Marriage: The Real Deal

15 Oct

The real act of marriage takes place in the heart,
not in the ballroom or church or synagogue.
It’s a choice you make — not just on your wedding
day, but over and over again — and that choice is
reflected in the way you treat your husband or wife.
~Barbara de Angelis

Seventy-three years.

That is how many years my parents would be celebrating on their wedding anniversary today.  I cannot help but think that they are celebrating that day together today in the Kingdom of Heaven.

Seventy-three years ago, today, they got married.  On that day, they pledged themselves to one another in good times and bad, in sickness and in health, to love and honor each other all the days of their lives.

They did just that.

Their days together were not always filled with “bliss”.  There were some days that were rather strained.  There were some days that were rather worrisome.  There were some days that were rather frightening.  However, each day, they realized that they needed to pledge themselves to each other once again because that is what their vows meant to them.

They knew that, in order to remain together as a couple, they needed to live their married life with another person as well:  Jesus.  We grew up knowing about Jesus and His love.  We grew up learning His commandments.  We grew up experiencing the security of a family that worshiped together.

My parents knew that their marriage took place in their heart.  Their wedding took place in a church on October 15, 1941.  However, their marriage took place each and every day.

For better or worse:  That gave them the strength to weather the financial stresses that came upon them from time to time.  That gave them the courage to face problems with their family (children as well as extended) that crept up from time to time.  That gave them the grace to remain committed to one another, to their vows, and to their Lord.

In sickness and in health:  Their marriage vows were so important that, when illnesses took over their parents’ lives, mom and dad were able to adjust their time and energy in order to help care for them.  Their marriage was so important that, when my mother developed Lou Gehrig’s disease, my dad stepped up and took care of her until the moment that she died at home in her own bed.

Would they say that their marriage was rocky at times?  You better believe it.  They were like Jackie Gleason and Alice on the Honeymooners sometimes!  But, their love for one another and their commitment to Christ in their marriage brought them to reconcile with one another at those times of their lives.

Commitment.  Love.  Respect.  Honor.

The world so desperately needs these traits, which is why I share about my parent’s anniversary today rather than reflect on the daily scripture.  I hope it inspires you to live your vows with a renewed sense of reverence and joy.

FAITH ACTION:  Pray for all married couples, that their lives together may be blessed.  If you are married, treat your spouse extra-special today.  After all, every day should be an anniversary day!