Posted by: glorifyhim1 | February 13, 2011

A Funny Valentine

Yesterday I pulled a small bulging box out of my closet and gently removed the lid. It was filled with treasured valentines that I have received over the years. Some were humorous; others were quite serious; and most brought back special memories. But one of my favorites is a funny valentine that my husband gave me a couple of years ago. It was a card with a picture of two monkeys looking at each other with the following remark on the front of the card. “They say the longer you stay together, the more you begin to look like one another.” I opened the card and read the phrase inside: “It’s a good thing we are both good looking!”

I laughed out loud. While I don’t know if we’ll ever begin to look like each other, I do know that neither of us are likely to win any good looks contests. But I also know that after almost 37 years of marriage, there must be something that keeps holding us together. While I realize that true beauty is in the eye of the beholder, I also feel that the true cement that holds a marriage together involves much more than outward beauty. Marriage begins with a commitment, a promise we make to one another, but its true success or failure depends on a couple’s willingness to work and grow together. I don’t think a couple ever fully arrives at the perfect marriage. However, as they change, grow, and learn, their marriage can become better and better, and an adventure well worth the effort. So to all you young married couples or sweethearts contemplating marriage, here’s a little advice on Valentine’s Day.

  • Learn to laugh – together and at yourself. Everything doesn’t have to be serious. Be willing to laugh over your mistakes. Believe me, that first failed recipe will not be your last and it’s a lot better to laugh it off than to dissolve in tears. “A merry heart does good, like medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones” (Proverbs 17:22).

 

  • Master the art of real communication. Really talk together. Instead of just making conversation, talk about what you’re thinking and feeling. Be willing to share worries and anxieties, desires and dreams. And when your partner is talking, listen with your heart. This is the kind of communication that knits you together and helps you to grow in knowledge and understanding of each other.

 

  • Take time to celebrate. Life can become tedious – work, eat, sleep; work, eat, sleep…. Identify milestones to celebrate. Look forward to days off and plan to do things that you both enjoy. It can be as simple as sharing an ice cream cone or as lavish as weekend trip, but find ways to celebrate important dates or small victories.

 

  • Enjoy today. It is easy when you’re just starting out to set big goals and dedicate all your resources and time to accomplishing those goals. Yet the old adage about all work and no play applies to marriages, too. When we are constantly working for some future, elusive dream, it is easy to become worn out and discouraged. While we need to have dreams that we work toward, they should never become so all-encompassing that we cannot enjoy today. Each and every day is a blessing from God. “This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm 118:24).

 

  • Submit! Uh-oh, there’s that word! But, in all honesty, it is not a bad word. Instead, submission is needed by both husbands and wives. In a way, they actually submit to each other. As Paul stated in Ephesians 5:22: “Wives, submit to your own husband, as to the Lord;” and in Ephesians 5:25a: “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her.” These Scriptures emphasize that a wife voluntarily submits herself to her husband just as she submits to the authority of Christ. Likewise, a husband loves his wife self-sacrificially, willing to serve her and lay down his life for her, just as Christ loved the church. This kind of submission and concern for one another mirror Christ’s relationship with the church.

 

  • Respect each other. Always treat one another with genuine honor and respect. Laughing together over funny or silly things that one or the other has done is one thing. But talking behind your spouse’s back, or making fun of him or her in front of others is not showing respect. Never do or say anything that belittles your partner, or that could cause him or her to lose their sense of self-worth or dignity.

 

  • Pray for your marriage. Christ should be the head of every Christian home. Come to Him in thanksgiving for your marriage partner. Ask God for His blessings upon your husband or wife. Pray regularly for your spouse and ask God for understanding and insight into ways that you can be a better husband or wife. Pray for God’s protection of your marriage and ask Him to defend it from any forces of evil that would tear it apart.

 

Marriage isn’t easy, but it’s worth everything you put into it. Christ Himself taught: “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.” (Matthew 19:5-6)

I am so grateful for the years my husband and I have shared together. Sure we’ve had our ups and downs, made mistakes, and not done everything right, but we’ve tried to honor the commitment we made to each other all those years ago. But even more, we know that we owe our marriage to God’s amazing grace. It’s not about what we’ve done, but what God has done for us. He has shown us His mercy and grace, helped us along the way, and blessed us in spite of our failures. When you enter marriage, commit yourselves to one another, but more importantly, submit yourselves and your marriage to the Lord Jesus Christ. And then, as He works in you over the years, one day you may discover that instead of your looking more and more like one another, just maybe you will both look more like Christ. And that’s what I call beautiful!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

 

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