Today is 42 years. Have I gotten used to Keith that way? He is there every morning and back every evening, after spending a day providing for me. He calls every day after lunch to make sure I am all right. On the weekends he is right outside the door, taking care of our things, repairing, improving, growing a garden to feed us well, and then making it look the way he knows I want it to. When I have a bad day, a rough appointment, or a difficult surgery, he is always there to take care of me. He has never once had a thought of betrayal or abandonment. Have I forgotten just how glorious our relationship is?
It is easy to see someone new and think he is more exciting. It is easy to find someone’s interest thrilling, especially if she is a little younger. Remember what drew you to your spouse in the beginning, the charm, the beauty, the stimulating conversations, and the common interests and goals in life. Don’t think a pudgy brown wren is as beautiful as a bright red cardinal just because it’s the new chick in town.
Despite the world’s scorn of marriage, God pictures it as a beautiful relationship, one he wanted with his people.
You shall no more be termed Forsaken, and your land shall no more be termed Desolate, but you shall be called My Delight Is in Her, and your land Married; for the LORD delights in you, and your land shall be married. For as a young man marries a young woman, so shall your sons marry you, and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you, Isa 62:4,5. And I will betroth you to me forever. I will betroth you to me in righteousness and in justice, in steadfast love and in mercy. I will betroth you to me in faithfulness. And you shall know the LORD, Hos 2:19,20.
If that is God’s view of marriage, why do we stand by and let others demean it? Worse, why do we not live up to its promises ourselves, for a relationship is only what two people make of it.
A couple of years ago I almost literally bumped into an older gentleman at the grocery store. He smiled and asked a question about some product on the shelf and then I went on my way, down the aisle, around, and back up the next. He had done the same going his direction and so we once again passed and he made another comment. I am a little slow. It took the third or fourth time for me to realize what was up, and I casually mentioned “my husband.” That was all it took. He was polite but never bothered me again. Here was a man who respected the institution. He was interested, but not with a married woman. He would not be, in the old parlance, “a home-wrecker.”
I see little of that respect today. A marriage is made to break just like any other contract, whenever it no longer suits us. Working things out, growing through our trials, supporting one another “for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, till death do us part,” are empty words recited for tradition’s sake and nothing more. If I see someone I want, who cares if he is married? That takes a mere pen stroke to undo. In fact, why bother going through all that rigmarole in the first place?
My opinion of marriage should be the same as my Father’s. He thought so much of it that he used it to pattern his Son’s body, the church, “The Bride of Christ.” That he might present the church to himself, glorious…This mystery [marriage] is great: but I speak in regard of Christ and of the church, Eph 5:27, 32. Full of glory, that’s how Christ sees his Bride.
Have we grown jaded to this marvelous relationship, graciously given by a loving Father who knew what was best for us, and like many other things, corrupted its very nature to the point that it means little to nothing except a nuisance we must somehow put up with? We might as well think the same of the Father who gave it.
Don’t get too used to the glory.
For your Maker is your husband, the LORD of hosts is his name; and the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer, the God of the whole earth he is called, Isa 54:5.