Over the past couple of weeks it has been my pleasure to witness first-hand the wonders and the mystery of marriage. On the front side I joined in the festivities as our own Drew Cook tied the knot with Veronica, his lovely bride, and God performed the miracle of the “two becoming one” in His presence.
At the other end of the journey, I stood over the grave of Clinton Wolf, who loved and cared for his wife Joann for over sixty-years. Their love born during their days as college sweethearts lasted through all the twists and turns life could throw at them, yet nothing could separate what God had joined together.
At weddings, I must confess my heart is still stirred by the romance and emotions of it all. My mind races back to seeing Robyn standing at the end of a long aisle, dressed in white, coming to-ward me to be my bride. Honestly, her dad did not look all that happy about her marrying a Baptist preacher boy, but the glow on Robyn’s face captured my heart for good.
At the funerals of lifelong loving partners, I am inspired to never ever give up or give in. My marriage is worth fighting for—even if it means fighting with Robyn on occasion, seeking to find common ground, and a healthy relationship. Sadly, I must confess too often my own selfishness rears its ugly head in the midst of us “talking nervous” as Kalie, our oldest daughter, used to call it.
This week, Kathleen Parker, of the Washington Post, wrote an article that has captured the attention of people across our nation. Parker entitled her article: “To Defeat Poverty—Look to Marriage.”
In a wonderfully written essay, Parker acknowledged and pointed to the incredible benefits of marriage in its own right. She noted how the research on the “war on poverty” has revealed the striking reality that a good, strong, healthy marriage protects couples and families from the downward death spiral of poverty.
In her argument for the age old—traditional view of marriage, Parker made the following observation: “More to the point, we know that being unmarried is one of the highest risk factors for poverty. And no, splitting expenses between unmarried people isn’t the same. This is because marriage creates a tiny economy fueled by a magical concoction of love, selflessness and permanent commitment that holds spirits aloft during tough times.”
Who would have ever thought you would find the Washington Post on the same page as Moses in the opening lines of the book of Genesis? I love her description of marriage which states: “marriage creates a tiny economy fueled by the magical concoction of love, selflessness, and permanent commitment that holds spirits aloft during tough times.” I think her words would make the Apostle Paul smile.
However, those who know marriage best know without doubt that this kind of love, selflessness, and commitment finds its root in the presence and power of God in the hearts and lives of the husband and wife. In fact, Paul pointed out that marriage works best when both partners are filled with the “Spirit” whose fruit includes: “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness and self control.” It appears God knows what He is doing and we would be wise to follow His direction for real solutions to real problems.