It happened for the first time two months after our wedding day. A new puppy, a snowball fight and my husband’s new wedding ring lost forever, slipped off in to a pile of freshly fallen snow in the backyard of our first home together.
It happened again at church in Texas, and a locker room in North Carolina. It happened on a ship in the Middle East and an office in Singapore. And my absolute favorite, twenty years and eight rings later, his most recent ring sits jingling underneath the transmission of his suv, taunting us on our date nights…….hiding just far enough out of reach to require dismantling the entire transmission and undercarriage of his vehicle to retrieve it.
His wedding rings are scattered around this globe like a trail of breadcrumbs, a testimony that “We Were Here.” We joke and laugh and purchase them at Walmart now and I have thought long and hard about making him get a wedding ring tattooed on to his ring finger.
But for now, I watch him fiddle with that Walmart wedding ring in the dark movie theater and thoroughly expect it to go rolling down that sticky floor in to the never-to-be found again abyss.
It has come to be a standing joke in our family. Each holiday a new wedding ring, and with it a prediction of how long it will last. How long this one can hold on!!!
And isn’t that the game society plays with our marriages? Surely the past has predicted the future and if marriage is anything like these wedding rings, it is sure likely to slip off and disappear in to the night without much of a notice.
We all look enviously at that one eighty year old couple that strolls through the neighborhood, hand in hand, with years and years of togetherness trailing behind them, and we wonder at the probability of it all.
Will we be just another statistic? Will our marriage be able to withstand the pounding of the next unknown struggle?
So I pray. I pray for this marriage and those blooming around us. I pray for the military marriages that struggle under the weight of it all and the new marriages that haven’t faced the fire yet.
We may fear the struggles that will most assuredly come to the foot of our marriage, and wonder how we will fair under the pressure, but if we look at the value in these struggles, and cling to the One who brought us together, He can indeed use the struggles to make our marriages stronger and more solid.
Because we know that spiritual growth takes place through persevering in difficult times.
We know it is possible to come out of the fire stronger and knit together tighter than before. God can use all of our marriage; the good, the bad, and the ugly, to make us stronger, wiser, and more complete in Him, if we allow Him the room in our marriage.
How is God using the reality of living with an imperfect person to teach you how to grow in patience and understanding?
How is God using your marriage to teach you how to love?