Bob and Norma Clark discovered that after 48 years of marriage, they weren’t legally married. How’s that for a surprise? Luckily, those 48 years were blissful ones, because they went down to the courthouse and did it all over again.
But it makes me wonder… In this age of Hollywood divorces and cynicism, how many married people would do it again, given the choice? When you add up all the fights and misunderstandings, the hurt feelings and the irritations… When you toss your in-laws into the mix, too…. Would you do it again, knowing what you do now? Do the loving moments, sweet memories and plans you still have for the future weigh more than the rest?
Marriage isn’t easy. Falling in love is the easy part, but staying connected to one person for the rest of your life–that takes work. That takes daily decisions that puts your relationship first. That takes flowers once in a while and some dirty socks on the floor. It takes some truly terrible birthday presents, some awful attempts at cooking, and a whole lot of grace to smooth it over.
I think the most important things in life are a decision. So many things are thrust upon us, but the best things are chosen.
Pregnancy can be accidental, but being a loving parent is intentional.
Marriages can be arranged, but commitment is intentional.
Falling in love can take you by surprise, but standing by that love for a lifetime is intentional.
As we come up to the New Year, I hope that we take purposeful, intentional steps towards the lives we want to lead. The intentional steps are the ones that create a lifetime of happiness. That’s not the sort of thing I want to leave up to happenstance.