Secrets to a Lasting Marriage...
We sit at the table my grandfather has made from scratch, surrounded by the work of their hands. Fifty-something years and counting. Through the chemo, the cataracts, four babies born, one child gone to Heaven. Through the years of growing and pruning, creating, destroying and moving on, and here I am, a second-generation product of their love, finally sitting here, hearing my Grandmother's words of wisdom. That Golden anniversary toast I gave at just 17, "praying that I might one day have a marriage as wonderful as yours."
And yet somehow I stuff it up, somehow I give her the wrong idea. We are different, my man and I, and we are young, learning... so unsure of how to make things better. And I'm expecting the Grandmotherly advice, the Lois and Eunice, the sincere faith of 2 Timothy 1:5....
Only, my grandmother does not know the One who saved her...
We are engaged, we long to be married, free of the difficulty of living apart, the tension and anxiety of waiting for one another. We wait, even though its hard, and tests us to the bone and by God's grace alone we somehow make it through the year of waiting... we live apart, on separate sides of the city and there is tension and misunderstanding and we struggle to blame and win and bait each other. It's not right, we need help. Help only He can give, and yet here I am, sitting at the table, hoping for some secret that will help us on the journey to our Golden Year and beyond.
"If you argue so much and are so different perhaps you shouldn't get married. Well, I don't know why you don't just live together first. In this day and age, it just makes more sense. "
And I'm floored. But I laugh - surely she is joking, and I flash forward, picturing one day talking to my grand-daughter, would I be proud of the child who did what the 'age' demanded?
It is no joke. And over the next few months I realise that she does not support our decision to wed.
And I am dreadfully sad.
Time passes and God touches the heart of my Grandmother. She learns about her Saviour.
She is still learning
So am I.
We marry and she asks me one more time to forgive her on our wedding day and I hug her and told her I already have.
But the secret to Holy Matrimony lies in being honest with our mate AND our God, and I perhaps have not been so truthful. She loves me and wanted only "the best" for me, and I, the one who knew God, nursed a grudge in my bruised heart and longed to have back that moment at the table to explain how wonderful this man I married truly is, how he has helped me listen for God, enabled me to get out of my own way and allow God to heal me. And I pray, that fifty something years on, she will finally have in her marriage what I am so blessed to have in our fledgling one - Christ at the center.
Linked for Ann's Walk with Him Wednesday