we are discouraged, when we are forlorn, when we are ready to throw in the towel for something easier, it all boils down to hard work. It is hard work to love someone who doesn’t love you. (Jesus did.) It is hard work to forgive someone who doesn’t act like they deserve it or who won’t forgive you back. (Jesus did.) It is hard work to carry it on your own when someone is acting selfishly. (Jesus did.) Let’s face it — marriage is hard work. Unfortunately, that doesn’t sell on Hallmark cards or fit into a 30 second commercial.
Time is the other element critical for a strong marriage. And just as most quality things are not created instantaneously, neither is a strong, quality marriage. Time heals all wounds and time together grows you together. Out on the back property, there is a tree that was growing too close to a barbed wire fence. Over time the tree and the barbed wire fence have grown together. They are now one and cannot be separated from each other. That process did not happen overnight and surely took months and years to develop. I’m sure you have seen other similar examples in nature. And the point is to be well taken. Time is an important element.
I will end with this awesome passage from Proverbs 31. My Godly wife is one of the highest blessings from God that I have received. I cherish it with my life.
Epilogue: The Wife of Noble Character
10 [a] A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.
11 Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value.
12 She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.
13 She selects wool and flax
and works with eager hands.
14 She is like the merchant ships,
bringing her food from afar.
15 She gets up while it is still dark;
she provides food for her family
and portions for her servant girls.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks.
18 She sees that her trading is profitable,
and her lamp does not go out at night.
19 In her hand she holds the distaff
and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
20 She opens her arms to the poor
and extends her hands to the needy.
21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
22 She makes coverings for her bed;
she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is respected at the city gate,
where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
and supplies the merchants with sashes.
25 She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.
26 She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
27 She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
31 Give her the reward she has earned,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.
Happy Anniversary, Mrs. Aslowerpace! I love you and am so blessed by God He brought you to me!
…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net