23rd July 2011

I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do!

“Jesus’ disciples objected, ‘If those are the terms of marriage, we’re stuck. Why get married?’ But Jesus said, ‘Not everyone is mature enough to live a married life. It requires a certain aptitude and grace. Marriage isn’t for everyone…But if you’re capable of growing into the largeness of marriage, do it.’”
Matthew 19:10-12 (The Message Bible)

A good friend of ours, Rajko Radovic, of ‘Last Man Standing’ fame (Discovery Channel Programme), is getting married today. He is in his early 30’s and we tease him that the ‘last man standing’ has finally fallen!

My husband and I celebrated our 37th wedding anniversary this year. Sometimes people ask what is the secret of a happy marriage. Love, is, of course, the answer, but that needs to be ‘unpacked’ or expanded to show practical applications.

I sometimes suggest the attitude of the song in the musical ‘Oliver’. I’d do anything for you, dear, anything…..Would you paint your face bright blue? Anything. Go to Timbucktu? Anything. Put the toilet seat seat down? Anything.  Pick up my dirty socks? Anything. And you can add here your own little personal or marital irritations. John 15:13 (NIRV) puts it this way: “No one has greater love than the one who gives his life for his friends.” Giving your life for someone may be even more meaningful in life than in death.

If you love someone, you may happily overlook bad habits, or undertake unpleasant tasks (ever change a baby’s pooey nappie?!). And I’m talking about true love, outgoing concern for the welfare of another, not the emotion that comes and goes depending on if you’re hungry, cross, or being given a gift. True love is a CHOICE, not just an emotion, although the emotion can flow from the choice and vice versa.

This is the kind of love that says ‘For better or for worse’, and stays constant even when burglary or disaster robs them of all their possessions and wealth. This is the kind of love that says ‘In sickness and in health’, and stays constant even if a terrible accident deprives them of their beauty or abilities. This is the kind of love that says ‘Till death doth us part’, not until divorce doth us part, or until he/she does…..(you fill in the blank).

The time to counsel and consider is before you say, “I do, I do, I do, I do, I do!”

Heavenly Father, bless Rajko and Andrijana on their wedding day. Bless their marriage and their life together. Marriage is a serious but wonderful relationship. Help us not to be put off by all the unhappy and broken relationships we may see around us, but view it as a gift from God and rejoice in it.

Study by Nancy Silcox

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