No matter the idealism Mary and I both had about love when we first married fifty-four years ago next Tuesday, May 28th, the ugly truth is we knew little to nothing about the subject. With our individual unique perspective about the marriage union, hers, an idea of subjection that was more gender and culture driven than biblical, but which went under the name of Christianity as taught by most of the "Christian authorities" at the time, and mine, a desire for control that was birthed in a chaotic alcoholic environment and was fed by that same cultural view of headship/submission parading at the time as Christianity, we married.
Our journey, with all the struggles that ensued through the years and with the slow experiencing of biblical light and grace that ultimately galvanized our understanding of what true love and marriage are all about, has been proven worth it for both of us. I think we've discovered what real love is. I can honestly say that I would have NEVER been able to make it without someone like her as we grew to know ourselves and the truth about marriage and marital love.
Our equal partnership in service to one another, rather than a cultural concept of control and submission, has proven both biblical and satisfying. Our knowledge of this and our commitment to each other, and to the Lord, was the glue needed during the difficult relational times we faced through the years. But our relationship has continued to survive, even grow, and has born fruit that I could never have imagined. Our kids survived us. [That was not easy.] They have grown. We have grown. Our marriage has endured and has become real love.
Now, since the Lord can and does get glory out of struggles and failures as well as successes, we can and do honestly tell of those struggles, without shame, as we have faced them. This, because rather than them diminishing God's work in us, they only enhance the worth and value of what He alone has done. Our greatest longing and prayer has been answered, our marriage has endured, and our love is real.