We are currently sitting at the airport in Daraga, Philippines waiting on our first leg of the journey home.
Tonight we will make it to Manila and stay the evening in a hotel, leaving for San Francisco fairly early tomorrow…then, on to Phoenix.
The crazy thing is that we arrive only three hours after our departure time, even though it’s a good 24 hour journey.
If you’ve followed social media at all, you have seen pictures and know that this has been a great trip - ordained and appointed by the Lord for such a time as this.
I love being a part of God’s plans and seeing them unfold.
But, now that this trip has come to a close, our hearts, minds and prayers turn toward the next step on our adventures with Jesus -
Come next week (Wednesday), we will be heading to Idaho to speak at a marriage conference for 42 couples in a little resort community.
You’d think with almost 50 years of marriage under our belt (this coming June 1), and having spoken at multiple marriage conferences over the years, we’d be feeling pretty confident about those things that have kept us ticking along year after year.
However, I find myself struggling a little bit with this upcoming conference, and it has hit me:
Does anyone ever feel like they have this institution called marriage down pat?
Isn’t it ever-changing, ever-growing, and we, as marriage partners, ever-learning?
Each year, there are new seasons - some glorious, some gory!
It also dawned on me that I have never written a blog on marriage, and seldom have I discussed parenting.
Again, it’s a question of who am I that I should be discussing these two incredible gifts from the Lord, when I still feel like I’m learning?
However, blogging often helps me process, so maybe it’s time to take a look at some of the keys that have kept us standing firm for the last 50 years. (Smile)
This is the question I’ve asked myself:
What has kept two sinners with self-centered natures waking up each morning, re-committing themselves to “I do?”
Forever and ever, I do!
When asked this question, so many Jesus-followers answer with one word: love!
Of course they do…it sounds spiritual, most couples all have the “love chapter” in 1 Corinthians 13 quoted at their weddings, and the all-wise, famous guy-band, The Beatles assured us that “All We Need is Love…”
However, somewhere along the way, it dawned on me that this is one of the greatest myths of marriage.
Love is not the all-we-ever-need.
It’s not even a thing we need.
At some stage of our relationship, I recognized that I could only truly love my husband to the extent that I trusted him…and, it also followed that I would only allow him to love me to the extent that I trusted him.
The two go hand in hand; but love flows out of trust.
No trust, no love.
In fact, Scottish author, George MacDonald once said:
“ To be trusted is a far greater compliment than to be loved.”
Without trust, we start our marriages stiff-arming our spouse, never actually allowing them get to know us.
Trust is developed in a myriad of different ways.
The beginning of trust is found in Christ.
Without the direction for life that comes from a relationship surrendered to Christ, we’d be floundering down different paths, always trying to find our way to one another.
Because Bay trusted Jesus, just as I trusted Jesus, I knew our commitment to Him would be the one plumb line that we would always measure our relationship against, and it had the power to steady us in every storm.
But, there were other things that caused my trust to grow through our dating and early marriage years:
- Bay did what he said he’d do…
- He followed through on promises…
- I knew when we scheduled our priorities, he included me in the discussion, valuing and wanting my opinion.
- He trusted his hopes and dreams to my care.
- There was never (!) a question that when he was away from me, he carried me with him in his heart. I never worried, not once, that he would be unfaithful to me in any way.
- We were best friends, constant companions, and enjoyed one another’s company over any other.
- He was a safe space for me to be vulnerable, knowing he was always “for me.”
- Both of us were comfortable being quick to seek forgiveness and to ask for forgiveness, when an offense occurred.
Do we continue to do these things perfectly?
Of course not!
But, we are both committed to keeping cracks from occurring in the foundation of our marriage.
After all, problems with foundations of houses immediately begin causing stress fractures in the walls of our marriage…and the protective walls around our home are bound to crumble (ask me how I know about foundations of houses)… 😌
The same holds true for marriages.
Just a word of warning, though, and I’ve seen this prove true, time and time again in other relationships:
“Trust is easily broken and extremely costly to restore.”
Paul Tripp, “What Did You Expect”