“And a man shall leave his father and his mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” Matthew 19:5
The music playing on the iPod tonight is from a radio show that was aired in Eastern North Carolina in the 1960s called, “Our Best to You.” Jimmy Capps was the voice of the show. Deep baritone who would spin the records and the requests, “From a boy at State to a girl at East Carolina……” Then would play Johnny Mathis’ Greatest Hits, and the Platters singing all the romantic songs that marked the 1960s. Sixteen Candles. Put Your Head on My Shoulder. When Sunny Gets Blue. I remember. I fell in love to the tune of this music and am taken back to that place every time I hear it.
I was a teenager when Tom and I got married…. 19 and barely grown. I hardly knew myself. Never went to Europe or California even. I had never explored the call in my life. And I was swept up in a magnificent love that still is filled with passion and fun. And the goodness that is formed in a lifetime of trial and test, disappointment and joy, the ups and downs of finance and work. The blessing and challenge of a family. We have experienced so much that has fine tuned us and polished us so that even in our old age, we want to be together to talk, and share, and dance in the kitchen.
Forty-seven years ago the concept of “one flesh” was something I could not even imagine. But I know what that means now. The treasure of a good marriage is precious in the world and in my life. Sure, I irritate Tom – I am impatient with the computer and I am a back-seat driver. And he irritates me sometimes. But at the end of the day, there is no one else I would rather be with. The covenant we entered into so long ago, the covenant we hardly even knew how to live, was sealed in our commitment and our love.
When I have offered pre-marital counseling to young people, I have used the Scripture from Luke 9:62, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.” A lot of marriage making is plowing to the end of the row, sticking to it in the tough times. Granted we have been blessed in our work to grow together, still… this is what has worked for us.
What else has worked? A faith shared. Shared values. Humor and a love of fun. Did I mention dancing in the kitchen? Good conversation. Reading and forming opinions that keep us interesting. A couple of filet mignons and a skimpy nightgown or two. May not work for everyone, but I give thanks that it has worked for us. Having one to share this wild and wonderful life with is a grace not to be taken for granted. It’s not miracle, but a capturing of what it means to commit to something higher and better, the oneness of God’s promise. Thanks be to God. Amen.