Tag Archive | marriage

Letting go

During the past months, I have been struggling with a sense of sadness and impending loss, not wanting life to change, not wanting to let go. Why? Two weeks ago my youngest child was married. This was my second experience being the mother-of-the-bride. When my oldest child, Ruthmarie, was married, there were some cliffhanger moments, such as the caterer cancelling a week before the wedding, but the emotional impact was minimal. Ruthmarie had been living on her own for eight years and I was excited to have my first son-in-law. We wondered which of our four younger children would be next. The marriage bug flitted by the middle three and settled on Susanna, the baby of the family. We were very pleased with the young man she chose but I was unprepared to let her go.I couldn’t imagine not having her in the bedroom right next to ours, not having her rummage through my dresser for socks or coming home and filling our house with her sunny presence. At twenty she seemed too young, or so I told myself. I also struggled with issues of identity. If I wasn’t a mother in an active state of parenting, who was I? So much of my life had been poured into my children, making sure they were safe, educated, loved and provided for. Letting go of Susanna felt like letting go of a big part of myself. After months of planning, the wedding day arrived. Susanna was a radiant bride marrying a young man who will always protect and love her. I kept my emotions in check until Susanna danced with her father, to a sentimental tune. Then people started handing me tissues.

The house is very quiet now. My middle daughter and her friend, who live with us, are away on a road trip and my husband is busy with work. There are some tears but that’s okay, and the solitude is not all bad. God reminds me that my roles are not confined to being a wife and mother, that I am his, and as I keep on with the responsibilities he has given me, he will guide me into my future. I also realize that I am very blessed. Susanna and Chris are settling into married life beautifully and making sure to stay connected with their families. My husband and I have five thoughtful children, caring sons-in-law, a lovely young lady who is like a fifth daughter to us, siblings and other family members, good friends, a faith-filled church, and a lovely home in a beautiful city. God is our strength and Saviour and his plans for us are good. And some day in the future, we hope our house will be ringing with the laughter of grandchildren!

Photograph by Karen “Ren” Strong

Friendship and Marriage

Over Valentine’s Day weekend,  New Covenant Ministries Church, our place of worship, invited guest speakers to conduct special services on the subject of marriage. The husband/wife team provided Scriptural insights and helpful examples of what a marriage should be. The sessions were informative and fun, and we shared a lot of laughter, as we explored the roles of husbands and wives and how spouses can serve and complement each other. I thought of how important it is to never take your partner for granted,  whether you have been married one year or thirty. Every day we need to pay attention to our spouses and show them appreciation and respect. Acts of kindness should begin at home.

On Valentine’s Day, we celebrate both romantic love and friendship. There are few things more precious than friendship in life. In the Bible, Jesus refers to us not only as his children but his friends: “You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends,  for everything that I learned from the Father I have made known to you” (John 15:15, NIV). Jesus puts a high value on friendship. The strongest marriages have not only a romantic component, but a foundation of of friendship, as well.

When our children were small, we would occasionally arrange a date night for just the two of us. One one of these evenings, a lady observed us in a restaurant and said she could hardly believe we were married, because we were having such a great time talking. to each other. We have always had  a common bond, because of our faith in God, and our many shared interests such as history, music and literature. Of course, we have our differences, as well.  I prefer to shop with my female friends because the whole process bores my husband. He sees only the dollar signs, while I think of shopping as a social activity. On the other hand, I have to remind myself to at least ask my husband how his favourite baseball or hockey team is doing!

A few years ago, during a particularly painful time in our marriage, which involved job loss, extreme financial stress and greatly altered  circumstances, I believe that one of the things that held us together was the solid friendship we had developed early in our relationship. The best of friends are there for each other, during good times and bad, even when circumstances are doing their utmost to unravel their lives. Our faith in God convinced us that better days were ahead and our friendship and love  gave us a a point of contact and endurance.

Throughout the rest of 2014, let Valentine’s Day live in your everyday lives. Be a friend to your spouse and others. Perform acts of kindness in your home and outside of it. Many blessings await you!

Happy Valentine’s Day!