This week I learned something incredibly beautiful. A lady at my church lost her husband this week. She is such a precious elderly lady and my heart was so sad for her. Sitting at her kitchen table, Mrs. Ruth told stories of her and her husband. She told me how she met him. She told me stories of their marriage. Though I was sad that she lost her beloved husband of 60+ years, I was so happy for her. She and Jack got to experience something that so few people will ever get the privilege. In our world today marriage is an ideal that a lot of people do not think long term. Let me first say this before I continue forward: this is not a rant or a judgment on marriages that did not work out. But this is a celebration of one that lasted 60 years til death do us part. Jack and Ruth are such a beautiful example of a love that endured through hardship, struggle, pain, frustration, and loss. From the time they met, they knew that their lives would compliment each others, that they could not continue on living without the other, and that God had allowed for them the opportunity to honor Him in their marriage. They are such an example to our world, as I already said. Their love- their marriage- was founded on God and His love, grace, mercy, compassion, and so many other foundational characteristics of Him. I am certain that they faced struggle and hardship- that times were not always great. But I am also certain of this: they would not have lasted 60 years without the goodness of God in their lives. He was their center, always.
I am so inspired by Mrs. Ruth and her marriage to Jack. Even though he is now gone, her love for him still thrives. Her heart might be wounded, but I am convinced that her love for him and God endures strongly. I am inspired by the strength [from God] that was central in their marriage. I am inspired by the fact that in his last moments, Jack said that he loved God and loved Ruth more than anything. That is a love that I believe few people get to experience.
Maybe it is because we do not take it seriously. I do believe for some today, that marriage is not a covenant but something to do and if it does not work out you can quit and move on. I do believe for others that it is something the couple genuinely pursues only without God as their center, things begin to fall apart. Marriage today is not taken as seriously as I think it should be. It is sacred and beautiful and something to incredibly unique because it allows for us to honor God in an intimate, Christ centered, love filled, grace giving, compassionate marriage that reflects His love for us. That is what marriage is supposed be- a way to worship God with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength [Deut 6:4-5]. I know some people reading this might be hurt from a divorce, affair, or just a marriage that lasted, but was not sacred or close to beautiful. Our world today is not perfect so we cannot expect that every marriage exemplifies the beauty of God. But I do believe, in rarity, there are those marriages you see that are so beautiful and radiant because their beauty is from the very heart of God. Whatever your story is or whatever your martial status may be, know this: God deeply loves you. He deeply loves his people. When we enter into marriage it is not only and intimate relationship with your spouse, it is an intimate relationship with God. If is at your core, your center, your everything, anything is possible. He is a God of healing, restoration, comfort, peace, love, compassion, strength, grace, and above all a beauty that can turn any situation into one that can last through the storm or trial. A vow and a covenant of marriage is a chance for us to serve God in a beautiful way. I got to see that from Mrs. Ruth and her stories of Jack.