I’ll bet you thought that tonight’s post would be about some big blow-up or argument; or even possibly a commentary on the best selling book: “Men are From Mars , Women are From Venus.” But neither of those thoughts would be correct, because the title of the post tonight has to do with a movie title – in fact a movie that I saw with Janet 40 years ago tomorrow, July 3rd, on our first date back in the summer of 1972.
That’s right, Janet and I went to a movie the first time we went out and thankfully, the title of the movie didn’t provide any sort of long term omen for our relationship together. In case you never saw the flick, it was a romantic comedy with Jack Lemmon, Barbara Harris and Jason Robards. I won’t go into a summary of the movie, but let’s say that it wasn’t the best movie we ever saw together. In fact, as I recall, I was a little embarrassed that we had chosen it, but in all honesty, we shared the blame because we both wanted to see it.
Throughout that infamous summer, we saw many movies together and played quite a bit of tennis as well. By the end of the summer, I think we both knew our relationship was getting serious and on Dec. 24, 1972, we were engaged. Like any married couple, we have had our ups and downs – but far more ups than downs throughout 40 years together. You know, in the Bible, many people who believe in numerology point to the fact that 40 years signifies a time of completion. Such as the 40 days of the flood, Jesus spending 40 days in the wilderness, or the reigns of both King David and King Solomon, each being the king of Israel for 40 years.
But as far as I am concerned, I’ll sign on for another 40 years right here, right now. No question about it – and I think that I know Janet well enough to say that she would do it all over again also. Mind you, it hasn’t always been a bed of roses. In my earlier years, I was quite a handful. I was driven, ambitious and was pretty intense. Please understand that I’m not proud of that, but it’s the truth.
Thankfully, through the last four decades, God has become a much more important part of my life and I can’t help but think that He, primarily through my time in seminary, has knocked off many of the rough edges. I’m still a work in progress, but I believe in continuous improvement and I keep trying to get better. Janet has always had a tremendous faith and in all honesty, that is what has helped us get through all the difficult times together. She has always believed that God had a divine plan for us and has never lost her hold on that belief. I think she’s right. You know, when things are going great, marriage is easy. It’s when things get tough that true faith and commitment come into play.
Anyway, the verse for tonight comes from the last book of the Old Testament. In Malachi 2:15, we are told, “Has not [the LORD] made them one? In flesh and spirit they are his. And why one? Because he was seeking godly offspring. So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith with the wife of your youth.”
I hope that the LORD believes that we have godly offspring, but there is no doubt that Janet and I would both tell you that God has made us one. And with the help of the Holy Spirit, we continue to love one another well and honor Him in the process. My encouragement tonight is to let you know that wherever you are in your marriage, it takes dedication from both people to make it work. My prayer is that you will do the difficult work of being the best spouse that you can be. Because there is only one thing more important that marrying the right partner, and that is being the right partner. Have a great day in the Lord – grace and peace…