"For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh."This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. ~~Ephesians 5:31-33 NIV
Twenty-one years ago today, Eldon and I eloped. We skipped all the hoopla and got married. We were in our young 20’s and only knew each other for a few months. We knew all the advice we’d receive would be contrary to what we wanted to do, so we just skipped it. I know some people who were skeptical about our relationship and how long it would last. And yes, I agree with statistics, most rushed marriages fall apart just as quickly as they jumped into them. (And I don’t recommend other couples do what we did.)
However, we defied statistics. Many years ago, my husband and I sought out Christian marriage counseling. We took this test to determine our compatibility. When we met with the pastoral counselor to receive the results, he told us that 85 percent of couples with our scores end up divorced. I remember looking this man in the eyes and stating, “Well we fall into the other fifteen percent.” We finished that session but never returned.
We’re not any different than other couples. We have our fussy moments with each other. We have disagreements. We have fun times too. What makes our marriage different? I believe it is commitment; being faithful to one another. We’ve been faithful to our vows before God and to each other.
Faithfulness is a part of the fruit of the Spirit. We see throughout Scriptures how God is consistently faithful to His Word and promises. In Chris Tiegreen’s devotion, Walk with God, he wrote, “God, however, is constant. His faithfulness reaches to the skies (see Psalm 36:5; 57:10; 108:4), and His love and faithfulness are semantically paired so often that they are clearly intertwined. His love is unchanging; there is nothing fickle about it—not even from generation to generation (Psalm 100:5). True faithfulness endures forever (Psalm 117:2). It can do no other.”
Therefore, we must have Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit to have the fruit of the Spirit. Then we can exercise faithfulness. In our marriage, there have been times our flesh wanted to take over, but the yielding to the Holy Spirit is better. Each of us has remained faithful to God and to each other. That is why I believe our marriage has lasted twenty-one years. And that’s why I believe we will enjoy each other until death do we part (which I hope is many, many more years). We’re faithfully united to each other and to our Savior, Jesus Christ.Engrafted by His Grace--