Love and Marriage
By Doug Harrell
As I write this article I am thinking about the fact that this year in May, Barbara and I will be celebrating our 59th wedding anniversary. Since February is Valentine’s day month romance tends to be on our minds. The stores are filled with candy, cards, flowers, and all kinds of mementos celebrating love.
One of the things that come to mind is that love is much more than all the flowery goodies out there. Love is even much more than a tingly feeling all over the body and the brain. Love is a decision as well. The feeling is great but as the years go by that feeling can be eroded by all kinds of situations that come along. Life continues to happen and folks, it is not all a bed of roses. We don’t always go tip-toeing through the tulips as the song goes. We need only go to the Bible to see what love really is.
“And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.” 1 Corinthians 13:2-8 KJV
Love for our mate is so critical in today’s world as we see approximately 50% of all marriages ending in divorce. This has such a horrendous impact on our families in so many ways. The children that go through this experience times of struggle for the rest of their lives. The vast majority of all crime and suicide comes from this group of children. God created marriage to be between one man and one woman, to last until death do us part. A strong marriage is fundamental to the health of society. The family unit is the most important piece of our entire society.
The glue that really holds most marriages together is a strong faith in God, a common desire to serve God, and following His teachings. If a couple has this bond with the Lord, worships together, and prays together, their odds of making it to the end increase. The Biblical pattern of marriage and chastity is a proven pattern that is far more successful than the current idea of let’s live together awhile and see if we like it, if we do then we will get married. This process all too often leads to a dead-end street with divorce at the end of the road.
If you are a young person thinking about marriage, and that fits almost all young adults, be praying that the Lord will guide you in your selection. Your ideal place to find the right mate is to get in church yourself and find others in the same environment, those committed to the Lord and the beliefs that are founded in His holy word.
After 59 years of marriage, it can still be such a blessing, and it can continue to be exciting and refreshing as well. Today we are blessed with 22 grandchildren and 23 great-grandchildren and are expecting many more greats in the future. Grab your mate, tell them “thank you” for putting up with me, and recommit to the phrase, “till death do we part”! You will at some point look back at all the hard times and just say thank you Lord that we stuck it out until the end.
Doug Harrell is a life-long resident of Mitchell County, Owner of Harrell Hill Farms, a member of Bear Creek Baptist Church, and former publisher of Blue Ridge Christian News. You can find him on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/doug.harrell.77
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