“For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” Ephesians 5:31 (NKJV)
Every winter our church puts on an extravaganza of sorts, and it is called Married Life. It is an event of celebration for the married couples in our church, and was started three years ago as an off-shoot of a preaching series our pastor and his wife had presented about just that, Married Life.
It has been so well liked that it has been repeated each year, and it has been enjoyed just as much as the first time. It is held in a beautifully elegant event center, which is located on a very lovely farm with rolling hills and horses and ponies in central North Carolina. It is like driving into a different world for most of us, and when you walk through the doors, you might think we were of the ‘gentry’ or ‘nobility’ of days gone by. It is a night of fellowship with fellow believers, with a delicious dinner, a game or two, and dancing. It takes us out of our ordinary, everyday lives, and gives us a temporary bit of fantasy, a break, from the very real demands of our busyness. It is romantic and fun, and a true celebration event, but there is a bit more to it than that.
Pastor Darryl Love and his wife Rhonda Love take the stage for a few minutes to speak about Married Life. And they are the perfect couple to do so. Not only are they very well versed in the subject, they are the example of a beautiful married life. They exude respect, honor, and love for one another. But at the very top of the totem pole of their devotion to one another is their devotion to God. He is who they love first and foremost. And as a result, they have not only lived out the beautiful marriage they enjoy, but they have also been blessed with the wisdom and grace that allows them to share and teach so that others may also enjoy such a marriage.
They mix the seriousness of the subject with a few chuckles and good-natured jabs at one another, and they make it all seem so easy. But at the same time they emphasize that a happy marriage takes work and dedication. It takes patience, and it takes restraint. It requires love, acceptance, and respect. And with God in the middle of the whole thing, it can be achieved by those who think it’s too late, it’s over, it cannot be revived. It can be, and it has been, and many have benefited from the knowledge and care this couple is so willing to share.
My husband and I enjoyed the company of friends, and were able to partake of a delicious meal I would not even know how to prepare. We laughed, and we talked, and we were able to dance a couple of slow dances, just like we used to do when we were dating. In short, it was a magical, romantic evening, and God was right there in the middle of it all. You could literally feel His presence. It was a night to remember. It was Married Life.
“Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
Would your church leaders consider investing in marriages like ours does? If so, how do you envision it, and what perspectives and elements of Married Life would you feel are important to include in such an event, to insure that couples benefit and that God would be honored as well?