Sunday, August 3, 2014

Love, Marriage, and What Remains

I was present for a wedding rehearsal last night that Jimmy is taking part in.  I love the two who are getting married, and their excitement was contagious, but as I watched them, I couldn’t help but think, “You have no idea.”

And just to be fair, how could they?  Life has to be lived, and love has to be cultivated before one can fully understand.
My heart was so full, but how could I tell them:
That the love they feel now is nothing, compared
to the love they will feel for each other
twenty or thirty, or fifty years from now.

 I watched my husband of 25 years tonight, the only boy I ever loved, and loved him all over again.  I’ve always known that I would choose him again and again, but that realization still hits me sometimes with a delight that remains undiminished by the passage of time.
Jimmy is my fairytale.  He is my dream come true.
Have things always been perfect? No. 
We are fallible, imperfect people. 
We are inherently selfish and naturally inclined
to insist upon our own way.

Left to our own devices, we might never have made it.  Left to our own devices, we might still be
living with each other, without loving each other. 
But God saved us from all that.
He helped us, caused us, enabled us,
to love each other the way He intended. 

 Life has not always been easy. 
There have been storms to weather,
challenges to overcome, and trials to endure. 
There have been questions with no answers,
and problems with no solutions.
 But I can tell you this:  God has been faithful. 
The One Who instituted marriage gave me one
that has exceeded my dreams.

 I want to tell the newlyweds that life is unpredictable,
but God is constant. 
 I want them to know that tough times produce
fertile soil for love to grow.
 I want them to know that time passes but love remains.
I want them to know that the most priceless things
in life have no monetary value.
They cannot be calculated or tabulated,
they can only be enjoyed.
I want them to know that small bank accounts, hand-me-down furniture,and dishes that don’t match,  make for great memories.
I want them to know the type of love that perseveres
through loss, heartache and sickness.
I want them to taste the joy that is so real,
 it actually hurts.  

Delicious joy that makes hearts overflow.
The kind of joy that erupts into giggles or tears.
I want them to know how wonderful  it can be.

 I want to tell them practical things too, like:

Always choose high-thread-count sheets.
They are worth the extra cost.
See each other.
Take time to notice.
Be attentive, because familiarity obscures.
Be nice to each other. 
Say, “thank you”, “please”, “I’m sorry”, “Forgive me”.
Articulate your love.
Demonstrate your devotion.
Affirm each other, especially in front of others.
Go on dates.
Continue to hold hands.  It’s highly underrated.
Laugh together.
Flirt with each other.
Really talk, and really listen.
Pray for each other.
Take lots of pictures together.
Make your home a refuge.
Write lots of love notes.
Kiss often.
Live within your means.
Be spontaneous.
Don’t forget the little things.
Make memories.

 There is so much that I could tell them,
but they’ll figure it out
not tomorrow, or next year, or even the year after that.  These revelations, after all, were decades in the making.
So, as they say their vows, I will remember my own, and I will thank God, once again, for lessons learned,
for love that prevails,
and for the blessing of being joined
in this most holy of covenants.



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