This week Carol and I celebrated our 41st. Wedding Anniversary (by sharing a Chinese take-away with our kids!) Being based near where we were married in West Norwood, London, helped us reflect happily on THE DAY 41 years ago (- as far as memories would allow, that is!) We also marveled at our marriage journey together since.
In preparing couples for marriage I used to warn them how the vows they were going to say to each other demanded enduring love that was tough (like Christ's for us). Saying 'for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health' needs to recognize that these contrasts rarely balance out 50/50. There have been times when Carol has had to invest 100% of her enduring love to cope with the worst, and with sickness, because I could return very little. It's that generous self-giving that has welded love 'that is the greatest' into our marriage core.
Thinking again about the need for such intentional commitment, makes me realize just how appropriate these words are for partners who desire strong marriage -
Whatever is true,
Whatever is noble,
Whatever is right,
Whatever is pure,
Whatever is lovely,
Whatever is admirable.....think about such things (Phil. 4:8). For a long-lasting marriage, don't dwell on the negatives - think about the true, noble, right, pure, lovely and admirable. Oh Yeah!