Evidence of a Long and Happy Marriage

A ceramic figurine inspires thoughts on what makes for a long marriage.

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Posted in , Sep 7, 2015

Evidence of a long and happy marriage.

Today's guest blog from my buddy, Susan Holt Simpson, is about having a long and happy marriage. This blog truly touched my heart. Maybe it’s because Jeff and I just celebrated our 24th wedding anniversary or that our oldest daughter, Abby, is preparing to marry the love of her life in June. In any case, I know you’ll feel blessed, too!

I found this tiny bride and groom at a yard sale last weekend. With only one dollar and change in my pocket, I was happy to find a few treasures to take home. The seller tucked this clingy pair in a tiny cigar box, and they made the ride home without incident.

Right away, I took them to the kitchen sink for a gentle washing. The worst of the dust and grime came off with a damp cloth, but the hem of the bride's gown would not come completely clean.

There wasn't anything to be done about their hair–it's just worn away.

And they both have some lumps in unflattering places. In fact, the more closely you examine this couple, the more flaws become evident–those lips, the hands, some pretty smug eyebrow action.

But give too much attention to these detracting details, and you'll miss the really good stuff!

Don't you just want to stare and take in the quiet intimacy of their proximity? She tucks her hand into the small triangle of his arm, and he crooks his arm to hold it securely to his side. They lean toward each other instead of away, allowing selective magnetism to draw them closer. In light of this, her nose blob seems much smaller, doesn't it?

Clearly they've been a couple for a long, long time. All the evidence points to the fact that they've been used, maybe many times. According to the layers of dirt (mold?), they spent some years in the basement. There's no doubt that they're mostly unappreciated, unpopular, even among those they've served in the past. Available for pocket change, right next to random Tupperware lids. But they are still together.

Together at the wedding celebrations. Together during the dark basement years. Together on the discard table.

Don't muddy hems and awkward trousers seem completely beside the point now?

Look at their faces again–those are game faces if I've ever seen any. They take their marriage seriously and seem to know that their relationship is worth fighting for, worth the courage it takes to go the distance. Perhaps the groom's smug expression is not one of arrogance, but more along the lines of: "Bring it on!"

When confronted with such bravery, concerns about hair–or lack of it–disappear.

In the micro-examination of negative, often trivial details, the most valuable features of a mature marriage are often overlooked. Disappointments take center stage while treasures go unnoticed and unappreciated.

In your devotional time this week, I invite you to consider these passages as they might apply to your marriage.

  • Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
     
  • And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 5:20)
     
  • And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. (Philippians 4:8)
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