Wait for the Lord;Today's devotional stated that today's generation believes in nothing. They are reportedly suspicious of everything from government to business to the church. But who can blame them? Media gives us daily examples of corruption, scheming, fraud, and predatory practices. Even marriage, states the devotion, can mean a lifetime of slavery in their eyes.
be strong and take heart
and wait for the Lord.
The marriage part grabbed me this morning. Is my marriage proving or excepting the point? We have all seen the elder couples bickering playfully (or sarcastically) and thought it humorous. But my marriage should be more than that. It should be an example of two become one. We have had 28 years of practice, and should be getting pretty good at knowing each other. Will we use this knowledge to divide, or unify? It can go either way. It must go one way or the other.
In another 10...15...20 years, I would like our marriage to look like something far from slavery. I want it to be an example of what marriage can and should be: two lives so entwined that everything is done with the other in the center. Haven't you seen it once in a while? That sweet, elder couple holding hands in the park, or looking into each others' eyes like they were still 19 over dinner. Not a bickering word uttered in public. A shining example of two become one, of a team that is 100 times stronger together than either could ever be alone.
So, back to the knowing each other, and the use of this information. I shall give an example from my own marriage. I (very nearly) always bring a bottle of cold water up to the bedroom for our use. My husband doesn't think of the water. Perhaps because I can be depended upon, he doesn't have to remember. I could decide to resent this (as could be a temptation upon coming home late occasionally from volunteer work), and grumble that he never thinks of this, and it's always on me to do. Or, I could choose to think of it as a way he has learned that I am dependable, consistent, and loving.
I know there are certain things which he does consistently, dependably, and lovingly. With that side of the coin, how do I respond to his acts of service? Do I complain about how or when they get done, if I think there is a better or more convenient way? Or do I gratefully acknowledge that he nearly never leaves this task for me to do (be it taking the trash to the dump, keeping the car's gas tank filled, or folding the towels), freeing my time for other things.
So, while some may think that playful bickering is humorous -- and TV sitcoms have poked fun at such things, making them appear normal -- is such thinking harmful? Aren't we called to a higher standard? With the help of our Lord, are we not well able to raise the bar on what a faithful, successful marriage can look like? Can we give such shining examples that the younger generation wants to be like us? I dare say we can, and we should.
Merely pointing out that one thing is wrong is not enough. We must go further and put forth the right example for a target to hit. We must -- if we truly believe one is better -- go out of our way to help those who are struggling with the concept of healthy, desirable marriage, to aspire and attain to that wonderful relationship of lifetime love. We need to make it delicious!