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Posts Tagged ‘long marriages’

I wonder if you can remember a time when you thought you knew someone well, then realised you didn’t at all. Perhaps you were delighted to discover they had done or could do something amazing. Or perhaps your experience was not so joyful. It can be quite a rude awakening, can’t it, when someone we thought we could depend on lets us down or disappoints us?

I can well remember the time years ago when I told some friends I was heading to theological college. This had long been a dream of mine and I thought they would be delighted for me. Yet instead, they seemed offended and asked me bluntly, ‘What would you want to do that for?’ I can’t remember how I responded—but I know I did not say much. I knew they would not be receptive—and by then, they had come crashing down off that pedestal I had put them on where they could do no wrong, in my eyes. Later, I realised they were at least being honest—and we remained friends. But that day, I certainly came to know them a little better.

Yet new revelations can happen even in our own families too. Recently, I mentioned something to my husband about a particular, ongoing difficulty our granddaughter was facing.

‘Oh, I used to have that trouble back in my teens myself!’ he told me immediately, to my great surprise.

He then described an actual setting where this had happened once and how he felt at the time. Yet, in all our fifty-two years of marriage, for whatever reason, I had never heard this personal story of his before. I was amazed—and it also made me wonder what other things I have yet to discover about my husband!

Recently, however, as I read in John 1 how Jesus called his early disciples to follow him, I realised my amazement paled into insignificance when compared with how Nathanael must have felt, when he first met Jesus. After hearing about Jesus from his friend Philip, he was reluctant at first to believe anything good could come from Nazareth, but went with Philip anyway to see for himself (44-46). And he was in for quite a shock.

 When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, he said of him, “Here is a true Israelite, in whom there is nothing false.”

“How do you know me?” Nathanael asked.

Jesus answered, “I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you.”

Then Nathanael declared. “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel.” (47-49)

Nathanael believed immediately because he realised Jesus knew all about him, even though they had never met. And we see a similar response in John 4 from the Samaritan woman at the well, after her amazing conversation with Jesus there.

Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Christ?” (29)

There is something freeing, don’t you think, in the fact that Jesus knows all about us too? We don’t have explain anything to him. And we don’t have to justify ourselves or pretend either. Instead, we can be at peace in his presence. We are loved. We are accepted. We are valued. We are known—truly known. Let’s praise God for that!

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scan0007This Friday 18th January 2019 is our Golden Wedding anniversary. Fifty years ago, we became husband and wife on a warm, summer’s morning at Annerley Church of Christ in Brisbane! Nine days later, I turned twenty-one—and that afternoon, my sister and her husband were married at Stephen’s Anglican Church, Coorparoo in Brisbane. Our parents must have had quite a time, preparing (and paying for!) two weddings so close together, for sure.

In October, when my sister and her husband wereIMG_20181027_131430316 visiting from Victoria, we took each other out for a meal to celebrate our two Golden Weddings. What fun we had, checking out menus and deciding which two restaurants we would choose! We figured we had a good excuse to spend a little more on our meals this time because, after all, not every couple gets to celebrate such a milestone event—especially two sisters.

IMG_20181025_190738185Something else my sister and I have in common is that we both married ministers! Our journeys have been varied and interesting, with many twists and turns—some of our own choosing and some not. But here we are, fifty years later, still loving and serving God as we are gifted and via the opportunities that come our way—and still great friends with each other too.

Does fifty years sound a loooong time to you? In our village where we live, one couple who are our neighbours have been married for sixty-four years and another couple for even longer— over seventy-five years! As someone jokingly said to us, ‘You’d get a lot less than that for murder!’ At least … I hope they were joking! But whether we think fifty or sixty or seventy something years is a long time depends on our perspective, doesn’t it? Right here and now in our lives, that seems quite an innings. But if we step back and think about all the centuries that have gone by in this world, it does not seem long at all. And when we step back even further and try to see things from the perspective of our eternal God, then fifty or sixty or even seventy years is nothing more than the blink of an eye.

For a thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night. Psalm 90:4

In Psalm 103:15-18, David also highlights this different perspective:

As for man, his days are like grass, he flourishes like a flower of the field; the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more. But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children—with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts.

How important it is for us to use whatever time God gives us on this earth well, both as individuals and, if married, as a couple! We have this one brief opportunity, whether single or married, widowed or divorced, to use our God-given gifts in whatever way God asks us to. So as we step into 2019, let’s all resolve to live in a way that honours our loving and patient Lord–and also one another–because that is the essence of good relationships, marriage or otherwise, don’t you think?

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