Double the blessing

Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 12, 2005

Marriage is half the stress and double the blessing.

A single student at the time, I remember hearing that phrase during a college chapel service and watching, with admiration, as couples throughout the sanctuary renewed their vows in a commemorative ceremony of covenant marriage.

The event left a permanent impression on my heart and after being married a little over two years, has taken on new dimensions bringing to mind examples of enduring love many today would scarcely recognize.

One of those examples is that of my grandparents. Raised in a time when marriage was respected as a sacred institution, divorce was scarce and couples stuck together no matter what, my grandparents were deeply in love and looked forward to the time they could spend together mapping out their future.

Wise to the challenges life was sure to bring them, they committed to face whatever cards they were dealt together, and &uot;till death do us part.&uot;

Unfortunately, in a society where divorce rates are almost equivalent to marriage rates, I am beginning to think the idea has become somewhat of a foreign concept.

Sadly, it seems the technological mindset of replacing older models with newer, improved ones has trickled into the arena of marriage, leaving a trail of broken hearts. Just like a computer whose aged parts are removed from the once thriving system, those left behind in a marriage often feel isolated and useless.

Too many couples seem to give up when the going gets tough, often whining and complaining until they find an escape.

I wonder, were they sleeping through the &uot;in good times and in bad&uot; part of their vows. What good is a vow if you’re not going to keep it?

I suppose my grandfather could very easily have left when my grandmother had her one of many strokes, but to him that was not an option.

Instead, he chose to share her burden, crying with her when she cried, laughing with her when she laughed, doing everything he could to bless her despite the adversity and the result was nothing less than lives changed by the power of love.

Half the stress, double the blessing? You bet.

The problem is when we choose the easy way out, we often miss lessons that can refine our character and make us stronger.

This Valentine’s Day, make it a point to share the struggles and maybe when look back, you’ll see how bountiful the blessings can be.