Every day I get near enough the same message come up on my phone:
"You have memories with Suzanne Williamson and x others to look back on today"
And every day I get the same feeling... Every day I get excited to rack my brain as to what we might have been through together on this day at some point in the last 10 years.
I'll be honest, when I click the link and look back through the Facebook posts it's not all as riveting as my mind imagines, but the point is she was there, we were making memories together, and that still excites me.
Aside from the obvious fact that she is stunning, and her tolerance levels are greater than anyone I've ever met (except possibly my mother who has my dad to contend with too), there's a choice that we both make every day that says whatever comes our way we choose to love each other, to want to be with each other and to love each other...
And this is where I run the risk of upsetting people, of saying the something in a way that sounds other than what is intended, and so I ask you to read on, read it all, with grace, and to talk to me directly if I hurt you through my inability to convey my meaning in everything in one blog post.
I'm terrified of divorce. Before some of you take it as a judgement, let me explain myself.
My parents have done a sterling job of modelling marriage for me and my sister. The brung us up proper, provided for us, loved us, and they love each other. I'm sure there are things that I was protected from or oblivious to down the line, but they are still together and still make each other smile.
I knew I wanted to marry Suzanne very early on in our relationship, but I was more than a little bit scared. I was scared about my ability to mess things up, my potential to throw away good things and my lapses in judgement that had historically ended in people getting hurt.
I also became increasingly aware of the pressures of the vocation I was called to, the commitment required to serve God, the intensity of relationships needed to disciple young people, the possible loneliness and isolation of being married to someone who spends more evenings with other people than with their families because young people are mainly available at traditional family times. And I was acutely aware of the increasing numbers of people I was meeting who shared my vocation or a similar one, often in church employment, who were separated, divorced, were headed that way, or had remarried.
I know that there are valid reasons for divorce, and I am in no way passing judgement on anyone I have met who happens to fall into any of these categories. I don't know your stories, and I hope you never feel that I am passing judgement. I am sure that there has been pain along the way, that wounds take varying lengths to heal, that there will be people who have been hurt not only by people who claimed to love them "for better or worse" but also by the people who used to embrace them every time they walked into church but now feel alone because of the circumstances of their home life.
PLEASE HEAR THAT...
It's not even a theological thing. For every person who has tried to convince me the Bible says one thing, there is someone on the opposite side of the argument who is fighting to tell me something different. I am fully aware that our theology is dependent on our circumstance and the circumstances of those around us, that our ability (and dare I say it, our responsibility) is to change what we believe about God as he reveals more about himself to us. I don't think this is one of those clear-cut theological moments.
But for me, I'm terrified that it is an option. I'm terrified that there appears to be a way out of the best thing that ever happened to me, and that it is relatively simple. I say simple, but I don't mean painless. And I don't mean easy. I mean it's uncomplicated as a process.
Don't get me wrong, should Suzanne decide that the best thing for her is to walk away then I am sure there would be reason to appreciate that simplicity.
But I know me, and I know what I could be capable of, and I'd rather that option wasn't there at all.
And that's why I had to tweak my vows. "I will choose to love you..."
In closing, just to put people's minds at rest, I am in love with my wife. We rub each other up the wrong way, we disappoint each other, and we're not always friends, but at the end of it all I am still excited by all of her, mind, body and spirit, and the potential we have as a couple, and now as a family.
I'm not going anywhere.
Remarcable is one man blogging about Youth Work, Theology, Family, Life and those other random things that come to mind.