Monday, April 21, 2014

Hope for Marriage

I hope you all had a blessed Easter weekend!  We spent it in Orlando where we had a bridal shower for my daughter, Megan, on Saturday.  What a joyous but hectic day that was for me!!

I must tell you, hanging around all those young women in their 20s and 30s gave me a renewed hope for marriage in our society.  Most of them were not married.  Yes, some of them were living with their boyfriends, but they still had this appreciation and respect for the state of marriage.

I listened to the excitement in their voices as they discussed Megan’s upcoming nuptials next month.  They giggled like schoolgirls talking about the plans.  I listened at the awe in their emotions when Megan told them that her dad was going to do the ceremony for them.  One of Megan’s friends said she had goose bumps on her arms.  They all looked forward to getting married someday.

Just when I thought that there was not much hope left for the institution of marriage.

Oh, I know, many will say, “We don’t need a piece of paper to say we are married.”  I think that’s a cop-out for not wanting to make such an extensive commitment. Maybe they fear commitment because of divorced parents, or they had a bad experience in a previous relationship. Or maybe it’s a lame excuse because the person they are with is not the right person for them.  And they know it.

We live in a world where people have a hard enough time committing to attending an event, much less committing to the rest of their lives with one person. (Have you noticed how hard it is to get people to RSVP anymore??  This bridal shower was one of the exceptions, though, compared to events I’ve held in the past.  Almost everyone RSVP’d!)

I believe there are two types of couples that get married.  One kind marries out of expectation and tradition, not particularly taking the vows seriously.  They may entertain divorce as an easy escape if necessary.  And then there is the kind that genuinely grasps onto their vows to God, committing their relationship to ‘til death us do part.’

God made marriage to unite us physically and spiritually.  I think the spiritual part lacks greatly in our society.  Many couples live together, physically, as two separate entities who share a bed and a house.  They do not share a deeper, spiritual aspect of their relationship which usually includes God.   God meant for us to be as one, spiritually and physically.  “For what God has joined together, let no man separate.” If you go into marriage without God in the center, you run a serious risk of having the world break you apart.

There was a beautiful article in the Tampa Tribune Easter Sunday about an Ohio couple that was married for 70 years, and they died just hours apart.  She was 92, and he was 91.  Their eight children said the two had been inseparable since they met as teenagers.  They still held hands while eating breakfast.  Their children knew that when one went, the other was going to go.  Sure enough, after his wife passed away, the man said to his children, “Mom’s dead.”  The children gathered around him and sang his favorite hymns, read his favorite scriptures, and prayed with him.  He quickly began to fade and died the next morning.
 
I believe God intends marriage to be like this, and we all desire to have it this way.

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