Hubby and I walked into church hand in hand that sunny fall Sunday morning. I wore a new dress and new shoes I was finally getting to wear after buying them on clearance last summer. Hubby leaned over and commented sweetly about how I looked. I laughed and we shared a few kind words back and forth.
It was a beautiful day...I was at church with my man...and he thought I was pretty. Soon we would meet up with our kids in the church service and then enjoy a family lunch together. It was a good day and I was all smiles.
As we walked across the church lobby, one of the associate pastors caught my eye. Being new to the church, we didn't know him and he didn't know us, but we made eye contact and I said hello. At that point, he surprised me by walking over to tell us that he was watching as we walked across the lobby. He introduced himself and then said that we looked so happy as we walked into church that it made him think we should be in a marriage video.
Well no one had ever said that to us! We laughed, and went on our way, but I have to say...that moment felt really good.
Now, Hubby and I have no intentions of ever being cast in a marriage video. There are plenty of days when we probably aren't a very good example to anyone. On the other hand, we don't take this marriage gig lightly. We never have. From the very beginning we agreed to make our marriage and each other a priority in our lives. We offer a strong effort every day in treating each other with love and respect.
Of course...if that same pastor had seen us in our living room "discussing" something the night before, he might not have had the same thought about us. He might have actually suggested we needed to watch a marriage video. After nearly twenty-six wedded years, we don't claim to have a perfect marriage. And while we may not really be "marriage video material", I know that love and forgiveness come much easier for both of us than it did early in our marriage.
Over the years our love has grown deeper and so has our resolve to fix things when they get out of whack. I am so grateful for that.
That Saturday night, what started out as a normal conversation quickly escalated to a heated discussion. But after a few tense moments, we both realized it at about the same time, and we stopped it right then and there.
Forgiving and moving on was more important than who was right. What could have (and might have in the past) turned into a full blown argument (that halted any solution) was quickly defused and fixed because we were both more interested in forgiving and loving each other.
Of course, it's not always that easy with us. Some days or some conflicts are harder to navigate. But we are maturing in our marriage, and as our love grows deeper for each other, we are more protective of hurting each other during a disagreement.
As you may know, the apostle Paul wrote about the love and respect of marriage in Ephesians.
Nevertheless, each husband is to love and protect his own wife as if she were his very heart, and each wife is to respect her own husband. ~Ephesians 5:33 (VOICE)
I really love the way The Voice Bible words this verse because what wife doesn't want to be loved and protected as if she were her husband's very heart? And I certainly believe that every husband wants the respect of his own wife.
Endeavoring to live this verse has been a central part of our union, and I think it's a key ingredient in loving, strong, successful marriages.
So while we may never make the cut in a marriage video, I believe our marriage is blessed by God and held together by our love and respect for each other. That is vital when you have those "not really marriage video material" days. And knowing that makes the days when we don't need to forgive each other all the sweeter.