I thought I would wrap up the survey series today. Not all results could be used as to the fact that I received so many. I was surprised as to how many people responded. A friend of mine had suggested this topic some time back and I had delayed on it. Obviously she was right and I was wrong.
So, I will place a few more results up top and end with a personal note and that will be that. Thank you to each of you who sent in your opinion.
“Almost 11 years. Challenges? The death of my mother-in-law six months before we were married, severe depression and intimacy issues. Advice? Seek the Holy Spirit for the words to say and for peace when none can be found otherwise.”
“Well, if you do not count the nine months we were divorced when our children were young we have been married 24 years. Advice? Never ever let divorce be an option. Do not allow a quit option and keep God in the middle.”
Last one. This marriage was challenged by something none could have foreseen, the passing of a wife. I am leaving her name in because she was a real person and has left a real memory and continues to leave real impressions.
“Janet and I were married for 17 years, 2 months and 1 week. The responsibility for another persons happiness and care. To make sure you are in love. If in your minds eye there is any selfish or self gratifying reason you want to be with the person it’s not love. Love is self sacrificing for that one person, their needs before yours. You would give anything and everything for that person even your life, that’s love.”
And with that response, I will add only a few comments.
Since last Saturday and putting out the survey question it has been an interesting week. I have found myself in unfamiliar territory. This survey question pushed me, prodded me, probed me and at times I was disappointed in myself.
This week I have found myself to be both heroic and hypocrtical, both strong and weak, both compassionate and with no compassion at all in writing Groveling, Slobbering Dogs.
Last night I was standing in the outfield grass along with Brady Howard, a pastor at our church. He and I are very close personally, but he also dates our oldest daughter. As batting practice was going on before the game we were discussing relationships. The complexity, the challenges, the highs, the lows. At one point, somewhere near the right field foul line I asked him, “Brady, why do more pastors not stand before the congregations and say, “My gosh, we all have problems. All of our marriages are in trouble if not for the grace of God. But I am standing before you, warts and all. Now, lets try to figure this thing out called relationships and marriage.”
As the Facebook status says, “Its Complicated”. You know what? It is, by golly complicated.
So, I have learned much this week. But I have learned that in spite of the warts I have, God’s love…it never fails, it never runs out on me and it goes on and on and on and on.
I can be strong in that.