She was in my seat or so I thought. As it turned out, she was simply leaning across my chair to chat with the interesting guy next to me. Little did I know how fortuitous that day in September of 1985 would turn out to be. This intriguing girl struck up a conversation with me and we have been talking ever since. Four years after this first conversation, we got married and we will celebrate our twenty- fifth wedding anniversary this coming June.
Marriage is complicated and staying married in America is a 50/50 proposition these days. While love is only one component in a successful marriage it is an important one. In I Corinthians 13, the Bible says, “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.” If that verse is referring to all our human relationships, how much more does it apply to marriage?
If there is one thing I have learned (and I am a slow learner in this area), love in marriage is so much more than the words we speak. As my grandmother used to say, “Actions speak louder than words” and this has proven to be ever so true in our marriage. On this Valentine’s Day weekend I thought I would share a few ways love is expressed at this stage in our relationship
- Love Is – Noticing the laundry basket in the hall and taking it downstairs to the washing machine before she notices it and maybe even starting the first load. We sometimes refer to this as the “laundry elf” at work.
- Love Is – Doing the Saturday morning errands together just because we like each other’s company.
- Love Is – Reading different books together and stopping half way through to share why we loved or hated the book we are in.
- Love Is – Knowing that she will always read the last chapter of every book to see if it has a satisfactory ending and making sure you have done the same before ever attempting to buy her a book.
- Love Is – Listening to that nagging cough and making sure that he or she actually goes to see a doctor about it this time.
- Love Is – Committing to going to the gym for the third time in a week when neither of us really feels like it.
- Love is – Choosing to face fear together and actually talk about those things that are easier left unsaid.
- Love is – Confronting those ugly sins that seem so persistent and doing it with patience that only comes from God.
- Love is – still wanting to be with each other more than anyone else even if we are not talking at all.
- Love Is – reminding each other that there is always one relationship more important than ours and that spending time with our maker is not optional, but essential to our lives.
When we were first married, we often talked about the idea of “growing old together”. Now that we have done some of that growing and are definitely older, it is certainly true that love does get richer and more meaningful with every passing year. I cannot imagine doing life with anyone else and look forward to the next twenty five years of getting to know this intriguing girl who is still the best listener I have ever met.