No amount of policy changes or discussions or redefinition can change the simple fact that marriage is a powerful union designed for a man and woman to commit to and to love to one another…an amazing bond that should never be underestimated.
Married for life
When I think about marriage my mind goes straight to the marriages of my grandparents.
My maternal grandparents were sadly separated, only by the early death of my grandfather 20 years ago. As I sat with my Grandmother recently on her 90th birthday weekend, we shared some time together looking at pictures of her life. We looked at photos of Grandad and she talked about the events in the pictures like they were yesterday, tears in her eyes. I am sure their marriage faced many challenges, but their love was strong. They were committed, right until God called Grandad home.
My paternal grandparents truly lived a lifetime in togetherness. They met in 1945 after Pa returned from the war. In my memories of Nan and Pa they were always together, took delight in one another, would take walks hand in hand, and would always be helping other couples who were struggling. When Pa passed away last year in August, Nan followed him a week later. They truly could not be apart. Their marriage commitment was until death and they kept that vow in love and honour. I have always imagined, that after Pa died he visited Nan and said, "It's time to go now, we have been living our lives for this day. Let's go to meet our Father God". They were both 89.
Marriage is for good
How beautiful is marriage. I choose to view marriage in a positive light and to gain all there is from a good marriage as God intended. 'Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh' (Genesis 2 verse 25).
The commitment and purity of love in marriage is being challenged every day in our society. We can never, ever give up in fighting for this vitally important union that is truly being devalued. Marriage is an important social good, associated with an impressively broad array of positive outcomes for children and adults alike (fatherhood.org.au). The importance of learning how to nurture love cannot be overestimated, because our societies are getting lonelier and lonelier.
More positive talk needed
Today on our local Christian radio station, Light FM, people were ringing in to give their relationship/marriage tips and advice for how to make it work. What a great topic for many drivers to listen on their way home from work. For once, rather than hearing about marriage and relationships being torn apart, we were able to listen to some quality words from everyday people working hard to make their relationship last.
I personally love to meet husbands and wives, married for many years speak so positively and encouragingly about what has helped them survive the odds in this day and age. There is something just beautiful about a couple who have a lifetime of experiences and challenges behind them, yet are still looking forward to what God has for them, learning new lessons and are still strengthening their marriage, day by day.
Sometimes things can go wrong and things don't end up the way we planned. And that can happen to any of us. But no matter what our situation is this day, we can choose to see the goodness of marriage, whether it's our own or someone we know. Take a moment to encourage or nurture that relationship this very moment. It is worth it.
Laura Veloso is wife to John and the mother of 3 young boys. She is trained in child welfare and primary school teaching and has experience in overseas missions and youth leadership.
Laura Veloso's archive of articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/laura-veloso.html