“Love is…not quick to take offense…love keeps no score of wrongs…. There is nothing love cannot face; there is no limit to its faith, its hope and its endurance” (1 Corinthians 13:4-7).
It was our anniversary. Thirty seven years! We decided to drive to the resort where we had spent our honeymoon. It was only an hour drive. I was delighted to be able to spend an entire day with Marvin. Just the two of us.
However my delight and excitement soon turned into disappointment. The night before, we had gone for dinner with some friends. During our conversation I interjected with a, “Why don’t you…?”
He immediately grew quiet and a wall sprang up between us. You know how quickly those situations arise. One unseemly remark, one casual interjection and the normal flow of love between us came to a standstill. And even though we prayed together before we went to sleep, the wall was still there the next morning. And it was raining. We decided not to drive to the resort. The place was surrounded by mountains and was beautiful when the weather was sunny, but depressing when it rained. We didn’t go.
Then phone rang. It was an hour call. Breakfast had to wait. So I took wrapping paper downstairs and noticed the carpet was soaking wet. When I looked up, I saw water dripping from the ceiling.
So now, not only was our relationship strained, our excursion to our honeymoon location spoiled by the rain, but we also had a major plumbing problem. We spent most of the day trying to fix the problem. We couldn’t fix it. We had to call a plumber.
There was no reminiscing about our 37 wonderful years together that day…no romantic dinner (we had leftovers). Only polite conversation.
Remember the five percent
We all have days like that. The longer you are married and entrust yourself to your spouse and the more vulnerable you become with each other, the deeper the pain when the relationship is strained.
But, those days are few. How quickly we forget the ninety five percent of our life together that is wonderful and satisfying. So swiftly our thoughts fix themselves on the five percent with potential improvement points.
But during this time God allows us to see ourselves and how much we still have to learn about sacrificial love and forgiveness.
Lord God, Your grace is enough for us even during times of hurt and disappointment. So often we expect perfection from others when we ourselves have so far to go. Or we demand of others what only You can give us. Perfection and satisfaction. Enable us to love and accept others with their strengths and weaknesses. Forgive us for being so unloving. Amen.