As a kid I learned love and marriage goes together like a horse and carriage. Originally, I thought the song said, “a horse and carrots.” My mother had to explain the song to me. I learned many lessons about love and marriage during my childhood, in the early years of my rearing I began to see marriage as an expendable resource, a union of convenience. Rather than marriage being complementary like a horse and carriage, it appeared to be more like a horse chasing a carrot, never finding satisfaction or sustenance.
During my years in the Navy I saw marriages begin and end, some due to the toll of military life, others due to the broken and selfish nature of mankind. I saw many people who were married treat marriage as nothing more than an at home benefit, a contract with loopholes. Still, some remained true to their vows; in particular I remember two petty officers above me who were great examples. These two men showed me the real value and purpose of marriage and it was revealed in more than their words. I thank God for the two men I speak of and the example they set for a young ordnanceman.
In college, I had a professor that said love occurs when two people say and do the right things for the right amount of time…and it love crumbles when they stop doing and saying the right things for the right amount of time. The professor reminded us of the value God has placed on marriage and the fact that marriage it is not to be entered lightly–it should not be lived indifferently.
Through our short ten years of marriage I have learned first hand love is more than an emotion, it’s an action. There are times she has wanted to wring my neck and there are times we wanted to give up. Thankfully, love is an emotion and an action, but even surpasses action. Love is a state of mind, heart, and soul that is strengthened by emotions, displayed in actions, and anchored in Christ. I’ve seen my marriage nearly crumble before my eyes due to negligence, selfishness, sin, harbored anger, and quite honestly being ill prepared. Today I see a union, a relationship, a friendship, that continues to grow and keep me looking ahead.
I saw it all begin to crumble and I saw Christ begin to repair it and make it something greater than before. I would be wrong to deny credit to God and His grace, it took us working and talking but it took the hand of Christ to bond the rocks together again. What is my point then? Don’t give up, love is complicated. Love is many things, look at 1 Corinthians 13 for a refresher in regards to love. We cannot learn this lesson in seclusion, sometimes love hurts. We cannot learn all about love in leading a solitary life, after all, love is displayed in action.
In life there are times we drive in the rain, fog, and darkness and we need help to see, we cannot see love clearly without the headlights on and wipers going. Jesus is the Light and Scripture is our wipers. People, timing, and other variables will enter your road, don’t let them get you off the path, don’t let them distract you, don’t let the variables kill you or your marriage. Maybe you have already let those variables in your road hurt or tear your marriage or love… hit the brakes, throw it in reverse and return to Christ and His Way.