Blessings on Valentine’s Day! (And some thoughts on marriage)

We wish all of you a blessed Valentine’s Day!

As a Pastor, and as someone married for 26 years, I have experienced large parts of the journey of marriage, the good, the bad and the ugly.  Since ordination, I have walked those very same steps with many couples, from joyous weddings, through painful challenges, even through divorce.   I remember officiating at a wedding and noting in the charge that marriage moves through seasons, one of which will be not feeling in love.  The bride very quietly whispered to her groom, “That won’t be me.”  I would imagine, with a smile, all these years later she no doubt would change what she said.

So what can remain the same in the often tumultuous reality of marriage?

I think this is what can remain the same …

  1. We are always free to offer our best intentions on God’s behalf.  My intentions are more often than not, to put it kindly, limited.  But my best God-given intentions, often buried beneath my own hurts and neediness, are there.  God is the one who reminds me those best of intentions hold the most significant offerings I can bring to our marriage.
  2. We are always free to ask God’s help and the help of others in finding perspective.  There is a way in which when we can step back, problems, even dire ones, gain more manageable proportions.  We need others, not others who will agree with us no matter what, but others who will help us develop the more rounded, less harsh perspective within which marriage thrives.
  3. We are always free to love.  Some days that freedom looks like a non-reaction.  Other days it looks like forgiveness.  Some days a gift.  Other days passion.  But while I may not be able to choose feeling in love, I am always free to choose whether or not to be loving.

Our endeavor towards these three things is imperfect at best.  But that is why marriage presents us with the incredible opportunity to grow … to grow as individuals and to grow together.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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