I noticed when we were at our lake house last week there is a wedding picture in every room of our home with the exception of the den which is decorated with mounted ducks and geese and a few wooden plaques. I’ve hung these pictures not only in celebration of the marriages of our three grown children, but also as a reminder of the beauty and wonder of love itself.
Proverbs 30: 18, 19 categorizes romantic love with those things not easily understood. “There are three things that amaze me – no, four things I do not understand: how an eagle glides through the sky, how a snake slithers on a rock, how a ship navigates the ocean, how a man loves a woman.” Quite truthfully, erotic love may be more difficult to understand and explain than the eagle, the snake and the ship combined!
I’ve hung these pictures…also as a reminder of the beauty and wonder of love itself.
Poet Maya Angelou wrote that “Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.” Yes, love does that and more. During our nine month engagement period I was fulfilling a teaching contract in Houston, Texas, while David was sweating out his first year of medical school in Louisville, Kentucky. He once drove all through the night to cover the one thousand miles between us and arrived at my doorstep at six the next morning before I was even awake. I honestly think if there had been iron bars on the door he would have figured out a way to tear them down to get to me! Love is a little crazy that way.
David and I are thankful our three children found people they want to spend the rest of their lives with and make babies with and grow old with. We want to encourage them to continue loving each other as best we can. That is why I hang their pictures on the wall. It’s a reminder to them (and to all of us) that a power as real as any force of nature brought them together and sustains them still.
Marriage is a gift and one we didn’t provide them. Proverbs 19:14 says “Houses and wealth are inherited from parents, but a prudent wife is from the Lord.” My hope is that our children will always see their marriages as a gift and treat their spouses in a way that is honoring and kind. I have tried to encourage that to such a degree that I once heard my younger son laughingly say to his sister, “You know if we’re ever in a fight with our spouses Mom is always going to be on the side of the in-law.” I might not be that lopsided about it but I do make a concerted effort to honor and protect their marriages and to promote their spouses whenever I can.
Why? Because God’s Word says I should. “Marriage should be honored by all.” Hebrews 13:4. And because I would love to spare my children and grandchildren the pain of divorce. Certainly there are instances of abuse, addiction and repeated unfaithfulness which can make marriages intolerable but if I can throw all of my energies and efforts into supporting and applauding the love and commitment shared by these couples (and ANY OTHER couples) why not?
Proverbs 3:3 encourages us to never let love and faithfulness leave us. “Wear them like a necklace; write them deep within your heart.” I love pieces of jewelry that represent a particular memory or relationship so that scripture makes perfect sense to me. Each time I wear those pieces or look at them they bring me joy. These pictures are like jewelry for my walls. They represent happy times, carefree times, simpler times when romance ruled the day. And who doesn’t love a little romance!
Marriage is a gift and one we didn’t provide them.
Although we’ve been married for 44 years, our kids still love to hear the story of how we met. Of how that big 6’4” lumberjack of a guy saw me attempting to jump a large stream of water that ran the entire length of the sidewalk, grabbed me with one arm, swept me across the muddy water and planted me on dry ground. I guess you could say he literally swept me off my feet! I can’t say it was love at first sight or that I was even initially all that impressed but it was the beginnings of a romance that two and a half years later turned into a marriage and several years after that produced the three beautiful children we call our kids. They love that story because in a sense it was the beginning of their story too.
Married love is something we all have to work at to keep fresh and alive. Because each stage of life has its own challenges and hurdles marriage can sometimes feel like walking on turf that keeps changing. Just when we learn to navigate sand, we find ourselves sinking in mud or maybe on a rocky path that makes it hard to maintain our balance. Seeing a road sign to guide us will help and sometimes that road sign may just be a picture on a wall.