I wasn't going to share this at first, but then I thought about how we never hear about the "good" things anymore, and how all we ever hear about is that a "Happy Marriage" is just a myth. Not true!
Proof? This right here. This is just one of the many reasons why my wife is awesome! Not only did she make my lunch for me today, but she took the time to do this too.
No, marriage isn't easy no matter how "in love" two people might be, but choosing to show your love to your spouse in simple little ways like this (even on days when you don't "feel it" at all) should be, and it makes a world of a difference.
Remember, you made a commitment to each other before God. Some days that commitment shows by being 50/50, but most days it's 80/20 or 70/30, and our vocations as husband or wife even instruct us to pray for the grace to at least shoot for 100/0, or to serve each other completely and sacrificially, as well as the grace to forgive and be forgiven when we don't (b/c we'll never love and serve each other perfectly as we should -- never ever!).
So, in honor of marriage, and even at the risk of enraging every Non-Traditional/Feminist/Liberal/Progressive person out there who might be gagging and rolling their eyes while reading this, yes, I'm still happily married, yes, I still love my wife, and yes, we still "snuggle on the couch" even after 16 years.
That's what I shared on Facebook earlier this week.
It juxtaposes quite nicely with something a Lutheran Pastor shared recently too.
The first secret of joy in marriage is that it is God’s own act. “Then the Lord God said, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make a helper fit for him’” (Genesis 2:18). The ultimate crown of God’s creation, woman, is made after all the animals. The Lord wanted to impress upon Adam the incomparable wonder of what he was about to do for the man. Adam had named all the animals, “But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him” (Genesis 2:20). Some would balk right away, alleging that the woman as a “helper fit for him” is demeaning. But the Lord God himself is pleased to be called a “helper.” Ezer is the Hebrew word, and the name “Eliezer” means “God is my helper” (Numbers 3:32). “Fit for him” simply means that the woman would be in the same glorious image of God—righteous, intelligent, a delightful living, eternal soul to be a “soul mate” for life.
The second secret of a joyful marriage is that marriage is an act of the will. In the vows we state, “for better, for worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health,” “I will.” Virtually every marriage goes through times when we simply don’t feel love. . . . But love, in its most fundamental form, is not, in fact, emotion. It is the will to act for the benefit of another, no matter how it feels. Paul bids husbands “love your wife as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her” (Ephesians 5:25). The truth holds good for wives too. Christ acted for the benefit of all of us, quite without a continual warm fuzzy feeling of love and joy. “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will” (Matthew 26:39). He willed to do it. He submitted to the will of his Father as an act of love, and the result is endless joy for the world.
This is most certainly true.
I especially liked: "Virtually every marriage goes through times when we simply don’t feel love. . . . But love, in its most fundamental form, is not, in fact, emotion. It is the will to act for the benefit of another, no matter how it feels" because "marriage is an act of God, and married love is an act of the will."
In a Lutheran layman's terms, yes, a "happy marriage" can exist. I have one.
NOTE: Please understand that I'm not a called and ordained minister of God's Word and Sacraments. I'm a layman or just a regular Christian, Corporate Recruiter, Husband, Father, Friend who lives in the "City of Good Neighbors" here on the East Coast. As another Christian Blogger once wrote, "Please do not see this blog as me attempting to 'publicly teach' the faith, but view it as an informal Public Journal of sorts about my own experiences and journey, and if any of my notes here help you in any way at all, then I say, 'Praise the Lord!' but please do double check them against the Word of God and with your own Pastor." To be more specific, and relevant to the point I want to make with this disclaimer/note, please understand that I'm a relatively new convert to Confessional Lutheran who recently escaped American Evangelicalism a little more than 3 years ago now. That being said, please contact me ASAP if you believe that any of my "old beliefs" seem to have crept their way into any of the material you see published here, and especially if any of the content is inconsistent with our Confessions and Lutheran doctrine (in other words, if it's not consistent with God's Word, which our Confessions merely summarize and repeatedly point us back to over and over again) so that I can correct those errors immediately and not lead any of His little ones astray (James 3:1). Also, please be aware that you might also discover that some of the earlier/older pieces I wrote for this blog back in 2013 definitely fall into that "Old Evangelical Adam" category (and they don't have a disclaimer like this) since I was a "Lutheran-In-Name-Only" at the time and was completely oblivious to the fact that a Christian "Book of Concord" even existed (Small/Large Catechism? What's that!?!). This knowledge of the Lutheran basics was completely foreign to me even though I was baptized, confirmed, and married in an LCMS church! So, there are some entries that are a little "out there" so-to-speak since the subject matter was also heavy influenced by those old beliefs of mine. I know that now and I'm still learning. Anyway, I decided to leave those published posts up on this website and in cyberspace only because they are not blasphemous/heretical, because I now have this disclaimer, and only to demonstrate the continuing work of Christ and the Holy Spirit in my life (Hebrews 12:2; Philippians 1:6). Most importantly, please know that any time I engage in commenting on and/or interpreting a specific portion of the holy Scriptures, it will always closely follow the verse-by-verse footnotes from my Lutheran Study Bible and/or include references to the Book of Concord unless otherwise noted. Typically, I defer to what other Lutheran Pastors both past and present have already preached and taught about such passages since they are the called and ordained under-shepherds of our souls here on earth. Finally, I'm going to apologize ahead of time for the length of most entries (this disclaimer/note is a perfect example of what I mean! haha). I'm well aware that blogs should be short, sweet, and to the point, but I've never been one to follow the rules when it comes to writing. Besides, this website is more like a "Christian Dude's Diary" in the sense that everything I write about and share publicly isn't always what's "popular" or "#trending" at the time, but is instead all the things that I'm studying myself at the moment. For better or for worse, these posts tend to be much longer than most blog entries you'll find elsewhere only because I try to pack as much info as possible into a single piece so that I can refer to it again and again over time if I need to (and so that it can be a valuable resource for others -- if possible, a "One-Stop-Shop" of sorts). Thank you for stopping by and thank you in advance for your time, help, and understanding. Feel free to comment/email me at any time. Grace and peace to you and yours!