Last night I was up with my restless little Charles and together we watched the clock tick through nearly every hour. At one point, afraid that I would drop him from my droopy arms, I turned on the TV in an attempt to stay awake. (It was either that or finish off 1/2 of the apple pie I made for supper. Tempting, but tastier at 3:00 p.m. with a cup of coffee. Snack rules do not apply to me - just one of the perks of being the queen of this ranch!)
Unfortunately, there's not much on at 3:00 a.m. except infomercials and the news. So, opting for the news, I listened half-heartily as one anchor reported some staggering facts about marriage in the USA today. Her unfortunate statistics reminded me of a clip I once saw of Oprah Winfrey who said something to the effect of, "Marriage is not necessary for couples to be happy. In fact, I think it's an outdated concept...."
Oh, my. I didn't get the memo stating that Oprah is the new authority on relationships and that God put an expiration date on sacramental unions. Good grief.
Tomorrow Steve and I will celebrate our 11th anniversary.
I'm pretty sure that I could compile a colossal list of quotations, documentations and objective reasons why couples do need marriage, communities need marriage and the world for that matter needs marriage. God has written the desire for covenantal relationships into our very being. It's all a part of His perfect design for humanity.
Yet, words aren't enough these days to convince the world that there is such a thing as objective truth and that there is beauty in that truth. Actions will always be a stronger catalyst for good and for persuasion. Hence, the crucifixion. God didn't just tell us he loves us, he showed us. So inspired the wise insights of good old Ben Franklin who once said, "Well done is better than well said." That's some good stuff, Ben.
Honey, today on our anniversary, I want to thank you for asking me to be your bride. (Remember our engagement picture, before we had wrinkles, pudge and weird skin things due to a lack of sleep and perhaps too much beer??? I did say perhaps!)Thank you for fulfilling your "I do's" each and every day. For still calling me beautiful when pony-tails and no make-up are the best that I can do. For cherishing my quirks and not asking questions when I need to watch Pride and Prejudice or Anne of Green Gables with a mountain of popcorn for the millionth time. For wearing your "Super Dad" cape and coming to the rescue with your humor and fun when the boys have squeezed every last drop of spunk out of me....
Most of all, thank you for knowing that you are not my ultimate end nor my ultimate happiness, but encouraging me to seek that which is our ultimate end, our ultimate happiness - Life in Christ. For choosing to love me, our children, and our life with every breath even when life seems suffocating - and for drinking in life's fullness when blessings abound. For giving without the expectation of receiving and sacrificing without counting the cost. In doing so you are showing the world through our marriage that love is real, it is true, it is good and it is beautiful.
May, the desire of our hearts, today on our anniversary and everyday, be to put our love into action with the hope that you and I might one day hear our Lord say, "Well done, my good and faithful servants."
Love feels no burden, thinks nothing of trouble, attempts what is above its strength, pleads no excuse of impossibility....It is therefore able to undertake all things, and it completes many things, and warrants them to take effect, where he who does not love would faint and lie down. Love is watchful and sleeping, slumbereth not.Though weary, it is not tired; though pressed, it is not straitened; though alarmed, it is not confounded; but, as a lively flame and burning torch, it forces its way upwards and securely passes all.
~ Thomas A Kempis (1379 - 1471)