April 27, 2020
One of the by-products of the current situation for Katie and me is spending time together. Lot’s of time! We have our coffee and eat breakfast together, every day. We sit on our back patio and watch our cats in the yard, every day. We take a walk or a bike ride, every day. “We” watch a Hallmark movie, every day. Now don’t get me wrong, we are enjoying our time together, and at least Hallmark movies are relatively clean. These days and weeks have allowed us to talk together more than our usual fast paced days allow and have reminded me of how much I love being married to Katie. The value of our friendship and the relationship God has blessed us with has truly been reinforced during these days.
This June will mark 49 years of marriage. I have enjoyed opening doors, carrying bags, and generally trying to be a gentleman in every situation that I can, as part of my spousal responsibilities. But every now and then I am reminded that we might not be from the same planet, or at the very least this beautiful creature God has blessed me with has come to take my duties as a door opening, bag carrying porter for granted. I’ve shared this story before, but in my reminiscing, I discovered it again during these past days.
Several years ago, we attended the FACCS Convention in Orlando. When we arrived at the hotel to check in, my companion from Venus suggested that I call a porter over deliver our bags up to our room. My frugal background from Mars, which being interpreted is too cheap to spring for a valet, told me to say, no we can just carry our bags from the parking lot, it’s not that far anyway!! So back to the parking lot we went. I put my attaché case strap over my shoulder, carefully balanced the cooler on the top of the suitcase, grabbed both garment bags and started off for the “short” hike to our room with my beautiful bride out in front of me weighted down with two small plastic shopping bags, one in each hand. As we arrived at the hotel doors she paused, waiting for her gallant knight to carefully bend over to push the handicap door button so she could enter, thus fulfilling his marital responsibility. As we proceeded down the “short” walk to the elevators the circulation in my fingers was cut off from the hanging clothes, my “bad” shoulder began aching, and the bad wheel on the luggage stopped rolling. Nevertheless, we arrived at the elevator lobby where fortunately one of the doors opened and so, in we went. When the elevator door closed, I thought, I had made it, my delivery duties were almost done. But oh no, there was just one more little detail left. Since the elevator wasn’t moving, and neither was the pack mule at this point, my partner in life, my blessing from heaven, my best friend with only two small plastic bags in her hands looked at me with her gorgeous blue eyes and said, “You need to push 4, we’re in room 439!” Yes, married life is bliss.
We all have our stories about our lives, our families and our marital experiences, but the importance of our commitment to and understanding of marriage in the sight of God cannot be understated. When Katie and I were married we were very young, but we had been taught a Biblical concept of marriage. We knew what Jesus said about marriage in Mark 10:6-8, “But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’ ‘For this reason, a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ So, they are no longer two, but one. Therefore, what God has joined together, let man not separate.” Such an understanding has certainly helped us in our “Mars and Venus” experiences over the years, including dealing with this current pandemic social distancing and isolation experience. Most of all it has provided us with a commitment level we could not have achieved on our own.
Franklin Graham, President of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association made this comment on Biblical marriage. He said, “The issue of marriage was settled by God Himself and is not subject to man-made revisions or modifications.” He said, “In the end, I would rather be on the wrong side of public opinion than on the wrong side of Almighty God who established the standard of living for the world He created. Marriage is a biblically moral issue, not a political or theological one. Marriage and the family were God’s idea, and as divine institutions they are not open to human renegotiation or revision. The Bible clearly teaches that God instituted marriage as a covenant between one man and one woman, a lifelong union of two partners created in God’s image to govern and manage the earth for him.”
In times like these, when our normal “fast paced” schedules are replaced by actually talking, and spending time together with our family I choose to take a stand. I choose to support the truth of God’s Word as it relates to marriage and family. I choose to support the institution of marriage in our society as a commitment between one man and one woman. I choose to support those who will help preserve marriage and protect the children of future generations from those who would deprive them of the God given protection provided in the biblical family structure. I Corinthians 15:58 says, “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” I pray that as a Christ-followers in this community, each of us will faithfully demonstrate our steadfast commitment to God’s plan for marriage and the family, no matter what life’s circumstances may be.
Robert Andrews, Ph.D.