Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Marriages I look up to

It was 1998. I was attending a Mary Kay retreat on the Oregon Coast w/ my Mom. I was a peon consultant, she was an upcoming director.

We were listening to someone speak (please Jennifer, don't ask me who. I can't remember). They asked us to write down the name of a couple whose relationship you respected. I wrote down the parents of a friend. They had been such a loving, funny, giving couple...ever since I could remember. I was friends with their daughter & had been since age 3.

My Mom had seen the name I wrote & immediately got offended. I didn't understand that she had expected for me to write her name down as the best marriage I had seen. It took until this morning in the shower, reliving that horrible day of arguing, for me to get it.

She yelled at me for quite awhile explaining that the husband had cheated on his wife at work. He'd gotten caught by fellow coworkers. The wife was humiliated in our small town where everyone knew. They had moved out of town to get away from the drama. (please note that all this info is hearsay, I don't know the exact details)

Maybe it's just me, but I respect that woman. To work through the trouble spots instead of giving up. Most of us would rather give up than put effort into our relationships. How easy it would have been to walk away. It must have been difficult to stay. To hash things out. To earn trust again.

I think of them so often in my own marriage. How would THEY treat each other if this happened? Would THEY be able to laugh this off?

I hope my marriage has the ability to help someone through their tough times. I bet this couple doesn't even know the effects they've had on me & my husband. I think of them quite often, even though I haven't seen them in 17 years.

Is your marriage an example of tolerance, forgiveness, diligence, love? Mine isn't always, but I put energy into it. If I don't...who will?


Jen (a.k.a. motor mouth) said...

I was at that same retreat. I don't know who the speaker was either.
I had no idea this happened between you and your mom, and I believe I know who that marriage is. (Though only in passing)
Our marriage is surely a work in progress (aren't we all?) It's like fine wine, and gets better with time.
I too get lightbulb moments in the shower!

Tam said...

our marriage has had to learn patience. lots of it. being in the ministry can take a toll on a family. its a 24/7 job, on call. so we've had to learn flexibility. ive heard of so many wives who began resenting their husbands for the time they put into the church and the people. this is something brent has worked hard at avoiding. but we have seen other couples int he ministry rise above it. our senior pastor and his wife in fact. a true testimony.

i only hope, at some time, we can be source of hope or encouragement to another couple.

Anonymous said...

It's kind of crazy...Daniel and I (in the black S. Afican culture) are the only married people we know here. There are white people married, but we only know a few here as well. So it is really a big "responsibility" for us, I feel, to be a strong example. Not a perfect one...but a strong one. So all that to say is that I commit our marriage daily to the Cross and submit my will and my attitude and desire because seriously I know so much is at stake. I wonder if any of these people have ever seen a healthy marriage. Dang...scary. So I pray and pray and pray and pray.


Joy @ Five J's said...

My sister had a marriage very similar. Her husband cheated on her from day one, even moving in with another woman at one time, but she stayed with him for 22 years of marriage. I think she's the most forgiving woman in all the world!