For the past few weeks, I’ve been a part of a Christian’s women’s book club. We are reading Sacred Marriage: What If God Designed Marriage to Make Us Holy More Than to Make Us Happy? by Gary Thomas, this book provides practical tools and techniques to make your marriage happier by becoming holier husbands and wives. It has some really serious topics and our discussions are always enlightening.
In Chapter 9 Thomas writes about Sacred History: Building the Spiritual Discipline of Perseverance. For those of you who are married you know that along with so many other things, persistence in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success i.e. PRESEVERANCE is necessary in keeping a marriage going. Marriage is NOT easy!
Reading that chapter was a great reminder for me to share our marriage story. To pass it down to our children so they can pass it down to their children and so forth, and so on. The reason why we have persevered over the last 29 (24 married) years, goes beyond love. Half the battle is just keeping our story alive, refusing to quit, believing that if we keep hanging in there, we’re giving God more time and more opportunities to work His grace into our lives. Keeping our marriage story alive is key to our ability, through difficult at times, to preserver.
Our story began February 1991 at 41 Rockaway Ave. Brooklyn, New York. This was the address of our former church St. Paul United Church of God, unfortunately the church building is no longer standing but our story remains. My husband and I attended the same church as children, sang on the choir together but never really interacted with one another. That all changed when the church youth leader encouraged us to attend a Valentines Day Social! I just happened to be standing near Franklin when the youth leader told him he needed to attend, so he asked me to go with him.
At 16 years old I had never been on a date, I was ecstatic. he drove my brother and I home that Thursday evening and confirmed that we would meet at the church on Saturday. Fast forward to the day of the event and he was a no show. He stood me up!!! I was crushed. That following Sunday he tried to apologize but I wasn’t interested. My mother spoke with him and he apologized to her, my brother got after him and he apologized to him. I finally give him a moment to apologize and he promised to make it up to me. Five years later we were married.
Our relationship had a few ups and downs, but he made it up to me. Often we wonder what would have happened if he did show up? Would he have felt like he held up his end of the promise and then moved on? Would he have pursued me any further or would it have been a one and done kind of deal.
Often in life we see situations like this as a total loss, which 16 year old Deveter certainly did, I didn’t see the possibility of a future with a guy who could stand me up. I’m glad I gave him the opportunity to apologize. I’m glad we eventually became friends and then partners. Our marriage story was built on forgiveness, trust and loyalty. It is because of these three things, which are beyond love, that we are able to persevere. We stand back to back fighting off all the things that would try to infiltrate our marriage. We will continue to fight and show up for one another at all costs.
What is your marriage story? How often do you share it? Be inspired to share it today!