In my workshop I have a valentine from Sally Jo, written after 50 years of marriage. “Falling in love is easy, but staying in love is something very special. When I think of everything we’ve been through together, I’m amazed, inspired, and grateful – our love is as fresh as when we started, yet deeper and more real. Happy Valentine’s Day.” And then her note: “May sound strange, but Thank You for loving me so much, no matter what happens.” This year I wrote a letter to Sally Jo for Valentine’s Day in which I told her she most lives the Fruit of the Spirit of anyone I know.
God instituted marriage Genesis 2:20-25, and Jesus celebrated marriage at the wedding in Cana.John 2:1-10. The Bible provides specific guidance for the marriage relationship including Ephesians 5:21-33, Matthew 5:31-32. Following are passages not spoken in the context of marriage, but they are not negated by marriage. The person we marry becomes our very close neighbor, and being married to the same person for any number of years is not easy, but a good marriage is work the effort.
– “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.” Matthew 5:9
– The man with two tunics should share with him who has none, and the one who has food should do the same. Luke 3:11
– “Peter asked, ‘Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?’ Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times”. Matthew 18:21
– “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind… Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment.” Romans 12:2-6
– “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” Ephesians 4:2-3
– “Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. Carry each other’s burdens, and you will fulfill the law of Christ. If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself.” Galatians 6:1
– “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13
– “Jesus said “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” Luke 23:34
Sunday morning I asked a man from India about his arranged marriage. He had never met the person he was to marry until she had arrived in the United States. “Chuck, it takes adjustment, compromise… yes, sacrifice.” After 26 years of marriage, he was still smiling.
Sunday noon I went to see my friend Dan, who had been in the hospital for 6 days. Dan’s wife, Stephanie, greeted me with a warm smile – she was Dan’s high school sweetheart – a cheerleader for the high school football team of which Dan was captain. They were discussing who could spend the night with Dan. Stephanie needed to be home with their 8 year old twins, and other family members were not available. My offer to stay was accepted, and I returned at 8:00 PM
In the summer after high school, Dan slipped on the side of a swimming pool – and became a quadriplegic. Sometime later Dan and Stephanie were married. During the night at the hospital asked Dan, “How do you keep your marriage fresh and alive? “Chuck, I’m not sure. I guess it is because we love each other, encourage each other – and then he laughed… I could do better!”
Live In Partnership With God
Live In Partnership With Your Wife or Husband