Tag Archives: Marriage

Bridging the Distance

A couple of weeks ago my husband and I went to see Dwight Yoakam in concert. It was a great concert — but then Dwight always puts on a great concert. True to my nature, I’ve listened to a lot of Dwight both before and after the concert. He sang one of my favorite songs called “If There Was a Way” and I realized that I did not have that album on my iPod. I quickly remedied that a day or so after the concert and have been listening a lot to that album.

There is another song on that album that has me thinking. It’s called “The Distance Between You and Me.” It’s a sad song about a couple that has grown apart. The chorus says:

I lie awake and hear you breathing
Only inches from me in this bed
Not much space but it’s all that we needed
To live alone now that our love is dead

This song is particularly sad because it describes so many couples in our society today. They start out their marriages happy and blissful, but somewhere along the way a distance grows between them, sometimes so big it’s immeasurable. The distance leaves them alone even as they occupy the same house, the same bed. Many wonder what leads to such aloneness.

But it’s really no mystery. Quoting Psalm 4:4, the apostle Paul advised, “‘In your anger do not sin’ Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.” Ephesians 4:26-27 (NIV). Sadly, so many people do not heed this advice. Pride, anger, and lack of forgiveness cause the distance. One spouse says or does something that hurts the other, maybe intentionally but maybe not. And the other spouse refuses to forgive, holds a grudge. Then another incident leads to another grudge, and on and on it goes. Each grudge separates them and eventually enough anger and unforgiveness destroys the love and intimacy they once enjoyed.

Another problem that causes a distance between husband and wife is when one or the other uses sex as a weapon, when because of anger one refuses the other’s advances. Paul also warned against this situation when he gave his “Instruction on Marriage” in 1 Corinthians:

The husband should fulfill his wife’s sexual needs, and the wife should fulfill her husband’s needs. The wife gives authority over her body to her husband, and the husband gives authority over his body to his wife. Do not deprive each other of sexual relations, unless you both agree to refrain from sexual intimacy for a limited time so you can give yourselves more completely to prayer. Afterward, you should come together again so that Satan won’t be able to tempt you because of your lack of self-control. 1 Corinthians 7:3-5 (NLT).

Thankfully, there is a way to bridge the distance and loneliness, and heal the hearts of estranged love. Honesty, love, and forgiveness will heal all wounds. Live together with “compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.  And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” Colossians 3:12-14 (NIV).

The best option is to live by God’s design for a healthy marriage as revealed in His Word and thereby prevent Satan from getting a foothold in your lives and creating that distance that destroys love and intimacy. But where Satan has already gained a foothold and a distance has grown, that distance can be bridged by love and forgiveness. Love that appears dead can be given new life by God’s grace.

2 Comments

Filed under Faith, Family, Jesus, Life, Music, Women

My Sweet Love – A 55 Poem

The challenge at dVerse Poets Pub Meeting at the Bar this week is to write a “55,” which is a poem-story that is exactly 55 words. In honor of my 27th anniversary coming up soon I decided to write about the story of when my husband and I met.

My Sweet Love

The band plays
“I’ll Never Stop Loving You”
It will be our song one day

Lacy anklets and black pumps
with white skirt
It was the legs that got him

Breakfast at the Red Apple
sealed the deal

“Grandma, I’ve met the woman
I’m going to marry,” he said

And he did,
my sweet love

9 Comments

Filed under Family, Life, Poetry

Vows of Love – A Poem

Today is my husband’s and my 26th wedding anniversary, and since it is also Thankful Thursday I thought it would be nice to write a little poem for the occasion. It’s been a busy day and so I’m getting a bit of a late start on writing it, but I’ve been pondering what to write off and on all day. Here is what I came up with.

Vows of Love

For better or for worse
In sickness and in health
The vows we shared
Vows revealing our love

Some days are better
Some days are worse
Sickness and health
we have seen together

We cling to our vows
To our life joined in God
No matter what life brings
Our love will never die

4 Comments

Filed under Faith, Family, Life, Poetry

Wedding Bells – A Villanelle

Our nephew Jacob is marrying the love of his life Baiba today. We are looking forward to attending the wedding and reception. In anticipation of the festivities I wrote this villanelle for them. It’s my first attempt at a villanelle, another poetry form with specific repeating pattern.

Wedding Bells

Wedding bells are ringing
Love in the air tonight
Angels all are singing

Guests welcomed to the fling
Revel with all their might
Wedding bells are ringing

In her hand blooms of spring
Beautiful bride in white
Angels all are singing

See gifts and love we bring
Sharing our smiles so bright
Wedding bells are ringing

Symbol of love, a ring
Beloved vows they write
Angels all are singing

Bride and groom are kissing
Wedded bliss close in sight
Wedding bells are ringing
Angels all are singing

7 Comments

Filed under Faith, Family, Life, Poetry

Our Love – A Poem

Since my 25th anniversary was this week, I decided that I wanted to write a poem about love for Thankful Thursday. But not the love of God, which I write about often; rather I want to write about the kind of love between a husband and a wife, which God has given us as a gift of great value. Through the years it changes, and yet it remains our love.

Our Love

A flame sparks to life
and soon a wildfire is burning
consuming our thoughts
every waking moment fixed upon
each other

The flame persists
fueling a bond of love
burning as one desire
forging a future and family
together

The flame remains
year upon year
waxing and waning
but never extinguished
within us

The flame lingers
smoldering low but sure
enveloped in selflessness
compassion, loving
as one

Our flame sustains
burning like twilight
comforting our hearts
enjoying the future built
hand in hand

My beloved is mine, and I am his.
      He feeds his flock among the lilies.
Song of Solomon 2:16 (NKJV).

5 Comments

Filed under Faith, Family, Life, Poetry, postaday2011

Marigolds, Mouthwash, and Music – My Anniversary Tuesday Three

Today is my husband’s and my 25th anniversary. It’s such a special occasion that I decided I wanted to post something about it today. At one time, it was not a big deal for marriages to last 25 years because hardly anyone got divorced. But these days, with 40% to 50% of marriages ending in divorce it seems it is quite an accomplishment.

Since it is Tuesday, I pondered how I could make this post a Tuesday Three. I came up with three things that didn’t go quite as planned on September 6, 1986. But even though we experienced these challenges on our wedding day, our marriage has stayed strong. We vowed that in sickness and in health, for richer or for poorer, whatever may come, we would stick together. There has definitely been some sickness, but also health. We’ve experienced times of financial struggle, but have also been incredibly blessed. We’ve been through a lot, and are both looking forward to the next 25 years and beyond.

The first thing that didn’t go as planned for our wedding day was that the flowers were not what I ordered. I made my own bouquet and my bride’s maid’s bouquet out of silk flowers, so those were just as I wanted them. But I also wanted some fresh flowers. We were on a tight budget, so I only ordered two flower arrangements – one for the guest table and one for the altar. I ordered arrangements of blue carnations, white daisies, and yellow roses. When I arrived at the church and saw the flowers that had been delivered I couldn’t believe my eyes! They did, indeed, have blue carnations and yellow roses, but there were no white daisies. In their place the florist had used orange marigolds.

Now orange is my least favorite color in the entire color spectrum, and I certainly didn’t want it in my wedding flowers. But there was nothing I could do about it. There was not enough time before the wedding to get new flowers and the florist had dropped off the flowers and left before I got there. It took me almost 20 years to even be able to have marigolds in my yard again. But thankfully no one else was the wiser and it didn’t ruin our beautiful day.

The second thing that didn’t go as planned happened while I was getting dressed in the basement of the church. It was about five minutes before the ceremony was to start. I decided I wanted to have very fresh breath for that wonderful kiss with my new husband. So I tried to gargle and rinse my mouth with some green Scope mouthwash. Somehow I managed to spit the Scope up all down the front of my white wedding dress! I was so upset and didn’t know what I was going to do. Thankfully my dear sister Peggy was there. She reassured me that we could get it out as she began to gently rub the Scope out of my dress with a washcloth. Amazingly, it all came out and since it was about 90° that day it dried quickly. The ceremony started almost on time and no one had any idea what had happened.

The third thing that didn’t go as planned had to do with the music. We hired the keyboard player from a band called Trespasser to play before the service and to play the wedding march. Trespasser was the band that was playing the night my husband and I met. We asked him to play an original Trespasser song called “I’ll Never Stop Loving You,” which was our song. He did a great job of playing the keyboard portion as filler music while people came into the church and were seated. The thing that didn’t go as planned was that he didn’t really know how to play the wedding march correctly and hit a few bad notes. I’m sure a few people notice; okay, pretty much everybody noticed. But it was okay because I still made it down the aisle.

One other thing almost happened “not according to plan” at the wedding reception. We had a wonderful reception at a local grange hall (which we rented for only $25). Everyone had a great time dancing, visiting, and eating. The music was from several mixed tapes of our favorite music that my husband made for the occasion played over a very nice stereo sound system. At the end of the almost perfect night, we were about to leave when we remembered we hadn’t gotten those mixed tapes out of the stereo. My husband went back to the closet where the stereo was, only to find one of his “friends” hiding there. Turns out this so-called friend was planning to steal the stereo system and sneak out with it after everyone was gone. Thankfully we caught him before he could follow through with the plan and leave us owing the grange for the losses!

So it wasn’t a “perfect” day, but it was one of the most wonderful days of my life (along with the day my son was born, which also wasn’t a perfect day). Just goes to show you that perfection isn’t necessary for happiness and joy.

“Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.” Matthew 19:4-6 (NIV).

10 Comments

Filed under Faith, Family, Jesus, Life, Music, postaday2011

Psalms 24 – God Our Savior

This coming Tuesday is my 25th wedding anniversary. In honor of this wonderful day, I was going to post Psalms 25 today, but I have already posted it back in June. So I asked my husband to pick a number between 1 and 150. He picked 24 and so today I have posted the first part of Psalms 24. You can read the entire Psalms 24 here.

Psalm 24

    Of David. A psalm.

 1 The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it,
   the world, and all who live in it;
2 for he founded it upon the seas
   and established it upon the waters.

 3 Who may ascend the hill of the LORD?
   Who may stand in his holy place?
4 He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
   who does not lift up his soul to an idol
   or swear by what is false.
5 He will receive blessing from the LORD
   and vindication from God his Savior.
6 Such is the generation of those who seek him,
   who seek your face, O God of Jacob.
                         Selah

8 Comments

Filed under Faith, Family, Jesus, Life, Poetry, postaday2011, Psalms

The Crossroads – A Short Story

This post is a short story that was originally written for and posted at Idylls for the King, a Christian Literary blog I contribute to (which is currently on summer hiatus). I’ve been out of town most of this past week and am heading out on another trip with my sister tomorrow, so I decided to re-post this story here for today’s post because I don’t have time to write something new. I hope you enjoy it.

Sarah stood staring out the picture window across their perfectly manicured lawn. She and John had settled here almost 20 years ago, but it seemed like forever. In the beginning, she was happy here. John kept up the yard and gardens, and she kept the house and cooked for them. But lately a feeling of discontent and despair crept over her when she least expected it. Now was one of those times. She knew there was more to life than what she had, than what they had.

Beyond the blooming rose bushes and the Sycamore tree was the crossroads. She gazed thoughtfully down the narrow bumpy dirt road to the left. She could see where it led from her vantage point at the picture window. It didn’t look like much in the beginning, but she knew pure beauty was found at the end of that road. She longed to move away from this place to a house farther down that road, a small house with everything they needed to be content.

But John wouldn’t listen. He had his eye on a big mansion up the highway going the other direction. And so here they stayed, at the crossroads. Neither was willing to go with the other down their desired road, but neither wanted go on alone either.

“Till death do us part” was what they had promised. Sarah knew she had made a commitment to John that God did not want her to break. But she was miserable living at the crossroads.

Sarah couldn’t really blame John for wanting to move to the mansion up the highway. When they had first moved to the crossroads, she shared that dream with him. The two newlyweds had taken many trips up the highway, admiring all that it had to offer and talking of their future there together.

But over time she had grown discontent with the offerings of the highway. She had gone on her own for a few walks down the narrow bumpy road and found that it was very peaceful. John had gone with her a few times, but he always seemed bored; there was no glitz and excitement there. At times the narrow road seemed almost harsh and treacherous, and John didn’t like that.

But she knew peace down that road, a peace the highway could never offer.

Sarah turned from the picture window and slowly wandered into the kitchen. The feeling of sadness made each step as heavy as if she was wearing lead boots. She had promised John a pecan pie, but she didn’t feel like baking.

She turned on her iPod and hit shuffle. As she methodically gathered the ingredients for the pie, the old hymn “I’ll Fly Away” began to play. She stopped, tears flowing from her eyes. “Just a few more weary days and then . . .”

Sarah looked up and cried out to God, “How many more days, Lord? How many?”

“Just enough,” she heard Him say. “Just enough, my child.” Just then the clouds outside the kitchen window scattered, and bright rays of sunshine struck her face. Their warmth engulfed her as in a loving embrace.

When the song was over, Sarah dried her tears and continued with her pie making. A feeling of peace came over her as God granted her the patience to wait, to remain at the crossroads until John was ready to go with her down the narrow bumpy road to that beautiful, peaceful house in the clearing. Or until God called her to follow that road alone.

5 Comments

Filed under Blogging, Faith, Family, Fiction, Jesus, Life, postaday2011

Music Monday Extra – I’ll Wait for You

This weekend I was listening to my iPod on a general shuffle of all the songs, instead of just my Christian playlist. The song “I’ll Wait for You” by Bruce Springsteen came on. I love this song. It is such a wonderful picture of what the attitude of married couples should be.

The current divorce rate in the United States is 50% for first marriages, and even higher for second and third marriages. It seems people don’t really take “til death do us part” very seriously. If the relationship isn’t quite what they expected or their spouse isn’t in the same place as they are, the quick and easy answer is to get a divorce. It used to be that divorce was reserved for extreme circumstances, but any more it’s no big deal.

I’m not suggesting that divorce is never appropriate. There are certainly circumstances where a spouse should not be expected to continue in a relationship with an abusive, habitually cheating, or emotionally controlling spouse.

But for the bulk of marriages, taking on the attitude of this song, saying “I’ll wait for you. If I should fall behind, wait for me,” would lead to a lot more understanding and fewer divorces. I found this great video of Bruce and all the band members taking turns singing the parts of this song, plus an awesome saxophone solo by Clarence Clemons. I hope you will enjoy it as much as I did.

6 Comments

Filed under Family, Life, Music, postaday2011

Love and Marriage

Our niece is getting married tomorrow, and we will be leaving early to get there. We are excited about this blessed event! In honor of the wedding, I decided to post the well-known “love” chapter of 1 Corinthians 13 tonight since I won’t have time to post anything tomorrow:

Love

1If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.

4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

8Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. 11When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. 12Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

13And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Congratulations Carrie and Jorge! May love abound in your marriage forever and a day.

4 Comments

Filed under Faith, Family, Life