When Danny and I started dating (for the 3rd time)I knew that there was something different about him. He had been so consistent in his pursuit of me that I knew I couldn’t just take our relationship lightly as I had with some of the other guys I had dated in between. And that scared me a little. So in order to avoid being alone with him and having to have any serious conversations I would always invite friends along whenever he asked me to go out. He would come to pick me up and I would have a bunch of people with me and would say something like…”you don’t mind if they come along do you???” He did, but he never said so.
Then one day he invited me to go lunch to a cute little town called Port Jefferson – on his motorcyle.
He was on to me! And he had taken measures to make sure he could get me alone. It was a defining date for us. It was a time when we got away from the masses of people that I always surrounded myself with and it was just us – alone. At last he had my full attention. (I think he also enjoyed the fact that I had to wrap my arms around him and hold on tight as we rode- I know I did!)
I can go days, sometimes weeks, when the craziness of life pulls me away from time alone with God – time when He has my full attention. The passage in Mark 6 describes a time when Jesus and the disciples were surrounded by so many people all the time that they couldn’t even carve out time to eat – I have had days like that haven’t you?
Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place.
We need that time of rest alone with Jesus, when we can talk to him or maybe more importantly just listen. I think sometimes He longs to take us away to a place where we can be alone just like Danny did when he wanted my full attention. (some things never change…Danny still needs to take me away on his motorcyle sometimes!)
I want to encourage you to take Him up on that invitation. Get away from all the distractions – even the good stuff and find some time to just be alone with the one who loves you so much and wants that time with you. You will find rest, even if it’s just some mental rest, and you will feel refreshed and ready to take on all that is waiting for you when you get back.
Last night my husband asked me if we could have a coffee date at Panera this morning to start off our Anniversary day. After sitting across from him and feeling all warm and fuzzy because his green eyes still make my heart melt after all these years, I posted a comment on Facebook about him being “the most loving, patient handsome man in the world,” to which I got an overwhelming response of well-wishers ~ so sweet!
I also got a private message that reminded me that not everyone’s experience in marriage is as happy.
I met a man the other day that was commending me on the length of my marriage and said, “Wow you must have a lot in common.” Although Danny and I do have a lot in common, there are many more ways that we are different. Having things in common is not the reason we are still together.
Danny and I both come from backgrounds where our parents were divorced. That is our history. We made a decision going into our marriage that that would not be our story and that we would stop that cycle in our generation. It is that decision that we have fallen back on on the days that his green eyes were not making me melt or when his patience was being seriously tried by me.
The reason that our marriage works and I believe the reason that our love grows is simply because we have made God the center of it. When an issue comes up and trust me we have issues …we are both committed to going to the word of God to see what it says and we use that as a guide to direct how we handle the situation. More times than not it requires dying to our own selfish desires in order to put the other person first and it almost always requires forgiveness on one or both parts that comes only from God. We are two imperfect people trying hard to live up to God’s standards, failing miserably at times but offering grace (not always immediately!) to each other when we do. The day that either one of us stops doing this we are in serious trouble. Marriage is fragile – we know that and we guard it fiercely.
I would have to write a book in order to record all that we’ve learned in 27 years and although we are not the starry eyed 20 year olds that took our vows that rainy day in 1985, our love is deeper and stronger than it was then and it grows more every year.
It breaks my heart that this is not the story of every married couple and I know the only reason that it works for us is because we both share the same resolve. I have watched many people that I love dearly and respect tremendously try to fight for their marriage by themselves but it takes both parties being fully committed. I wish I had the answer of how to make that happen. What I do know is that even when things fall apart God heals and restores!
I thank God every day for the beautiful gift that He has given me in my marriage. It is my greatest earthly treasure (including my amazing children who are part of the package deal) but I also know without Him we’d be a mess!