Thursday, August 15, 2013

Refusing to Buy Into the Hollywood Version

One of my favorite bloggers, Lisa-Jo Baker, wrote a post a few weeks ago in response to the June 29th "Teenager Posts of the Week" featured on The Huffington Post Teen Edition.  The unnamed girl stated, “My love life will never be satisfactory until someone runs through an airport to stop me from getting on a flight.”  Lisa-Jo's post was so popular with readers that it ended up going viral and appearing back on HuffPo's website, this time for its parental audience.

I can tell you that my husband has never run through an airport to stop me from getting on a plane.  But he has run through an airport to catch a flight to go on a business trip that provides a roof over our heads and food for us to eat.  He has left a meeting early to come home and take care of the kids, when I was ill with the flu and could barely get off the couch.  He has been patient with me as I recovered from two c-sections, and was right there beside me in the OR when both our son and daughter entered the world.

We are more than a decade now from the evenings when I would catch him staring at me from across the table.  To be honest, I do miss that time period in our relationship.  Our love has grown much deeper than those romantic dinners through the years, however.  He tells me over and over that I'm beautiful, with no make-up on, even during times when I feel like I'm at my worst.  He still saves me the last piece of cake, or the last cookie, because he is considerate of me.  He offers tenderness, listening, and protection on a daily basis.  He has held my hand and prayed for me during rock-bottom moments, when I didn't have the strength to pray myself.  
The last day of our honeymoon, 1/21/03
The Bible articulates numerous reasons for the purpose of marriage.  The following three are the most important, in my opinion: 
1) Companionship 
2) Procreation 
3) Holiness
Marriage provides us with lifelong friendship, sustains life on earth, and brings us closer to God through the process of sanctification.  It is not for the purpose of our happiness. When you subscribe to the view that the main purpose of marriage is to make you happy, it's easy to see why so many marriages fail. As soon as the fun stops or the momentary "happy" runs out, people quit and the marriage collapses.  Marriage is God’s design, and His purposes must be pursued in order for you to be truly happy. His end is holiness and He will use all things in a life devoted to Him to fulfill that end.

Our marriage has definitely not always been happy, happy, happy (as Phil Robertson would say).  
We've survived countless moves, two episodes of post-partum depression, and three separate periods of unemployment.  Going through life's trials together has sanctified us and strengthened our relationship with one another and with God.  When you can go through some pretty tough circumstances and come out on the other side with your marriage intact, being even better than before, that's a powerful testimony to the redemptive work of the Lord in your lives.  

No, he's never run through an airport for me.  But yesterday, he raced home from Newark Liberty to be with his family who he had been away from on a job for almost a week.  He played with our kids outside until dinnertime, even though he was jet-lagged.  And later that evening, he held me tight and told me how much he missed me.  That's my version of romance.  The ordinary, forgiving, brace the storms of life together, kind of "ever after" you just won't find in fairy tales.    

Ten years and two kids later.

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