My bride of 35 years recently brought home a sign that she wants to hang in our soon-to-be-remodeled bathroom. [The soon-to-be-remodeled part being . . . as soon as I can get to it. And we all know how that goes. ] Here’s the sign:
It makes me laugh. We do a lot of that around our house. But it’s more than funny. What hits me is the proverbial sounding wisdom that it whimsically communicates. If I didn’t know better, I’d swear that Solomon wrote it in the Proverbs. He didn’t. (I looked.) But he could have.
Why do we laugh? Because it’s only those of us who are married who have the insider information about how true those words are.
Think about it, those of you who are married. You know who you are. You laughed the loudest. Come on, be honest. Didn’t you? Why? It’s because when you were in that ooey-gooey, falling-in-love stage, there’s a lot you closed your eyes to with thoughts like: “Oh, we’ll work that out later.” We all did.
However, it’s after the post-honeymoon glow wears off and doing life together sets in that we begin to see each other more clearly—no tux, no wedding dress—just who we are in street clothes. Honestly, it feels vulnerable, over-our-heads naked with nowhere to hide. Excitement and terror all rolled into one.
That’s when, with eyes wide open, we catch our first glimpses of the exquisite design that God had in mind when He made one man for one woman (Gen. 2:18, 21-25). Though we live east of Eden, we are given the daily opportunity to make good on our wedding-day promises to “nourish and cherish” our spouse with all of our hearts until our last dying breath (Eph. 5:25-33).
Now for those of you who are in the falling in love stage of your relationship and you’re thinking, “I don’t get it.” Don’t worry. Give it time. You will.
Ooey-gooey love is great, for starters; but it won’t sustain you for the long haul kind of love that is required to go the distance. It’s the God-help-me-love-you-when-I-don’t-feel-like-it kind of love that is needed.
Love is blind–but, if we’re willing, God can and will use marriage to open our hearts to love our mates more deeply than we ever thought possible. Really. Get the picture?